But don’t leave me, delicate mind!
Don’t let me go crazy.
Sweet wounded reason, don’t
leave me now.
Don’t leave me. Let me die, without fear,
a clean lovely death, like Empedocles, who smiled as he fell
into the crater.”
— Miklós Radnóti, “Maybe …,” Clouded Sky. ( Sheep Meadow; Revised edition August 1, 2003)Miklós Radnóti — The Vale of Soul-Making
Today is the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Lee Masters (born in Kansas on 23 August 1868), the author of the “Spoon River Anthology”. This is collection of short poems condemning the hypocrisies and cruelty of society. The accusations come from the mouth of the dead buried in their graves. Here is one of […]Regrets — words and music and stories
My mysticism is not to try to know. It is to live and not think about it.
— Alberto Caeiro, (Fernando Pessoa), from The Keeper of Sheep, Selected Poems: Fernando Pessoa, trans. Jonathan Griffin (Penguin, 1982)Fernando Pessoa — The Vale of Soul-Making
The idea most of us have about poetry is so hazy that we take this impression of haziness for our definition of poetry. La plupart des hommes ont de la poésie une idée si vague que ce vague même de leur idée est pour eux la définition de la poésie.Poetry (a text of Paul Valéry translated by Vadim Bystritski) — Before and After Francis Ponge
Writing down your thoughts is both necessary and harmful. It leads to eccentricity, narcissism, preserves what should be let go. On the other hand, these notes intensify the inner life, which, left unexpressed, slips through your fingers. If only I could find a better kind of journal, humbler, one that would preserve the same thoughts, the same flesh of life, which is worth saving.
— Anna Kamieńska, from “In That Great River: A Notebook,” Poetry. Originally Published: June 1, 2010
Words are like boards when projected over some abyss spanned by human intellect. We are allowed a swift passage but not a deliberate stop. A quick one passes safely, but the moment we linger, the time-sensitive tissue rips and everything collapses to meet a bottomless chasm. Les mots sont des planches jetées sur un abîme […]
they thought I had guts they were wrong I was only frightened of more important things
— Charles Bukowski, from “Wall Clock,” Open All Night: New Poems. (Black Sparrow Press, September 1, 2000)
Surge like an ocean, don’t scatter yourself like a storm. Life’s waters flow from darkness. Search the darkness, don’t run from it. Night travelers are full of light, and you are, too; don’t leave this companionship.
— Rumi, from “Search the Darkness,” Love Is a Stranger (Shambhala, 2000)
“Memory is each man’s poet-in-residence.” – Stanley Kunitz, poet
Je ne suis pas dans le bon monde. Non. Tout n’est qu’yeux – les gens, les murs – même fermés ils sont étrangers, fixés sur mon visage étranger. Sous une lumière de souffre la lampe de lecture rugit sur les pages qui sombrent dans le bureau ; une joue frémit, fermente sous l’oeil ; dans […]