KATY LEDERER QUOTES

American poet (1972- )

The cardinal sin in poker, worse than playing bad cards, worse even than figuring your odds correctly, is becoming emotionally involved.

KATY LEDERER, A Girlhood Among Gamblers

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Tags: poker


I thought that you had changed me,
but it was just a trick. You sawing
back and forth above my chest till
I was cut in half, dark magician.

KATY LEDERER, "Dark Ballad"

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Today, from the bridge, the East River is sparkling.
The money is swirling around the tall buildings like tides or like tithes,
And I wonder, does anyone swim in this river,
I wonder, does anyone pray?

KATY LEDERER, "The Flower of Life"

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Tags: money


Like a kettle, a lever, a lathe
I have used you.

KATY LEDERER, "The Unseduced"

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It is bizarre that some people can't understand how a serious poet could work at a finance firm. Goethe was a bureaucrat. Eliot worked as a banker.

KATY LEDERER, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Capitalist", Gelf Magazine, January 19, 2009

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Tags: T. S. Eliot


It's so dry when you read it in the papers, but, really, it's mythic.... It's Icarus, it's Faust, it's Eros and vanitas. It's Star Wars!

KATY LEDERER, attributed, "Ballad of the Bubble", The New Yorker, December 8, 2008

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Tags: Star Wars


I do not play the instrument
In longing but in quest
Not to be undertaken
Not to be lost
In a forest of bliss.

KATY LEDERER, "Degeneration"

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The sum of the parts equals less than the whole.
Or the howl. Or the how.
Or the hole.

KATY LEDERER, "In the Hole"

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Only about thirty poker players I can think of make serious money year in and year out playing poker. The rest make a killing one year, lose the next, or lose all the time and lie about it.

KATY LEDERER, interview, Identity Theory, February 12, 2005

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I think it is extremely interesting to think that, in some cases, vice might be, finally, more redemptive than virtue.

KATY LEDERER, interview, Identity Theory, February 12, 2005

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Tags: vice


I do think most poets are in denial about what the real taboos in writing are--the real boundaries.

KATY LEDERER, "An Interview with Katy Lederer", Thermos Magazine, January 21, 2010

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Tags: poetry


The ghosts of Rilke and Wordsworth--along with the 300+ MFA programs, which now seem to employ all Living Poets--have misled the American public egregiously into thinking that poets are morally pure and/or useless.

KATY LEDERER, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Capitalist", Gelf Magazine, January 19, 2009

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Tags: Rainer Maria Rilke


There is, in the heart, the hard-rendering profit.
As if we were plucking the leaves from the trees.

KATY LEDERER, "The Heaven-Sent Leaf"

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What separates the professionally successful ... from all the rest is their ability to stay steady, to have stamina. It is one thing to write a good sentence, another to write a good book.

KATY LEDERER, interview, Identity Theory, February 12, 2005

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Tags: writing


It should be everyone's right in a capitalist system to have some way to take advantage of compound interest.

KATY LEDERER, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Capitalist", Gelf Magazine, January 19, 2009

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Tags: capitalism


To think of the myriad ways that we live is to think of the ways that we die:
Delinquent in our brains, in debt--
If we settle, then, our due account and walk through the forest,
Will we finally be free?

KATY LEDERER, "If We Settle, Then, Our Due Account"

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Poetry is God's work.

KATY LEDERER, "An Interview with Katy Lederer", Thermos Magazine, January 21, 2010

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Tags: God


We live in a capitalist system; anyone who believes they are above this system or purer than this system, even while shopping at the cute organic market across the street or taking a hiking vacation to Guatemala, is certifiable.

KATY LEDERER, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Capitalist", Gelf Magazine, January 19, 2009

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Both writing and poker function as economies of status and prestige, and both require a survivalist's iron will.

KATY LEDERER, interview, Identity Theory, February 12, 2005

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