• The following quotations are from The Book of American Poetry Selected by Edwin Markham (copyright 1934)

    “Dedicated to: The Poets of All Ages and of All Lands,

    Who heard through the roar of mortal things

    The God’s immortal whisperings–

    Saw the world-wonder rise and fall,

    And knew that Beauty made it all.” –Edwin Markham

    “The poet is one who ‘inscribes things unapparent in apparent fabrications’ ” –Zoroaster

    “The purpose of the artist [poet] is to complete the incomplete design of nature.” –Aristotle

    “The origin of poetry lies in a thirst for a wilder beauty than earth supplies.” –Edgar Allen Poe

    “Poetry is that impassioned arrangement of words (whether in verse or prose) which embodies the exaltation, the beauty, the rhythm, and the pathetic truth of life.” — Richard Le Gallienne

    “Poetry is expression–under the light of the imagination–of the unfamiliar beauty of the world, the beauty that is ‘the smile upon the face of truth.’ Poetry is the revelation of the strange in the familiar, of the eternal in the transitory. It is the impassioned cry of the heart in the presence of the wonder of life.” –Edwin Markham

    The rest of the quotations on this page are just powerful statements I have curated over my experience.

    “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” — Emily Dickinson

    “Both destiny’s kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person’s basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.”

    —David Foster Wallace

    “The forms had changed, but my obsession was the same: language, and all it can and cannot solve. We are all bilingual in this sense, forever translating the ineffable wonder of being alive into a language others might understand… But, always, the inexpressible haunts every syllable. At best, we are left with an impression, a comprehension that goes beyond meaning and that is the essence of poetry, and of life.”

    —Ana Menendez [Poets & Writers, Jan/Feb 2011, p. 26]


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