Nº. 1 of  1135

A Poet Reflects

… is it not possible—I often wonder—that things we have felt with great intensity have an existence independent of our minds; are in fact still in existence? And if so, will it not be possible, in time, that some device will be invented by which we can tap them?

Virginia Woolf, from “A Sketch of the Past,” in Moments of Being (Harvest Books, 1985)

(Source: wavingtovirginia, via villettess)

Edward Steichen, Road into the Valley - Moonrise, 1906 16.4 x 20.5 cm Hand-toned photogravure

Edward Steichen, Road into the Valley - Moonrise, 1906
16.4 x 20.5 cm
Hand-toned photogravure

(Source: art-is-art-is-art, via rolandscapes)

If your past is experience
make your tomorrow meaning and vision!
Let’s go to our tomorrow certain
of imagination’s candor, and of the miracle of grass.

Mahmoud Darwish, from “Counterpoint,” trans. by Fady Joudah, If I Were Another (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)

(Source: metaphorformetaphor)

I construct my memories with my present. I am lost, abandoned in the present. I try in vain to rejoin the past: I cannot escape.

Jean-Paul Sartre, from Nausea (Gallimard, 1938)

(Source: whyallcaps.us, via cwmy)

memoryslandscape:

This hour along the valley this light at the end
       of summer lengthening as it begins to go
this whisper in the tawny grass this feather floating
       in the air this house of half a life or so
this blue door open to the lingering sun this stillness
       echoing from the rooms like an unfinished sound
this fraying of voices at the edge of the village
       beyond the dusty gardens this breath of knowing
without knowing anything this old branch from which
       years and faces go on falling this presence already
far away this restless alien in the cherished place
       this motion with no measure this moment peopled
with absences with everything that I remember here
       eyes the wheeze of the gate greetings birdsongs in winter
the heart dividing dividing and everything
       that has slipped my mind as I consider the shadow
all this has occurred to somebody else who has gone
       as I am told and indeed it has happened again
and again and I go on trying to understand
       how that could ever be and all I know of them
is what they felt in the light here in this late summer

W. S. Merwin, “Season,” from The Vixen (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996)

"Yellow butterflies today float upon the wind. Sometimes one thinks, is that a leaf, fresh from some Autumn tree? And then, veering … the creature lights upon some last fall flower. It’s funny how the world sometimes will be bathed in a sort of poem: each sight, sound, taste, smell will lead to a sort of rhythmic line of expression, and the whole will be sort of continuous, running from one thing into another, so that we see connections we have never seen or contemplated before. Now I hear the sound of a train starting up in the distance, and see
the waving of yellowed leaves on a redbud tree, and a sort of repeat pattern of shadows on
the screen, and it all goes together inarticulately to make the moment through which I am passing … that must be why it is so hard to catch it, to say just why we have a certain impression.”

Agnes “Sissy” Grinstead Anderson, personal journal entry (5 October1938), from Fortune’s Favorite Child: The Uneasy Life of Walter Anderson by Christopher Maurer (University Press of Mississippi, 2003)

"Fairy tales have been used so often as sedatives that it is very usually forgotten that they are also explosions, as the late Mr. [G. K.] Chesterton would have said. These present attempts are by one who feels very strongly that the alternative to the atom bomb explosion and the annihilation of humanity would be obtained through art in a series of small explosions which are so identified with the life of man that they stimulate, without destroying life. Although they are told by the people and claimed and possessed by the people, they have a tendency to become all one tale, one solar myth, and whirl back to the sun as the source of all life."

Walter Anderson (painter & potter), on the importance of fairy tales as a life force, from correspondence to Una E. Johnson, curator of the Print Department at the Brooklyn Museum (December 1948)

Source: Fortune’s Favorite Child: The Uneasy Life of Walter Anderson by Christopher Maurer (University Press of Mississippi, 2003)

The organic consolation, the complete
Society of the spirit when it is
Alone, the half-arc hanging in mid-air

Composed, appropriate to the incomplete,
Supported by a half-arc in mid-earth.
Millions of instances of which I am one.

Wallace Stevens, from section V of “Repetitions of a Young Captain,” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage Books, 1990)

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Nº. 1 of  1135