something essential...

A meme from They Shoot Poets - Don't They?: “Give us at least 10 quotations pertaining to poetry - from 10 different writers &/or poets which best coincide with your philosophy vis a vis ars poetica. They can be posthumous or otherwise. The order is not important - unless it is to you.”

If the number ten is too daunting, go for less.

I, too, dislike it...
        “Poetry,” Marianne Moore

“With Poe words were figures; an old language truly, but one from which he carried over only the most elemental qualities to his new purpose; which was, to find a way to tell his soul.”
        In the American Grain, William Carlos Williams

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
         “The Song of the Wandering Aengus,” W. B. Yeats

“An oar moves a boat by entering what lies outside it. A poem, like an oar, extends inner life into the waters of story and things, of language and music.”
        “The Questions of Originality,” Jane Hirshfield

A god can do it. But will you tell me how
a man can penetrate through the lyre’s strings?
         The Sonnets to Orpheus, I, 3, R. M. Rilke

“It is nothing new to say that all utterance is erotic in some sense, that all language shows the structure of desire at some level.”
        Eros the Bittersweet, Anne Carson

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
         #1212, Emily Dickinson

“Poetry is the kind of thing you have to see from the corner of your eye…. It’s like a very faint star. If you look straight at it you can’t see it, but if you look a little to one side it is there.”
        Writing the Australian Crawl, William Stafford

“Everyone knows that poets are born and not made in school. This is true also of painters, sculptors, and musicians. Something that is essential can’t be taught; it can only be given, or earned, or formulated in a manner too mysterious to be picked apart and redesigned for the next person.”
        A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver

A hand moves, and the fire’s whirling takes different shapes,
Triangles, squares: all things change when we do.
The first word, “Ah,” blossomed into all others.
Each of them is true.
         “Singing Image of Fire,” Kūkai (9th century)

Tag: Liz, Stu, Greg, Kate, and Pris

...and anyone else who wants to tackle this one...


Pris said...

Oh my...I was just tagged on MySpace for something, too, but not this much fun. Give me some time:-)

greg rappleye said...

This is a good one, and I enjoyed your quotes.

Let me think...

Nick said...

Nice set of quotes. I particularly liked the Williams & Hirshfield quotes. Well done.

KATE EVANS said...

Only 10? At first that sounded like a lot, but then it was hard to narrow down. (I ended up with a baker's 10.)

Since I write both poetry and prose, my quotes pertain to both, either, or--and to creativity in general--but ultimately they all resonate with poetics:

"Poetry is loving the names of things." (Gertrude Stein)

"I have it set so all flattery and criticism go down the same drain, and I am quite free." (Georgia O'Keefe)

"There is a beauty in the world, though it's harsher than we expect it to be." (Michael Cunningham)

"The thinking mind is best controlled by the imagination." (Carson McCullers)

Artists "love what is raw and degratded as much as what is seemingly fine . . . [They are] awed by creation and cannot let a single aspect of sensuous experience go unadmired." (James Agee)

"Craft is also spiritual." (Sharon Dubiago)

"The novel cannot submit to authority." [True for the poem too.] (Julian Gough)

"Out of our conflicts with others we make rhetoric. Out of our conflicts with ourselves, we make poetry." (Yeats)

"The most important things in our intimate lives can't be discussed with strangers, except in books." (Edmund White)

"Talent is a long patience." (Flaubert)

"End with an image and don't explain." (Stanley Kunitz)

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the read, Pris, Greg & Nick.

Enjoyed your list, Kate. Especially, McCullers, Kunitz, and the Yeats.

Liz said...

Sam, interesting set of quotes...I adore the Yeats and Rilke one...just off to dust down a few I've kept for inspiration over the years.


Pris said...

Okay, mine are up. Wish I'd written down all the quotes I love when I read them, but I have some that sing to me on the blog now.

Pamela said...

I'm in.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Liz, you'll enjoy the list. Thanks for reading.

And Pris & Pamela - Wonderful lists. Good insight into the writer in both of you.

Stu said...

I'm done... had fun... thanks for the tag!

Enjoyed your list sam... pris and pamela's are wonderful too! And the Edmund White from kate's is definitely a favourite.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Enjoyed your list, Stu. Good choices all.

Liz said...

Sam, have got the list up.

Enjoyed everyones.



DeadMule said...

Hi Sam, I love the William Stafford and Mary Oliver quotes. And, of course, Emily Dickinson. Helen

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Enjoyed your list, Liz. And Helen, thanks for the read.

greg rappleye said...

I'm finished. Sorry it took so long.

I really enjoyed working on this.


sexy said...