We do not have any respect, let alone reverence, for the world of nature because we do not have any respect, let alone reverence, for ourselves. It is because we cripple and mutilate ourselves that we cripple and mutilate everything else as well. Our contemporary crisis is really our own depravity writ large.
I was amongst the virtues like the great Turk in his seraglio of women, and I chose to dwell with that virtue which looked the fairest in my eyes and gave me at that season most pleasure. In short, I made wives of them: I first admired them, then made them my own property, and if they would not submit to my will, I again turned them off and divorced them.
I divested myself of despair and fear when I came here. Now there is no more catching one's own eye in the mirror, there are no bad books, no plastic, no insurance premiums, and of cours eno illness. Contrition does not exist, nor gnashing of teeth. No one howls as the first clod of earth hits the casket. The poor we no longer have with us. Our calm hearts strike only the hour, and God, as promised, proves to be mercy clothed in light.
The Hindus are busy letting themselves be seen riding in Cadillacs instead of smearing themselves with sandalwood paste and bowing in front of Ganpati. The Moslems would rather miss evening prayer than the new Disney movie. The Buddhists think it's more important to take over in the name of Stalin and Progress than to meditate on the four basic sorrows. And we don't even have to mention Christianity or Judaism.
I was invited to Romania at least once, but was warned that I should not be free to travel where I pleased in the country, but should be more or less confined to the Writers' Union. Because I ceased long ago to be an urban poet and feel claustrophobic in literary conferences, I could not accept such an invitation.