20th-century Poet Quotes
Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control.
Cats, no less liquid than their shadows,
Offer no angles to the wind.
They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes
Less than themselves.
A. S. J. Tessimond
And it occurs to me that if I were aboard a rowboat floating in the middle of all the beer I've drunk in a lifetime, I'd never be able to see the shore.
Our job is to try
To change things.
You ask a poet to sing.
Simply by sailing in a new direction
You could enlarge the world.
They carried him not to bury him:
They carried him down to crown him....
The poet flourished here, disheveled,
Who would not bow before votive lamps But to the common spade.
The reporter told us how
The cross woman's peasant origins
Came out at the last, shouting
At her executioners 'I have been
A mother to you and this is how
You thank me for it.'
A slow psalm of two nations
Mourning a common pain
—Hebrew and Arabic mingling
Their silver-rooted vine;
Olives and roses falling
To sweeten Palestine.
Strew your gladness on earth's bed,
So be merry, so be dead.
Charles Hamilton Sorley
My poems should be Clyde-built, crude and sure,
With images of those dole-deployed
To honour the indomitable Reds,
Clydesiders of slant steel and angled cranes;
A poetry of nuts and bolts, born, bred,
Embattled by the Clyde, tight and impure.
It is not easy to free
myth from reality
or rear this fellow up
to lutch, lurch with them
in the tranced dancing of men.
Imagine how they stood there, what they stood with
that their possessions may become our power.
Cardboard. Iron. Their hardships parcelled in them.
Even the simplest poem
May destroy your immunity to human emotions.
All poems must carry a Government warning. Words
Can seriously affect your heart.
The most dangerous aspect of present-day life is the dissolution of the feeling of individual responsibility. Mass solitude has done away with any difference between the internal and the external, between the intellectual and the physical.
No black boy wanted to be white, but it was also true that no black boy liked the idea of being black... When you asked Boy Blue why he was so black he would answer 'Just as I wus goin' to born the light went out'. The light had gone out for many of us.
If there is any truth to my parenting the dreamwork movement, it comes from the power of the press.
That so much of our experience, or the stereotype which passes for it should be dealt with by means of the short story is perhaps a symptom not unnoticeable elsewhere in the public domain of an unlovely cynicism about human character.
We are beautiful people
with african imaginations
full of masks and dances and swelling chants
with african eyes, and noses, and arms,
though we sprawl in gray chains in a place
full of winters when what we want is sun.
Imamu Amiri Baraka
It normally happens that if you put two words together, or two syllables together, one of them will attract more weight, more emphasis, than the other. In other words, most so-called spondees can be read as either iambs or trochees.
But those two plays left me on fresh terms with language. I didn't always have to speak in my own voice.
It goes without saying that a fine short poem can have the resonance and depth of an entire novel.
Collating bones: I would have liked to do. Henry would have been hot at that. I missed his profession. As a little boy I always thought "I'm an archaeologist"; who Could be more respected peaceful serious than that?
We would be strangers in the Capitol;
this is our country also, no-where else;
and we shall not be outcast on the world.
a second tongue, as
harsh a humiliation
as twice to be born.
Canada Could Have Enjoyed:
and American know-how.
Instead It Ended Up With:
and American culture.
John Robert Colombo
Quote of the day
No sane person should believe that something is 'subjective' merely because it cannot be settled beyond controversy.
Predictions that didn't happen
If it's on the Internet it must be true
Remarkable Last Words (or Near-Last Words)
Philip James Bailey
Letitia Elizabeth Landon