It is not everyday that the world arranges itself into a poem.
Death is the mother of Beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires.
It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom.
Democritus plucked his eye out because he could not look at a woman without thinking of her as a woman. If he had read a few of our novels, he would have torn himself to pieces.
Topics: Authors & Writing, Fiction
Most modern reproducers of life, even including the camera, really repudiate it. We gulp down evil, choke at good.
The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence.
In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all
Poetry is the statement of a relation between a man and the world.
To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
The poet is the priest of the invisible.
How red the rose that is the soldier
Topics: The Military
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
Civilization must be destroyed. The hairy saints of the North have earned this crumb by their complaints.
Intolerance respecting other people’s religion is toleration itself in comparison with intolerance respecting other people’s art.
If poetry should address itself to the same needs and aspirations, the same hopes and fears, to which the Bible addresses itself, it might rival it in distribution.
The imagination is man’s power over nature.
The genuine artist is never “true to life.” He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.
Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
How full of trifles everything is! It is only one’s thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.
The pears are not viols,
Nudes or bottles.
They resemble nothing else.
They are yellow forms
Composed of curves
Bulging toward the base.
They are touched red.
They are not flat surfaces
Having curved outlines.
They are round
Tapering toward the top.
In the way they are modelled
There are bits of blue.
A hard dry leaf hangs
From the stem.
The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin.
The shadows of the pears
Are blobs on the green cloth.
The pears are not seen
As the observer wills.
Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.
The bread of life is better than any souffle.
Union of the weakest develops strength not wisdom. Can all men, together, avenge one of the leaves that have fallen in autumn?. But the wise man avenges by building his city in snow.
The reading of a poem should be an experience. Its writing must be all the more so.
Topics: Authors & Writing
They said, You have a blue guitar, you do not play things as they are. The man replied, Things as they are changed upon a blue guitar.
Unfortunately there is nothing more inane than an Easter carol? It is a religious perversion of the activity of Spring in our blood.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Stanley Kunitz American Poet
- Mark Van Doren American Poet, Critic
- Howard Nemerov American Poet, Novelist
- Conrad Aiken American Poet, Novelist
- Archibald MacLeish American Poet, Dramatist
- Norman Mailer American Novelist, Journalist
- Theodore Roethke American Poet
- Robert Frost American Poet
- Marianne Moore American Poet
- Sylvia Plath American Poet, Novelist