W S Merwin Quotes & Wallpapers

W S Merwin
Total Quotes: 63


Now all my teachers are dead except silence. W S Merwin
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In the time that I have been acquainted with this region I have become increasingly aware of it as a testament of water, the origin and guide of its contours and gradients and of all the lives - the plants and small creatures, and the culture - that evolved here. That was always here to be seen, of course, and the recognition has forced itself, in one form or other, upon people in every part of the world who have been directly involved with the growing of living things. The gardener who ignores it is soon left with no garden. W S Merwin
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we travel far and fast and as we pass through we forget where we have been W S Merwin
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We are asleep with compasses in our hands. W S Merwin
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Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time. W S Merwin
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You grieve Not that heaven does not exist but That it exists without us W S Merwin
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We are the echo of the future. W S Merwin
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I'm very pessimistic about the future of the human species. We have been so indifferent to life on the whole that it will take its toll. It's not just the polar bears that are having a hard time; what we're doing is gradually impoverishing and poisoning the whole of the rest of life. W S Merwin
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We're losing a species every few seconds. We cannot put them back. If we change our mind and say, 'Oops, we made a mistake' - it's too late. This is the world we live with. W S Merwin
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I also think that life itself is both indifferent to us and the source of all of our joys and everything that we love. And it's necessary to accept the one in order to love the other. W S Merwin
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Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars It is my emptiness among them While they drift farther away in the invisible morning W S Merwin
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I think there's a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there's still time. W S Merwin
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Every year without knowing it I have passed the day When the last fires will wave to me W S Merwin
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The attempt to live that way, the attempt to treat everybody - it fails all the time - but the attempt to treat people as equals is a good attempt. It's a very good attempt. And there have been very few governments that have come anywhere near it in the past. The Greeks began to, the Romans began to - they both failed. W S Merwin
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After an age of leaves and feathers someone dead thought of the mountain as money and cut the trees that were here and the wind and the rain at night. It is hard to say it. W S Merwin
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I had hardly begun to read I asked how can you ever be sure that what you write is really any good at all and he said you can't you can't you can never be sure you die without knowing whether anything you wrote was any good if you have to be sure don't write W S Merwin
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Your absence has gone through me W S Merwin
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Any work of art makes one very simple demand on anyone who genuinely wants to get in touch with it. And that is to stop. You've got to stop what you're doing, what you're thinking, and what you're expecting and just be there for the poem for however long it takes. W S Merwin
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Utterance" Sitting over words Very late I have heard a kind of whispered sighing Not far Like a night wind in pines or like the sea in the dark The echo of everything that has ever Been spoken Still spinning its one syllable Between the earth and silence W S Merwin
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To succeed [,] consider what is as though it were past, deem yourself inevitable and take credit for it. If you no longer believe, enlarge the temple. W S Merwin
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There is part of a structure in which every species is related to every other species. And they're built up on species, like a pyramid. The simpler cell organisms, and then the more complicated ones, all the way up to the mammals and birds and so forth. We call it 'developing upward'... The whole thing depends on every part of it. And we're taking out the stones from the pyramid. W S Merwin
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come back believer in shade believer in silence and elegance believer in ferns believer in patience believer in the rain W S Merwin
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I have with me all that I do not know. I have lost none of it. W S Merwin
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Obviously a garden is not the wilderness but an assembly of shapes, most of them living, that owes some share of its composition, it's appearance, to human design and effort, human conventions and convenience, and the human pursuit of that elusive, indefinable harmony that we call beauty. It has a life of its own, an intricate, willful, secret life, as any gardener knows. It is only the humans in it who think of it as a garden. But a garden is a relationship, which is one of the countless reasons why it is never finished. W S Merwin
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There are poets who believe that you shouldn't engage at all in any cause. And there's something to be said for that. Because you don't want to - I think most political poetry is very bad. And it's very bad because you know too much to start with. You have a sense that you're right, and you're trying to tell other people what's right. And I think that's always kind of fundamentalism, and I don't like it. W S Merwin
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The Divine Comedy is a political poem and when you say poetry is not about - he's always quoted out of context, that "poetry makes nothing happen," that doesn't mean you shrug your shoulders and don't try to make anything happen. And Dante felt that poetry was engaged, there was a point of view; it's not my point of view, it's orthodox medieval Christianity, and I have my troubles with that. He didn't feel that you could just rule out so important a section of life - we care about these things, and it's out of caring about them that we write poetry. W S Merwin
