Often as a poet I find that I am somewhat outside an experience I want to hold onto, consciously taking mental notes or writing them down in my journal – for fear that I will forget. It’s not unlike being on a trip and taking pictures, your face behind a camera the whole time – the entire experience mediated by a lens.
Deep down, there is in the substance of the cosmos a primordial disposition, sui generis, for self-arrangement and self-involution.
I can’t believe there is a poet who hasn’t eagerly put down a word one day, only to erase it the next day deciding it was sheer lunacy. It’s part of the process of selection.
You can’t lie down in the ashes of another person’s life.
Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.
Shakespeare’s name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down.
Truth cannot be brought down; rather, the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountaintop to the valley. If you would attain to the mountaintop, you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices.
I remember that as I was writing a poem on ‘Snow’ when I was eight, I said aloud, ‘I wish I could have the ability to write down the feelings I have now when I am little, because when I grow up, I will know how to write, but I will have forgotten what being little feels like.’
I invented animals and birds – I had about two dozen. After working on them for six months, I sat down and just for fun wrote two dozen poems to accompany the drawings. It was for no one to every see, but a friend sent me in to an editor.
There’s a full-court press to put down an uprising around Ferguson, but no preparation for lifting up the people there.