O my poor words, bear with me.
— Theodore Roethke, Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, ed. David Wagoner (Copper Canyon Press November 1, 2006)Theodore Roethke — The Vale of Soul-Making
I write by the light of what is not revealed in what I express.
— Edmond Jabès, The Book of Questions, II. The Book of Yukel, III. Return to the Book] trans.by Rosmarie Waldrop (Wesleyan University Press, 1983)
I don’t do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision.
— Allen Ginsberg, The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems: 1937-1952. (Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Ed edition November 1, 2006)Allen Ginsberg — The Vale of Soul-Making
There will be a book that includes these pages,
and she who takes it in her hands
will sit staring at it a long time,
until she feels that she is being held
and you are writing.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Du dunkeInder Grund, gelduldig erträgst du die Mauern,” Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy (Riverhead Books, 1996)
if there is light
it will find
— Charles Bukowski, from “the harder you try,” The People Look Like Flowers. (Ecco; First Edition edition (March 27, 2007)Charles Bukowski — The Vale of Soul-Making
“There’s never really any originality. We live in a sort of large-scale exchange, a sort of grand intertext. Ideas circulate and languages too. In the end, the only thing we can do—and claim it as our own—is to combine them. That’s more or less how I see things. But you don’t create an idea—it’s there, it’s like a sort of major transaction in a large-scale economy. Ideas circulate and, at a certain point, you stop them, arrange them and edit them, a little bit the way they do in films, and that produces a work.”
Roland Barthes, ‘Simply a Particular Contemporary’, (trans. Chris Turner)
The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is, “Look under foot.” You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the centre of the world.
— John Burroughs, Studies in Nature and Literature (Fredonia Books [NL] July 27, 2002)
To know that one does not write for the other, to know that these things I am going to write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other), to know that writing compensates for nothing, sublimates nothing, that it is precisely there where you are not–this is the beginning of writing.
— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. (Hill and Wang; Second Printing edition June 1, 1979) Originally published 1977.Roland Barthes — The Vale of Soul-Making
When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn’t climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.
― Criss Jami, Venus in Arms. (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform January 23, 2012)Criss Jami — The Vale of Soul-Making
there is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock.
― Charles Bukowski, from “the crunch,” Love Is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977. (Ecco; Ecco edition May 31, 2002) Originally published 1977.Charles Bukowski — The Vale of Soul-Making