"Although I read some fiction, I don't even try to keep in touch with it!"
"But geneticists will tell you that there are certain things about our lives and our deaths that we can't do anything about."
"But I don't think that's a problem at all - all poems, including those of Seamus Heaney (which Carey would especially valorise), are in a dialogue with other works of art. That's obvious, I think."
"Finally, I suppose, I'm interested in poems where one isn't stopped or where one is only stopped for a good reason."
"For whatever reason, people, including very well-educated people or people otherwise interested in reading, do not read poetry."
"Frost isn't exactly despised but not enough people have worked out what a brilliant poet he was."
"I always go to England quite a bit, at least three times a year, because I have this honorary appointment at Oxford now."
"I believe that these devices like repetition and rhyme are not artificial, that they're not imposed, somehow, on the language."
"I certainly am interested in accessibility, clarity, and immediacy."
"I do a lot of readings."
"I don't say it idly that Frost is a big influence on me - though there are other influences."
"I live in New Jersey now, which always gets a bad rap here and there, but I must say, I enjoy living here too."
"I read virtually everything, certainly by the obvious candidates, published in this country and across the water."
"I suppose for whatever reason I actively welcome being put down, something which perhaps goes back to my upbringing - that accusation of not being worthy which could be laid at one's door."
"I suppose I tend to prefer concrete imagery rather than more analytical language."
"I think it's too simple to say that violence equals energy; people have said that along the way. Violence is debilitating as much as anything else."
"I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951. I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987."
"I'm not an expert in physics or cosmology or any of these matters, but the more we discover about how the world works the more we see these unpatterned patterns - all these orbits and orders and, within them, these variations."
"I'm sure 50 percent of television ads use rhyme."
"It seems to me the structure of the Quartets is too imposed."
"It's not as if I'm trying to write crossword puzzles to which one might find an answer at the back of the book or anything like that."
"It's something which has always been an element in my poems: you know the notion that Brownlee's end is somehow in his name, nomen est omen if you like."
"Last year I was a judge for a prize in England, the T.S. Eliot Prize, so I read everything that was published in England last year."
"Let's face it, confusion is what we're living with - not being able to make sense of what's happening to us from day to day."
"Living at that pitch, on that edge, is something which many poets engage in to some extent."
"Obviously one of the things that poets from Northern Ireland and beyond - had to try to make sense of was what was happening on a day-to-day political level."
"Of course, you can't legislate for how people are going to read."
"On the one hand there's the wonderful chanciness and randomness of things, and on the other hand there's a terrifying predictability."
"On the one hand we're terrifyingly complicated things, but on the other hand, we're very simple creatures, very basic organisms, and so much about us is pre-programmed and determined."
"On the other hand, at some level the mass of unresolved issues in Northern Ireland does influence the fact that there are so many good writers in the place."
"One has to learn to read these poems, just as one has to learn to read a three-line, little imagist poem, just as the writer had to learn to write it."
"One of the kinds of poems I'm interested in writing is one which gives the impression that it had to be the way it is."
"One will never again look at a birch tree, after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way."
"One would have liked those titles to be almost invisible, to only flash up, as it were, for a moment on the screen."
"Poetry is not being taught to the extent it used to be - and various aspects of memorizing poetry are not being taught."
"That's one of the great things about poetry; one realises that one does one's little turn - that you're just part of the great crop, as it were."
"The fact is that where I am now is where I was a month ago; which is however cliche-ridden it might seen, facing the blank page and probably finding it as difficult and maybe even slightly more difficult to keep on going."
"The ground swell is what's going to sink you as well as being what buoys you up. These are cliches also, of course, and I'm sometimes interested in how much one can get away with."
"The other side of it is that, despite all that, people reach out to poetry at the key moments in their lives."
"The teachers I had myself, the best of them were quite extraordinary, and really did inspire one into reading, or indeed, writing."
"We simply have not kept in touch with poetry."
"Well my mother was a teacher, so there was always this sense that teaching is a noble calling, which I think it is."
"Well, I think of rhyme as being intrinsic to the language, integral to the language."
"Well, there's very little of the intentional about the business of writing poetry, as least as far as I can see."
"What I try to do is to go into a poem - and one writes them, of course, poem by poem - to go into each poem, first of all without having any sense whatsoever of where it's going to end up."
"While I lived in Ireland I worked for BBC Radio - and did a little bit of television at the end."
"Words want to find chimes with each other, things want to connect."
"Your average pop song or film is a very sophisticated item, with very sophisticated ways of listening and viewing that we have not really consciously developed over the years - because we were having such a good time."