I was a new writer and I was supposed to write all the time, wasn’t I? I had not yet discovered that there are times when one can’t write, one shouldn’t write, times for thought, for deepening, or just reading, or simply living.

Stanley Crawford in a letter to Noy Holland (The Believer, Feburary 2010)

(via poetsandwriters)

Enjambment

therumpus:

Life goes on, but individual poems
stop. The most you can hope for is the line
that doesn’t end with a period. You
are suspended in the middle of a
sentence, possibly look up, then resume
reading as if the music never stopped,
as if everyone didn’t have to dive
for the chairs, of which there were always one
too few. This was before birthdays returned
with such increasing rapidity that
you lost count, the world hurtling around the
small yellow star, the entire universe
flashing past your bewildered eyes until,
like a premeditated sonnet, all is still.

A poem from Bilateral Asymmetry by Don Riggs, which L.S. Bassen reviews over at The Rumpus.

Some of the books that I consider my favorite are ones that rock me to my core, that leave me feeling like someone squeezed my heart really tightly for those 300 to 400 pages. But the idea of going through that experience for a second time? No, thank you.

Not only do I not want to experience that kind of emotional roller coaster for a second time (let’s ignore the fact that I continue to go through it, just with different books), but what if it is worse a second time around? Now that I know what is coming, will the ride only be worse because I am just waiting for events to occur? Will I even have the strength to continue through the book a second time around? Part of me thinks it is like knowing that an oven is hot and choosing to touch it anyway.

from On Books I Love That I’ll Never Reread by Rincey Abraham (via bookriot)

theparisreview:

Praise for a Color
Yellow infers from itself papayas and their pulp,penetrable yellow.At noon: bees, sweet stinger and honey.Whole eggs and their nucleus, the ovum.This interior thing, miniscule.From the blackness of the blind viscera,hot and yellow, the miniscule speck,the luminous grain.Yellow spreads and smooths, a downpourof the pure light of its name,tropicordial.Yellow turns on, turns up the heat,a charmed flute,an oboe in Bach.Yellow engenders.
—Adélia Prado. Art: Helen Frankenthaler.

theparisreview:

Praise for a Color

Yellow infers from itself papayas and their pulp,
penetrable yellow.
At noon: bees, sweet stinger and honey.
Whole eggs and their nucleus, the ovum.
This interior thing, miniscule.
From the blackness of the blind viscera,
hot and yellow, the miniscule speck,
the luminous grain.
Yellow spreads and smooths, a downpour
of the pure light of its name,
tropicordial.
Yellow turns on, turns up the heat,
a charmed flute,
an oboe in Bach.
Yellow engenders.

Adélia Prado. Art: Helen Frankenthaler.

When I was young, I expected people to give me more than they could—continuous friendship, permanent emotion.
Now I have learned to expect less of them than they can give—a silent companionship. And their emotions, their friendship, and noble gestures keep their full miraculous value in my eyes; wholly the fruit of grace.

Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942  (via fleurstains)

(via fleurstains)

"The Descent of Man" by Vijay Seshadri


My failure to evolve has been causing me a lot of grief lately.
I can’t walk on my knuckles through the acres of shattered glass
     in the streets.
I get lost in the arcades. My feet stink at the soirees.
The hills have been bulldozed from whence cameth my help.
The halfway houses where I met my kind dreaming of flickering lights
     in the woods
are shuttered I don’t know why.
"Try," say the good people who bring me my food,
"to make your secret anguish your secret weapon.
Otherwise, your immortality will be
an exhibit in a vitrine at the local museum, a picture in a book.”
But I can’t get the hang of it. The heavy instructions fall from my hands.
It takes so long for the human to become a human!
He affrights civilizations with his cry. At his approach,
the mountains retreat. A great wind crashes the garden party.
Manipulate singly neither his consummation nor his despair
but the two together like curettes
and peel back the pitch-black integuments
to discover the penciled-in figure on the painted-over mural of time,
sitting on the sketch of a boulder below
his aching sunrise, his moody, disappointed sunset.

via poetrysociety - Read More.

theparisreview:

“The strange thing about imagery is that a great deal of it is subconscious, and sometimes it appears in a poem, and nobody knows wherefrom this emerged. But it is rooted, I am certain, in the poet’s subconscious life, often of his childhood, and that’s why I think it is decisive for a poet: the childhood that he has lived.”
George Seferis, born on this day in 1900.

theparisreview:

“The strange thing about imagery is that a great deal of it is subconscious, and sometimes it appears in a poem, and nobody knows wherefrom this emerged. But it is rooted, I am certain, in the poet’s subconscious life, often of his childhood, and that’s why I think it is decisive for a poet: the childhood that he has lived.”

George Seferis, born on this day in 1900.

Novels remind us that the hard questions matter, they always have, and that we can’t ignore them just because we’re comfortable, well-fed, sheltered, and secure. Maybe those same comforts, which give us time and leisure enough to read novels in the first place, are the very reason why we need them so badly. A great novel is always felt as a kind of gift, and here’s the strange thing: these gifts are heartbreaks we wouldn’t suffer, tears we wouldn’t shed, agonies we wouldn’t undergo, if we simply left the books alone and did something else with our time.

I reached that odd point when you are no longer young, and yet you’re still not old. You become a kind of centaur: half the person you used to be, half somebody else; that point when there is more you do not care about and less and less you do - you are in no man’s land; you keep moving, but not because you will get anywhere.

Benjamin Prado from Not Only Fire (via gravellyrun)

(via mythologyofblue)