What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
It’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation. It’s a lot more difficult to perform one.
Luckily for art, life is difficult, hard to understand, useless, and mysterious.
Hannah Sanghee Park
Poetry is all about precision and concision, and a good piece of screenwriting hits on both of those things: how do you convey an image in as few words as possible, as sharply and starkly as possible?
It would be ideal if a poem can be both widely accessible and intimate.
I follow the element of surprise. I see a word like a Russian nesting doll. How can I strip it to what its imagined core would be? That’s what I’m trying to go to.
I hate writing, I love having written.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
The ability to forgive oneself . . . is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life.
As an artist I move toward the forms that move me. I’ve been a poet from childhood. When I migrated to the United States and discovered slam, it blew me away, so I immersed myself in it. When I began to write pieces that were too long and complex to slam, theater was the natural space to move into. Now I’ve come full circle to writing again, making work—books, poems, political essays—that migrate freely across continents and languages, independent of my physical body.
To follow, without halt, one's aim: That's the secret of success.
Touched by poetry, language is more fully language and at the same time is no longer language: it is a poem.
Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers . . . what we call art is a game.
To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.
We are condemned to kill time, thus we die bit by bit.
Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.
Joseph Chilton Pearce
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
Craig Santos Perez
I started as an artist and poetry in particular became a way for me to explore various issues: political issues, family issues, and things like that. As I learned more about these issues through art, that became part of my activism. Poetry is a powerful way to become involved in activism and it’s a great creative outlet to express one’s politics . . . I teach students how poetry and activism can be powerful parts of our lives and can help us learn about different subjects in a more creative and community-engagement capacity.
Literature, activism, and education are always collaborative projects.
My goal is to maintain the same excitement and uncluttered instincts about making art that I felt in childhood.
Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed.
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Everything you can imagine is real.
There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.
You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.
Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.
Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
Edgar Allan Poe
Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.
Poetry is news that stays news.
Don’t imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music, or that you can please the expert before you have spent at least as much effort on the art of verse as the average piano teacher spends on the art of music.
Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency either to acknowledge the debt outright, or to try to conceal it.
Don’t allow “influence” to mean merely that you mop up the particular decorative vocabulary of some one or two poets whom you happen to admire.
Go in fear of abstractions. Don’t retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose. Don’t think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths.
An “Image” is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time.
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.
As an artist, it is important to create work that genuinely comes from within. This is the only way that a new and unique point of view is found.
Poetry . . . is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
When you write in prose, you cook the rice. When you write poetry, you turn rice into rice wine. Cooked rice doesn't change its shape, but rice wine changes both in quality and shape. Cooked rice makes one full so one can live out one's life span wine, on the other hand, makes one drunk, makes the sad happy, and the happy sad. Its effect is sublimely beyond explanation.
A tragedy need not have blood and death; it’s enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness that is the pleasure of tragedy.
The word poet in Greek means maker, or makar in medieval Scots when the poets were known as the makars. The 20th century German philosopher, Heidegger, claimed that 'the voice of thought must be poetic' because poetry is not words about or referring to things, rather it is the thought and the thing bound together. This is a feature of all creative work: the thought and the material are bound together, enhancing and transforming one another into something new.
The essentials of all creativity are in the life cycle: love, work, celebration and death
If a thought is a tune, then a poem must be a chord. This is one of the reasons why people think poems are hard to understand. To be asked to 'explain' a poem is like being asked to sing a chord.
To be creative is natural to human child/being. It is to ask questions that release more questions; to cross-fertilise ideas; to bind together thought and thing.
Beauty bound up with truth is what we can make from the materials of earth when we approach the eternity in them.
Art and culture in the Irish and Scottish Gaelic communities were not a luxury. There were valued equally with cattle and gold. They were vital – life-giving, something without which all else would be in vain. They were for memory and vision; past and future suspended in the present.
Rachel Naomi Remen
Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.
I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.
To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself.
It's exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.
Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.
Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false naming of real events.
Calamity is the test of integrity.
Rainer Maria Rilke
If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.
I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.
Anyone who doesn’t make mistakes isn’t trying hard enough.
Omar Z. Robles
Great works of art, I believe, all share one thing, and that is that they are supported by context. It can’t just be beautiful, or shocking for the sake of it. Great artworks captivate you because you can, in one way or another, identify with it.
I don’t think I’m old, but I know I’m not young.
I think what it takes to make a great piece of art is to connect with the observer on an emotional or personal level. A bit of mystery can let the observer interpret the work based on their own experiences and let them identify with it. If you spell it all out there can only be one way to interpret the work, and I think what makes great art is when everyone experiences it differently.
The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
He had learned the worst lesson that life can teach—that it makes no sense.
Literature takes a habit of mind that has disappeared. It requires silence, some form of isolation, and sustained concentration in the presence of an enigmatic thing.
I don’t ask writers about their work habits. I really don’t care. Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they’re actually trying to find out, "Is he as crazy as I am?" I don’t need that question answered.
You cannot observe people through an ideology. Your ideology observes for you.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes . . . and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
For a writer it can be a real bonus to know your destination, not just in terms of story but in terms of mood as well.
Still, doubt is part and parcel of writing and, perversely perhaps, tend to spur me on.
Few writers of any ethnicity are destined to be remembered in the mainstream of literary history.
I have always swung back and forth between alienation and relatedness.
Cristina Peri Rossi
When your foot rests on the unknown, your body quivers with metaphysical excitement.
Only in imagination or dreams do the people we love occupy their proper places.
We have all been exiled from something or someone. I think this is a human condition.
The essence of some stories lies precisely in this: they do not change, but remain like citadels or lighthouses facing the irresistible assault of time.the essence of some stories lies precisely in this: they do not change, but remain like citadels or lighthouses facing the irresistible assault of time
Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.
Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days.
The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.
Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.
Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
Many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are.
Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.
We have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green.
Lovers never meet. They’re in each other all along.
A poet's work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.