Only silence perfects silence.
Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings, to the unknown, and returns us to our rational, structured selves refreshed. Having once experienced the mystery, plenitude, contradiction, and composure of a work of art, we afterward have a built-in resistance to the slogans and propaganda of oversimplification that have often contributed to the destruction of human life. Poetry is a verbal means to a nonverbal source. It is a motion to no-motion, to the still point of contemplation and deep realization.
You have your identity when you find out, not what you can keep your mind ON, but what you can’t keep your mind OFF.
Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.
Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.
The white sun like a moth on a string circles the southpole.
Is it not careless to become too local when there are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone.
I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries,
shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
from outside: I have
drawn no lines
For though we often need to be restored to the small, concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to be reminded of the large, vague, unlimited, unknown.
Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings, to the unknown, and returns us to our rational, structured selves refreshed.
Things go away to return, brightened for the passage
In nature there are few sharp lines
Though I have looked everywhere / I can find nothing lowly / in the universe.
Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
I can’t tell you where a poem comes from, what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other man. The reason I can’t tell you is that the purpose of a poem is to go past telling, to be recognised by burning.
A poem generated by its own laws may be unrealized and bad in terms of so-called objective principles of taste, judgement, deduction.
Even if you walk exactly the same route each time – as with a sonnet – the events along the route cannot be imagined to be the same from day to day, as the poet’s health, sight, his anticipations, moods, fears, thoughts cannot be the same.
What destruction have I been blessed by?
One can’t have it both ways and both ways is the only way I want it.
With the first step, the number of shapes the walk might take is infinite, but then the walk begins to define itself as it goes along, though freedom remains total with each step: any tempting side road can be turned into an impulse, or any wild patch of woods can be explored. The pattern of the walk is to come true, is to be recognized, discovered.
Each poem in becoming generates the laws by which it is generated: extensions of the laws to other poems never completely take.
If we ask a vague question, such as, ‘What is poetry?’ we expect a vague answer, such as, ‘Poetry is the music of words,’ or ‘Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.’
If the greatest god is the stillness all the motions add up to, then we must ineluctably be included.
Once every five hundred years or so, a summary statement about poetry comes along that we can’t imagine ourselves living without
The poet exposes himself to the risk. All that has been said about poetry, all that he has learned about poetry, is only a partial assurance.