“Memorized poems are a sort of larder, laid up against the hungers of an extended period of solitude.”
“You take the poem inside you, into your brain chemistry if not your blood, and you know it at a deeper, bodily level than if you simply read it off a screen.”
“If we do not learn by heart, the heart does not feel the rhythms of poetry as echoes or variations of its own insistent beat.”
- Why We Should Memorize by Brad Leithauser, from The New Yorker
” … Every relationship contains within it the ghosts, or the shadows, of all the other relationships it isn’t. All the abandoned alternatives, the forgotten choices, the lives you could have led but didn’t and haven’t. I found this thought enormously consoling because it was true, and at the same time enormously upsetting.”
- Gillian, from Julian Barnes’ Love Etc.
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?
nobody can save you but
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.
think about it.
think about saving your self.
- Charles Bukowski, via
“It’s true that a shared language helps us communicate information about trees, but there is an equal tendency to think that by knowing a tree’s name we know all there is to know about it. As if the word oak sums up all there is to know about this intricate amalgam of arboreal architecture, evolutionary history, and life energy.”
- Nancy Ross Hugo, Seeing Trees (Timber Press, 2011)