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Federico García Lorca

Angel and muse come from without; the angel gives radiance, the muse gives precepts … On the other hand, the duende has to be roused in the very cells of the blood. — Federico García Lorca, from “Theory and Function of the Duende,” trans. J. L. Gilli, 1933, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the… Continue reading Federico García Lorca

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Percy Bysshe Shelley

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. — Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “A Defence of Poetry,” 1820, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950, ed. Melissa Kwasny (Wesleyan University Press, 2004)

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Theodore Roethke

The resonant, the orotund, the rounding of The round full phrases sounding like far sighs, As if an ancient hill has found a motion Long remembered, never brought to action … — Theodore Roethke, from “Words for Young Writers,” On Poetry & Craft (Copper Canyon Press, 2001)

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Franz Kafka

If we were on the right road, having to leave it would mean endless despair. But we are on a road that only leads to a second one and then to a third one and so forth. And the real highway will not be sighted for a long, long time, perhaps never. So we drift… Continue reading Franz Kafka

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