There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his… Continue reading Ralph Waldo Emerson
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)
I feel the weight of stars… — Theodore Roethke, from “A Nest of Light,” Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke. (Copper Canyon Press, November 1, 2006)
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)
The poem is lonely. It is lonely and en route. — Paul Celan, from “The Meridian,” Paul Celan: Selections. (University of California Press; 1st edition, March 14, 2005)
It is an odd jealousy: but the poet finds himself not near enough to his object. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “Nature,” Nature and Selected Essays (Penguin Classics, 2003)
To be running breathlessly, but not yet arrived, is itself delightful, a suspended moment of living hope. — Anne Carson, Eros: The Bittersweet. (Dalkey Archive Press; 1st Dalkey Archive ed edition, March 1, 1998) Originally published 1986.