Tag Archives: Brenda Ueland quotes

Some thoughts for Monday

“Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.”
– Amy Gerstler, ‘Advice from a Caterpillar’
“I like to hear and smell the countryside, the land my characters inhabit. I don’t want these characters to step off the page, I want them to step out of the landscape.”
– Peter Matthiessen
“What crazies we writers are, our heads full of language like buckets of minnows standing in the moonlight on a dock.”
– Flannery O’Connor
“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”
– Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
“Poetry is my love, my postmark, my hands, my kitchen, my face.”

– Anne Sexton
“Writing is finally a series of permissions you give to yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To leap. To fly. To fail.”
– Susan Sontag
“Work with all your intelligence and love. Work freely and rollickingly as though talking to a friend who loves you. Mentally (at least three or four times a day) thumb your nose at the know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters.”
– Brenda Ueland
“I learned that when writing you should not feel like Lord Byron on a mountaintop, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten – happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.”
– Brenda Ueland
“Each morning my characters greet me with misty faces willing, though chilled, to muster for another day’s progress through the dazzling quicksand, the marsh of blank paper.”
– John Updike
“We put on our stories before our clothes …”
– William Wenthe

Some thoughts for Monday

“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic energy striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time.”
– Brenda Ueland
“What poetry does is put more oxygen in the atmosphere. Poetry makes it easier to breathe.”
– Kay Ryan
“When I see a young (or not-so-young) writer counting syllables on her fingers, or marking stresses … I’m pretty sure we’ll have something in common, whatever our differences may be.”
– Marilyn Hacker
“If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger.”
– Muriel Rukeyser
“I don’t create poetry; I create myself, for my poems are a way to me.”
– Edith Södergran
“The poet who goes by what she thinks she should write, paying more attention to fashion than to her own poetic identity, will never write anything that goes beyond that fashion.”

– Fiona Sampson
“Every day I go downstairs and I open the curtains in my study, which leads onto a garden, and then I go to the kitchen and let the dogs out and make a cup of tea. And every morning feels like a gift.”
– Carol Ann Duffy
“It’s all right to be a little lost when reading poems … It’s not necessary to understand everything. It’s important not to lose a sense of the unknown. Poems don’t always give themselves all at once.”
– Tess Gallagher
“At best, the title is a source of light, illuminating the poem’s successive lines. At best, the sound of the title echoes throughout the whole poem.”
– Paulann Petersen
“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than each ten thousand stars not to dance.”
– e e cummings