I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet. (Dover Publications May 8, 2002) Originally published 1929.
We create what we remember to survive all we never had. — Mariève Rugo, from “On Not Being Able to Write,” What Will Suffice: Contemporary American Poets on the Art of Poetry, ed. by Christopher Buckley and Christopher Merrill (Gibbs Smith, 1995)
They kept asking me, ‘What does the poem mean? What does the poem mean?’ And it was frustrating me because poems don’t mean. They suggest. They enact. They provoke. — Richard Siken
If you ask me why I wrote “A thousand tambourines of crystal, wounded the light of daybreak –Mil panderos di cristal, herían la madruga,” I will tell you that I saw them in the hands of trees and angels, but I cannot say more: I cannot explain their meaning. And that is how it should… Continue reading Federico García Lorca
When there is love, the world is conquered by lovers. All the better for us: we are enriched by their radiance. Their happiness makes the air purer. A poem incarnate. It is beyond criticism. It defies explanation. That defiance is the nature of the poem. — Édouard Boubat, Notebooks, 1998
Loneliness is necessary for pure poetry. When someone intrudes into the poet’s life (and any sudden personal contact, whether in the bed or in the heart, is an intrusion) the poet loses his or her balance for a moment, slips into being what he or she is, uses his or her poetry as one would… Continue reading Jack Spicer
The mind of the dreaming man is fully satisfied with whatever happens to it. The agonizing question of possibility does not arise. Kill, plunder more quickly, love as much as you wish. And if you die, are you not sure of being roused from the dead? Let yourself be led. Events will not tolerate deferment.… Continue reading André Breton