For Tuesday, July 3, 2018:
… When I’m sitting down to write a poem I’m not thinking of anyone. I’m not thinking about how it will be received. I’m not thinking it will make people happy or it will inspire them. I’m in a whole other world. A world of complete solitude. But when I’m writing a song I imagine performing it. I imagine giving it. It’s a different aspect of communication. It’s for the people.
Patti Smith – interview for More Songwriters on Songwriting at BrainPickings.org
For Tuesday, April 17, 2018:
Science describes accurately from outside, poetry describes accurately from inside. Science explicates, poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe. We need the languages of both science and poetry to save us from merely stockpiling endless “information” that fails to inform our ignorance or our irresponsibility.
Ursula LeGuin, LATE IN THE DAY
For Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
In the deserts of the heart let the healing fountain start.
W. H. Auden
(Found in literature from the National Association for Poetry Therapy, http://www.poetrytherapy.org)
For Friday, April 6, 2018:
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week, for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
Charles Darwin (h/t to JB via YD)
For Tuesday, February 13, 2018:
… [S]cience arose from poetry, and … when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.
For January 2, 2018:
Poetry is a constructed conversation on the frontier of dreaming. It is a mechanism by which the essential state of reverie can be made available to our conscious minds. By means of the poem, we can enter this state of reverie with all our faculties alert and intact. Poems make possible a conscious entry into the preconscious mind, a lucid dreaming.
Poems are there, waiting, whenever we feel we need our minds to think in a different way. We can go into the poem whenever we like, as many times as we want, with full alertness. We can be aware of reverie while it is happening, and can hold on to that experience in the poem. Reading the poem allows us to achieve, consciously, a particular kind of very precious awareness.
Matthew Zapruder, WHY POETRY, excerpted in the essay ‘Unlocking the Unconscious Through Poetry’ in The Paris Review, August 14, 2017
For Friday, December 29, 2017:
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(h/t to Phibby for the source)
For Tuesday, October 10, 2017:
A mysterious quickening inhabits the depths of any good poem—protean, elusive, alive in its own right…. We feel something stir, shiver, swim its way into the world when a good poem opens its eyes. Poetry’s work is not simply the recording of inner or outer perception; it makes by words and music new possibilities of perceiving…. The eyes and ears must learn to abandon the habits of useful serving and take up instead a participatory delight in their own ends. A work of art is not a piece of fruit lifted from a tree branch: it is a ripening collaboration of artist, receiver, and world.
Jane Hirshfield, TEN WINDOWS: HOW GREAT POEMS TRANSFORM THE WORLD
For Friday, September 8, 2017:
From the most serious to the most comic, the simplest to the most baroque, the most personal to the most political, poems alter the landscape of the given. This tilting of ordinary reality and ordinary expectation is the gesture that lives in the ink of art’s first impulse.
Jane Hirshfield, ‘The American Poetry Review,’ Sept/Oct 2017
For Tuesday, May 23, 2017:
[Art] is the process by which, in imagining itself and the relation of individuals to one another and it, a society comes to understand itself, and by understanding, discover its possibilities of growth.
Robert Penn Warren, DEMOCRACY AND POETRY (1975)