American Poet Quotes
Sometimes very strong feelings don't get written up because the interesting metaphor or dramatic situation doesn't suggest itself. So much of one's life goes unused.
Unless there is a new mind there cannot be a new line, the old will go on repeating itself with recurring deadliness
William Carlos Williams
Most of the time we think we're sick, it's all in the mind.
Men simply copied the realities of their hearts when they built prisons. They simply extended into objective reality what was already a subjective reality. Only jailors really believe in jails.
You think you got something big to say? Something momentous? Or is it what you had to memorize in order to escape the men with lightning in their eyes?
Know the devil
That the snow grows whiter
After a crow has flown over it
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth, "You owe me." Look
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
As long as the hummingbird had not abandoned the land, somewhere there were still flowers, and they could all go on.
Leslie Marmon Silko
The person who wrote the poem can tell you more about the poem than anyone else.
Yellow melon flowers Crawl beneath the withered peach-trees; A date-palm throws its heavy fronds of steel Against the scoured metallic sky.
John Gould Fletcher
God may reduce you on Judgment Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you would have written, had your life been good.
W. H. Auden
We search the world for truth; we cull The good, the pure, the beautiful, From all old flower fields of the soul; And, weary seeker of the best, We come back laden from out quest, To find that all the sages said Is in the Book our mothers read.
John Greenleaf Whittier
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.
Oft as by chance, a little while apart The pall of empty, loveless hours withdrawn, Sweet Beauty, opening on the impoverished heart, Beams like a jewel on the breast of dawn.
Chivalry, I don't abuse you,
Not at all — the only rub
Is that those who praise you, use you
Very often as a club.
Alice Duer Miller
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children;…whose life was an inspiration, whose memory a benediction.
Bessie Anderson Stanley
Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His beak holds more than his belican.
He takes in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I'll be darned if I know how the helican.
Dixon Lanier Merritt
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.
As I was going up the stair I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd stay away.
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
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?
O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows.
Solace of the night sky,
the hardly moving
face of the clock.
Quote of the day
Canadians look down on the United States and consider it Hell. They are right to do so. Canada is to the United States what, in Dante's scheme, Limbo is to Hell.
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