"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth
25 January 2020
It’s difficult to pinpoint what feeds one’s poetry, for any given person what feeds it, what creates not just a need to do it or to write it, but what actually creates the substance of it, and I think because it is to a degree somewhat mysterious and you’re not totally familiar with it always, [one is] always afraid it’s going to go away. I’ve always lived with that because I go through long periods of time when I don’t write, when I don’t feel like writing, when I don’t feel like I’ve ever written before, and those days are always scary. It’s as if what ever came to you unknown has also left unknown; you are no more aware of its coming than you are aware of its going, and so I think there’s that immense feeling that at any given moment whatever gift you had has become a failure and that you end up almost literally speechless. And I think that’s frightening not because it has anything to do with money or fame or anything else, but because it is one of the ways that you value yourself and if you value yourself in that way and you find the way you value yourself is to a degree mysterious, then it’s frightening, because you don’t know that you can summon it back and say, "Don’t go away."
"The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions but by his habitual acts.” Blaise Pascal
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Cold Maker, Winter, 1909
"Barring love I'll take my life in large doses alone--rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs."
TAO TE CHING, Lao Tzu
The Lone Boat, North Woods Club, Adirondacks, 1892
Waterhouse, Boreas, 1903
WHITE HORSES Far out at sea / There are horses to ride, / Little white horses / That race with the tide. / Their tossing manes / Are the white sea-foam, / And the lashing winds / Are driving them home- / To shadowy stables / Fast they must flee, / To the great green caverns / Down under the sea. Irene Pawsey
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Spitzweg, The Bookworm, 1850
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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. But this business, alas, is fatal to the placid moods and fine other-worldliness of the poet."
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