Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations. — Henry David Thoreau, Walden. (Princeton University Press; 150th Anniversary edition with a New introduction by John Updike edition April 18, 2004)… Continue reading Henry David Thoreau
I can’t tell you where a poem comes from, what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other. The reason I can’t tell you is that the purpose of a poem is to go past telling, to be recognized by burning. — A. R. Ammons, “A Poem is a Walk,” Temple Poetry.… Continue reading A. R. Ammons
I have tried to be faithful to my knowledge, to force my instincts to yield, and realized that it is no use wielding the weapons of nothingness if you cannot turn them against yourself. — Emil M. Cioran, “Cosmogony of Desire,” A Short History of Decay. (Arcade Publishing; 1st Arcade paperback ed edition September 15,… Continue reading Emil M. Cioran
Life is rarely about what happened; it’s mostly about what we think happened. ― Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. (Scribner; Reprint edition, July 2, 2004)
… in such darkness I can only write, keep on going forward, till the end. I am now in the dark part of truth. — Hélène Cixous, from “Respiration de la hache (Hiss of the axe),” trans. Keith Cohen, Stigmata: Escaping Texts (Routledge, 2005)
Nothing is so common as the wish to be remarkable. ― Oliver Wendell Holmes, from “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.” Originally published in segments in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1857 and 1858.
For the Sake of a Single Poem Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them too early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten… Continue reading Rainer Maria Rilke