Some thoughts for Friday

 
 
“How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas.”
 
– Edward Abbey
 
 
“We all need the waters of the Mercy River. Though they don’t run deep, there’s usually enough, just enough, for the extravagance of our lives.”
 
– Jonis Agee
 
 
“Be brave. Write what you want to write. Don’t think too much about success and recognition in terms of external acknowledgement. Just work and study and work to make the best poems you can make.”
 
– Ellen Bass
 
 
“I ate them like salad, books were my sandwich for lunch, my tiffin and dinner and midnight munch. I tore out the pages, ate them with salt, doused them with relish, gnawed on the bindings, turned the chapters with my tongue! Books by the dozen, the score and the billion. I carried so many home I was hunchbacked for years. Philosophy, art history, politics, social science, the poem, the essay, the grandiose play, you name ’em. I ate ’em.”
 
– Ray Bradbury
 
 
“In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven’t Read, which are frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you … And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid manoeuvre you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You’ll Wait Till They’re Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too.”
 
– Italo Calvino
 
 
“I live and breathe tales, and thus I am a story myself, or rather a narrative like a flowing and living river. The tales from my childhood opened my eyes to a realm of imagination.”
 
– Da Chen
 
 
“I hadn’t been there by daylight before and my bibliophile heart had lifted at the sight of those tall glass cabinets, shelf over shelf of finely bound volumes, each of them a door on the possible. The air was still as a church in there, the rainy light playing through the leaded windows with their view across the parkland and the lake. It was a dream-chamber, redolent of leather and polish and the scented dust of books.”
 
– Lindsay Clarke
 
 
“Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It’s the crack cocaine of the literary world.”
 
– Jasper Fforde
 
 
“And as you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.”
 
– Stephen Graham
 
 
“Being a poet is like having an invisible partner. It isn’t easy. But you can’t live without it either. Talent is only 10 per cent. The rest is obsession.”
 
– Selima Hill
 
 
“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”
 
– Stephen King
 
 
“The best research gets your fingers dusty and your shoes dirty, especially because a novel is made of details. I had to translate places through my senses into the senses of my readers. I had to know what a place smelled like, what it sounded like …”
 
– Barbara Kingsolver
 
 
“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
 
– Ursula K. Le Guin
 
 
“The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.”
 
– Katherine Mansfield
 
 
“Poetry, whether it is a free verse howl, cyclonic pantoum, nuclear sonnet or double-barrelled sporophyll disguised as a prose poem, has this one quality about it: it is alive. It spits, sputters, spins. It ambles forward angry and confused chased by frightened villagers. It breaches in the ocean a thunderous hulk white and marvellous … It knocks its beak against the skull of the reader.”
 
– John Olson
 
 
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”
  
– Anna Quindlen
 
 
“The religion of the short poem, in every age and in every literature, has a single commandment: Less is always more. The short poem rejects preamble and summary. It’s about all and everything, the metaphysics of a few words surrounded by much silence. …The short poem is a match flaring up in a dark universe.”
 
– Charles Simic
  
  
“Story-telling was a well-respected art. There was no television at the hacienda … Stories were told and handed on, gathering momentum and detail like barnacles on a ship’s hull as they passed from mouth to mouth.”
 
– Lisa St Aubin de Terán
 
 
“How many of us are able to distinguish between the odours of noon and midnight, or of winter and summer, or of a windy spell and a still one? If man is so generally less happy in the cities than in the country, it is because all these variations and nuances of smell and sand are less clearly marked and lost in the general monotony of gray walls and cement pavements.”
 
– Lin Yutang
 
 
“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a place in our memory to which, sooner or later – no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget – we will return.”
 
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón

5 thoughts on “Some thoughts for Friday

  1. Julie

    Michelle, you sure know how to cheer me up. This is just what I needed to see today. The birds are gorgeous, and I love the quotes. Ellen Bass is right on. And I’ll be thinking of Edward Abbey’s quote (and you) when I’m floating on the river tomorrow. Have a beautiful weekend!

  2. pat galvin

    Michelle,
    You must be a very beautiful person with all those wonderful quote
    you give us. You have published two books of poetry or more, I think.
    Well my first launch is coming up in May. I’m having a little trouble deciding on a venue, drinks, food, invites. If you can give me advice!

    Pat

  3. Michelle Post author

    Congratulations, Pat!

    If you tell me a little about the collection, who the publisher is and in which town or city you hope to have the launch, I’ll give it some thought.

    It’d be a good idea to get in touch with local poetry groups and/or bookshops to see if they have any venue recommendations. Speak to someone at your local library, too.

  4. Rebecca

    Wow… Michelle-I love your blog! I write poetry and am inspired by all of your poems and the images they ignite! Synchronicity finding your site! Thank you for sounding your gift out into the world!
    Namaste
    Rebecca

  5. Michelle Post author

    Rebecca, thank you so much for your words. I’m glad you’ve found some joy here.

    Namaste
    Michelle x

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