"Despite a common critical assumption based on our usual blindness, self-dramatization
does not preclude self-knowledge."
Harold Bloom, Yeats
"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the
winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got
about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- :
'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'"
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
To lie habitually, as a way of life, is to lose contact with the unconscious. It is like taking sleeping pills,
which confer sleep but blot out dreaming. The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those
who want something else more than truth. . . .
In lying to others we end up lying to ourselves. We deny the importance of an event, or a person, and
thus deprive ourselves of a part of our lives. Or we use one piece of the past or present to screen out
the other. Thus we lose faith with our own lives.
"Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying"
In case of snow
Drifting toward winter,
Don’t try to stay awake through the night, afraid of freezing--
The bottom of your mind knows all about zero;
It will turn you over
And shake you till you waken.
-- David Wagoner
From "Staying Alive"
Who Goes With Fergus?
WHO will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood's woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love's bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.
---W. B. Yeats
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
“To Be of Use”
Sin is the preference of an immediately
satisfying experience over the declared
pattern of the universe.
terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love
them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we
must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become
our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand
at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed
into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to
see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its
deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
--Ranier Marie Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet
[I]t is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we--I mean all
work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But
there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are
the words, we are the music; we are the thing itself.
A Sketch of the Past
|these the most important was balance. No mind was so good it did
conceit and blindness and bigotry and folly. Only in such balance
welcome lucidity whenever and wherever it presented itself.
The Place of the Lion