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
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)
But beauty is not the only thing that makes a woman attractive; indeed, great beauty is often somewhat chilling: you admire, but are not moved. ― W. Somerset Maugham, Ten Novels and Their Authors. (Vintage; New Ed edition 2001) Originally published 1948.
It is possible, of course, that I may exaggerate about them. I certainly hope that I do; for where there is no exaggeration there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding. It is only about things that do not interest one, that one can give a really unbiassed opinion;… Continue reading Oscar Wilde
Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It… Continue reading Jorge Luis Borges
When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses, there are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think.… Continue reading Julia Kristeva
The desire for reassurance. And, equally, to be reassured. (The itch to ask whether I’m still loved; and the itch to say, I love you, half-fearing that the other has forgotten, since the last time I said it.) — Susan Sontag, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux;… Continue reading Susan Sontag