Outward Bound Ideas

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Friday, February 23, 2007

89. Thank Youse - V

Thank you Delmore Schwartz
"I am a book I neither wrote nor read,
A comic, tragic play in which new masquerades
Astonishing as guns crackle like raids
Newly each time, whatever one is prepared
To come upon, suddenly dismayed and afraid,
As in the dreams which make the fear of sleep
The terror of love, the depth one cannot leap"

Thank you Denise Levertov
"But she thinks maybe
she could get to be tough and wise, some way,
anyway. Now at least
she is past the time of mourning,
now she can say without shame or deceit,
O blessed Solitude"

Thank you Donald Justice
"But we did not ourselves know what the end was.
People like us simply go on.
We have our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues,
But it is by blind chance only that we escape tragedy"

Thank you Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain––
For the reed which grows nevermore again
As a reed with the reeds in the river."

Thank you Galway Kinnell
"In the half darkness we look at each other and smile
and touch arms across his little, startling muscled body––
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
and blessing love gives again into our arms."

Thank you Heather McHugh
"Our knowing is only
a feel for nuance: sentience itself
the whole séance."

Thank you Horace
". . . As for instruction, make it succinct, so the mind
Can quickly seize on what's being taught and hold it;
Every superfluous word spills out of a full mind
. . . in what you invent stay close
To actuality . . .
Produce no human babies from monsters' bellies"

Thank you Howard Nemerov
"As long as we look forward, all seems free,
Uncertain, subject to the Laws of Chance,
Though strange that chance should lie subject to laws,
But looking back on life it is as if
Our Book of Changes never let us change."

Thank you Delmore Schwartz
"The mind is a city like London,
smoky and populous: it is a capital
Like Rome, ruined and eternal,
Marked by the monuments which no one
Now remembers. For the mind, like Rome, contains
Catacombs, aqueducts, amphitheaters, palaces,
Churches and equestrian statues, fallen, broken or soiled.
The mind possess and is possessed by all the ruins
Of every haunted, hunted generation's celebration."

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