Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snapshots from "A Poet's Sourcebook" (7)

from Charles Sangster
Our life is like a forest, where the sun
Glints down upon us through the throbbing leaves;
The full light rarely finds us.

from Matthew Arnold
The grand power of poetry is its interpretive power; by which I mean, not a power of drawing out in black and white an explanation of the mystery of the universe, but the power of so dealing with things as to awaken in us a wonderfully full, new, and intimate sense of them, and of our relations with them.

from Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The war brought to some of us, besides its direct experiences, many a strange fulfilment of dreams of other days.

from Walter Pater
Well! that is because any writer worth translating at all has winnowed and searched through his vocabulary, is conscious of the words he would select in systematic reading of a dictionary, and still more of the words he would reject were the dictionary other than Johnson's; and doing this with his peculiar sense of the world ever in view, in search of an instrument for the adequate expression of that, he begets a vocabulary faithful to the colouring of his own spirit, and in the strictest sense original.

from Emily Dickinson
Mr. Higginson,--are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?
from Paul Verlaine
The tune is everything--
     so prefer the the irregular
          line that dissolves in the air,
to the stodginess of "meaning."

from Gerard Manley Hopkins
What you look at seems to look hard at you.

from William Butler Yeats
I am persuaded that our intellects at twenty contain all the truths we shall ever find, but as yet we do not know truths that belong to us from opinions caught up in casual irritation or momentary phantasy.

from Robert Frost
I slumbered with your poems on my breast.

from Rainer Maria Rilke
Irony: Do not let yourself be governed by it, especially not in uncreative moments.

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