A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart. ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part, (Bantam Books; Reissue edition, August 1, 1988) Originally published 1808.
Celestial Music I have a friend who still believes in heaven. Not a stupid person, yet with all she knows, she literally talks to god, she thinks someone listens in heaven. On earth, she’s unusually competent. Brave, too, able to face unpleasantness. We found a caterpillar dying in the dirt, greedy ants crawling over it.… Continue reading Louise Glück
He stared into the fast-flowing waters and contemplated the tragedy of desire. — Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown (Random House, 2005)
I feel as if I am at a dead end and so I am finished. All spiritual facts I realize are true but I never escape the feeling of being closed in and the sordidness of self, the futility of all that I have seen and done and said. Maybe if I continued things would… Continue reading Allen Ginsberg
Every work turns against its author: the poem will crush the poet, the system the philosopher, the event the man of action. Destruction awaits anyone who, answering to his vocation and fulfilling it, exerts himself within history; only the man who sacrifices every gift and talent escapes: released from his humanity, he may lodge himself… Continue reading Emil M. Cioran
Forgive me if my eyes see no more clearly than sea foam, please forgive that my form grows outward without license and never stops: monotonous is my song, my word is a shadow bird, fauna of stone and sea, the grief of a winter planet, Incorruptible. Forgive me this sequence of water, of rock, of… Continue reading Pablo Neruda
In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows. ― Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room. (W. W. Norton & Company, May 14, 2007) Originally published 1922.
This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride this day down into night, to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page with the… Continue reading Ted Kooser