Envy of other peoples poems

December 6, 2018

In one version of the legend the sirens couldn’t sing.
It was only a sailor’s story that they could.
So Odysseus, lashed to the mast, was harrowed
By a music that he didn’t hear – plungings of the sea,
Wind-sheer, the off-shore hunger of the birds –
And the mute women gathering kelp for garden mulch,
Seeing him strain against the cordage, seeing
the awful longing in his eyes, are changed forever
On their rocky waste of island by their imagination
Of his imagination of the song they didn’t sing.

Robert Haas


December 6, 2018

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

all those poems about women, written by men: it seemed to be a given that men wrote poems and women…inhabited them. These women were almost always beautiful, but threatened with the loss of beauty, the loss of youth…Or they were beautiful and died young, like Lucy and Lenore. Or…cruel…and the poem reproached her because she had refused to become a luxury for the poet…the girl or woman who tries to write… is peculiarly susceptible to language. She goes to poetry or fiction looking for her way of being in the world…she is looking eagerly for guides, maps, possibilities; and over and over…she comes up against something that negates everything she is about… She finds a terror and a dream…a Belle Dame Sans Merci…but precisely what she does not find is that absorbed, drudging, puzzled, sometimes inspiring creature, herself.

Adrienne Rich
When We Dead Awake: Writing as Re-vision


December 6, 2018

I know of witches who whistle at different pitches, calling things that don’t have names

Helen Oyeyemi
White is for Witching

These ruins beside the reservoir were once inhabited by real people. How long ago? One, two hundred years? Cottages of crumbling stone, roofless, ragged with moss and weeds. Ghosts walk here after dark, so they say, animated fragments of the past: these shades of the long dead, glimpsed at the edge of vision by the unwary, are a link to an earlier, simpler world. Strange to tell, you can sense them even in daylight today.