… Nothing precedes a poem but silence, and nothing follows a poem but silence. A poem is an interruption of silence, whereas prose is a continuation of noise.
Billy Collins, The Paris Review: The Art of Poetry No. 83
Once a person was asked to step into this brutal century, anything could happen.
Her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.
James Joyce, Araby
I write poetry because the English word ‘Inspiration’ comes from Latin ‘Spiritus’, breath, I want to breathe freely.
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was — I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and the footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was half was across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.
On the Road — Jack Kerouac
The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves\
And I should mention the light
which falls through the big windows this time of day
italicizing everything it touches…
Billy Collins, Ballistics
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