Tag Archives: Muriel Rukeyser quotes


“Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.”
– Brendan Kennelly, ‘Begin’
“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.”
– Muriel Rukeyser, ‘Elegy in Joy’
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
– T S Eliot, ‘Little Gidding”
“The birds they sing at break of day, ‘Start again …’
I hear them say.”
– Leonard Cohen
“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller
” … Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
– Mary Oliver, ‘Messenger’
“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“An empty canvas, apparently really empty, that says nothing and is without significance – almost dull, in fact – in reality, is crammed with thousands of undertone tensions and full of expectancy. Slightly apprehensive lest it should be outraged.”
– Wassily Kandinsky
“I rarely begin a work with any clear or predetermined idea as to how the work should look. Even when I do, I seldom find the completed work matching up with the original projection.”
– Noyes Capehart Long
“For a sailor to sail around the world, the thought is just, sometimes, too much. Thus, one simply goes from port to port in the same direction.”
– Hal Moore
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
– Ray Bradbury
“Go and dare to create your own adventures.”
– Elena Lindquist
“I do think New Year’s resolutions can’t technically be expected to begin on New Year’s Day, don’t you? Since, because it’s an extension of New Year’s Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.”
– Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary
Happy New Year!

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