- Visit Dr. Mardy's iWise Blog
World Refugee Day Quotes
If, in the middle of World War II, a general could be writing a... Video
If, in the middle of World War II, a general could be writing a poem, then maybe I was not so irrelevant after all. Maybe the general was doing more for victory by writing a poem than he would be by commanding an army. At least, he might be doing less harm. By applying the same logic to my own condition [consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress], I decided that I might be relevant in what I called a negative way. I have clung to this concept ever sincenegative relevance. In moments of vain-glory I even entertain the possibility that if my concept were more widely accepted, the world might be a better place to live in. There are a lot of people who would make better citizens if they were content to be just negatively relevant.
Robert Penn Warren
It seemed strange to me that someone who painted big, scary abstractions should have been so commonsensical in her literary tastes, though later I would discover that twelve-tone composers read Keats just as experimental poets listened to Glenn Miller â€” few people are avant-garde outside their own domain. I suppose that as Midwesterners, the children of chemical engineers and homemakers, we experienced the arts as so foreign, even so preposterously unreasonable, that once weâ€™d decided to embrace them we did so with lots of conviction and little discrimination. Surely it was no accident that T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, the two great poetic synthesists of our day, the very men who had ransacked all of world culture and could refer in the same poem to the Buddha and to Sophocles or to Confucius and to Jefferson â€” it was no accident that they were both from the heartland. Public-library intellectuals, magpies of knowledge, like most autodidacts we were incapable of evaluating our sources. As a teen-ager, I tried to write verse like Miltonâ€™s; later, I wanted to write novels like Nabokovâ€™s. In a novel I wrote in college, I imitated Evelyn Waugh. If someone had said to me, "But do you, the graceless son of a Cincinnati broker of chemical equipment, do you seriously imagine that you can just write a Renaissance Christian epic or something in the style of a Cambridge-educated Russian aristocrat or of the spokesman of the Bright Young Things of London circa 1925?" â€” if someone had spoken like this to me, I wouldnâ€™t even have understood his point.
But to poetry â€” You have to be willing to waste time. When you start a poem, stay with it and suffer through it and just think about nothing, not even the poem. Just be there. It's more of a prayerful state than writing the novels is. A lot of the novel is in doing good works, as it were, not praying. And the prayerful state is just being passive with it, mumbling, being around there, lying on the grass, going swimming, you see. Even getting drunk. Get drunk prayerfully, though.
Robert Penn Warren
The doctor who makes a friend of his patients, the lawyer who defends death penalty cases in distant countries for no fee, the schoolteacher who opens a child's eyes to a new world of books and poetry - such people do nothing that can be measured in marketplaces. The greatest painters, composers and writers don't offer you choices, they present you with what only they can do, and you must take it or leave it. So when such subjects as the values of the marketplace are discussed, you will probably not have much to contribute. You can repeat a poem in your head and wait until the conversation is over. But if anyone starts talking about "level playing fields," get up and steal quietly from the room.
My belief is that if we live another century or so â€” I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals â€” and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky, too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton's bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare's sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would be impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Loving compatriots, at this moment, as I speak these words, our soldiers entrenched along the countryâ€™s borders are defending their homeland. In our schools, teachers are educating a whole generation and right at this moment our doctors are healing the wounds of our brothers and sisters. Today we have come together to heal another wound, a wound inflicted upon our nationâ€™s body by these elections. We have to prevail over this trial and we must do everything for this wound to heal as soon as possible. I am saying this with pain. With pain, because I am weary of seeing only scars on our nationâ€™s body, with pain, since the time is long overdue for our country and our people to move ahead. With pain, because some people have failed to thoroughly grasp the value of our accomplishment. The value of democracy. The value of forming the authorities through elections. The value of the opinion of the majority. Dear citizens of the Republic of Armenia, I am grateful to you for the high trust you have placed in me. I swear to do everything to justify your trust. I assure you that you will never have to regret casting your vote for Serzh Sargsyan in these elections. From this high lectern I call on the former candidates and the political forces that support them to let us co-operate. Up to and including the formation of a coalition government. It is my purpose, amongst others, to claim all constructive and foundational powers to the benefit of Armeniaâ€™s development. For me, this victory of all of us is just a beginning. The beginning of triumphs to come, victories of our state, of our entire nation. Through our joint efforts we turn the history of the Armenian people into a story of triumphs that our coming generations shall take pride in. These pages of our history, which we are writing together, shall bear witness only to victories. Today I do not see a problem of "our people" and "theirs," no issue of incumbents and opposition. The issue at stake today is that of Armenia, the permanence of our statehood, protection of our values, the protection of our upbringings, an issue we have come together here to resolve. And this is why I try to appeal to everyone, regardless of their political views and their ideological approaches: to overcome this artificial divide introduced into our nation! We have won as well against this separation. We will win. The victory will always be for Armenia's citizens. The victory will be for Armenia. Loving compatriots, I ask you not to succumb to mean-ness, because it is our sisters and brothers in the other square over there. I am certain that they were driven to the square by a desire to have a better Armenia but alas, they are no longer allowed to notice how they have been turned into an instrument of vengeful and power-hungry aspirations of a handful of people. I am aware how upset you have become these days watching everything that occurs. I know that there are many people today who are ready to go out in the street to defend their vote. I know all this very well. But I ask you to curb your temper and, if you have something to say, let it only be pleas for seeing reality and if you want to revert to action let it be by steps of kindness and tolerance. Please, always and constantly remember that, in the other square, they are our sisters and brothers. These elections have shown us that the time has come for "Ahead, Armenia!" That the time has come for tireless work and struggle against disgraceful practices against our lives. This has been very well perceived by several individuals, buried in filth up to their ears, who hurried to announce their adherence to ambiguous ideas and the launch of the so-called struggle. Today many describe these people as traitors, defectors to the camp. I, for one, have a good understanding of their rationale: they know me well, they know that I am not the kind of person to keep tolerating the conduct they have grown to consider acceptable, who will turn a blind eye to the shady aspects of our reality. They know that I shall cut the problem at its root, this brazen behavior, zorba-ic behavior, non-payment of taxes, arm-twisting and gunslinging attitudes. For those whose lives were in dark corners, there were no choices left but to flee and start verbalizing off the podium about democracy, something they are as far away from as from the worries and concerns of our people. What is most unacceptable for me in all this, dear compatriots, is the ignoble stance of a few of my friends in combat, whom the devil succeeded in tempting with promises and false words. Hypocrisy, groundless aspirations, unrealistic cravings, unfounded reasons, these are all unacceptable to me. I shall protect the right to freedom of speech. Though free speech does not license slander and foul language. I shall protect the right of free assembly. Though the freedom to hold rallies does not imply that the metropolis has to grind to a standstill. I shall protect the right to protest but the right to protest shall not mean that constitutional and other rights of our citizens have to be trampled upon. It does not mean that the right of the majority to form a government must be overridden. We are not afraid of strong opposition. On the contrary, we maintain that we may succeed in assuring our countryâ€™s progressive development only upon the existence of powerful constructive opposition. The Holy Scripture says: "There is time for everything." Today is not the time to gather stones. Today is the time to let the stones drop from our clothing. Today is not the time for spite and grudges. Today is the time for peace. Today is not the time to draw new watersheds. Today is the time for unity. Today is the time for work. Today is the time for new national victories. The time for dignity and democracy. Today is the time to overcome our disagreements and today is the time for the entire nation to say: "We are able to withstand any ordeal," and we shall. "We can move ahead fast," and we shall. "We can have the Armenia of our dreams," and I give you my word: we shall have it! So let us move ahead, ahead, towards new triumphs! Ahead, Armenia!
All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.
I go into my library, and all history unrolls before me. I breathe the morning air of the world while the scent of Eden's roses yet lingered in it, while it vibrated only to the world's first brood of nightingales, and to the laugh of Eve. I see the pyramids building; I hear the shoutings of the armies of Alexander.
The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I canâ€™t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all lifeâ€™s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go butâ€”as in a dreamâ€”canâ€™t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.
The so-called obscurity of modernist literature has, of course, a lot to do with the new stress on exegesis. When the overt meaning of a work can no longer be taken for granted, criticism is forced â€” or seems forced â€” to undertake the explication of the text of the work before doing anything else. But experience has shown us by now that the drift and shape of an "obscure" poem or novel can be grasped for the purposes of art without being "worked out." Part of the triumph of modernist poetry is, indeed, to have demonstrated the great extent to which verse can do without explicit meaning and yet not sacrifice anything essential to its effect as art. Here, as before, successful art can be depended upon to explain itself.
Remaining character count: 500
Share This Video
with your friends:
Type in an email address:
Embed This Video
Famous People quotes
Cute Love quotes
please visit iWise home of