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My cradle was a shoe. W S Merwin
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Poetry is like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you've lost the whole thing. W S Merwin
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This is what I have heard at last the wind in December lashing the old trees with rain unseen rain racing along the tiles under the moon wind rising and falling wind with many clouds trees in the night wind. W S Merwin
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From what we cannot hold, the stars are made. W S Merwin
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To say what or where we came from has nothing to do with what or where we came from. We do not come from there any more, but only from each word that proceeds out of the mouth of the unnamed. And yet sometimes it is our only way of pointing to who we are. W S Merwin
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When a poem is really finished, you can't change anything. You can't move words around. You can't say, 'In other words, you mean.' No, that's not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it. W S Merwin
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So this is what I am Pondering his eyes that could not Conceive that I was a creature to run from I who have always believed too much in words W S Merwin
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I have been younger in October than in all the months of spring. W S Merwin
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On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree W S Merwin
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Separation Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color. W S Merwin
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The story of each stone leads back to a mountain. W S Merwin
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Send me out into another life lord because this one is growing faint I do not think it goes all the way W S Merwin
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Through all of youth I was looking for you without knowing what I was looking for W S Merwin
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We are not born to survive. Only to live. W S Merwin
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There are aspects of human life that are not purely destructive, and there is a need to pay attention to the things around us while they are still around us. And you know, in a way, if you don't pay that attention, the anger is just bitterness. W S Merwin
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The moment we turn over the soil we start poisoning it and we go on poisoning it all the way through... and there's probably not a river in the United States that doesn't have pesticide poisoning in it. The fish are dying. The seas are getting polluted. All of these things are happening. The rain forests are going. That's what the context is. W S Merwin
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I needed my mistakes in their order to get me here W S Merwin
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Certain words now in our knowledge we will not use again, and we will never forget them. We need them. Like the back of the picture. W S Merwin
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Obviously a garden is not the wilderness but an assembly of shapes, most of them living, that owes some share of its composition, it's appearance, to human design and effort, human conventions and convenience, and the human pursuit of that elusive, indefinable harmony that we call beauty. It has a life of its own, an intricate, willful, secret life, as any gardener knows. It is only the humans in it who think of it as a garden. But a garden is a relationship, which is one of the countless reasons why it is never finished. W S Merwin
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part memory part distance remaining mine in the ways that I learn to miss you W S Merwin
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The global warming is going on. These are not single cases. These are all part of a general way we've been looking at the world. As long as we look at the world that way it's going to go on. Because the idea that the important thing is for some people get rich while the rest of the people work for them is very deeply dug in. W S Merwin
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Politically it would be terribly repressive to prevent people from having as many children as they want. But something's got to prevent it; and it won't be pleasant... We're still behaving in ways that have become disastrous... I don't think this helps us to survive... We're very species-centric... and now exist at the expense of every other form of life on Earth. W S Merwin
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But most love poetry is awful; nobody knows how to write good love poetry either. But that's not a reason not to write love poetry. Some of the best poetry ever written has been love poetry, and some of the greatest poetry ever written has been political poetry. W S Merwin
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What I really believe is the only hopeful relation between our life and the whole of life is one of reverence and respect and of feeling at one with it. The other attitude which is the one our society is based on is devastating and it is killing the earth and it is killing us too. W S Merwin
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I will take with me the emptiness of my hands. What you do not have you find everywhere W S Merwin
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Modern poetry, for me, began not in English at all but in Spanish, in the poems of Lorca. W S Merwin
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I offer you what I have my Poverty W S Merwin
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If there'd been a better-balanced society, where there were other ways of making a decent living, I think it might have been different. That's not the way this setup work. W S Merwin
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It's an attitude of superiority. We are superior to the rest of life. The Book of Genesis says: 'Increase and multiply and have dominion over the birds of the air and the animals and so forth.' You run it; it's yours; do what you like with it. I don't know how old that text is, but it represents an attitude that probably really got going with the beginning of agriculture. Before that, the hunter-gatherers were gentler people than the agriculture. W S Merwin
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I wouldn't be happy about being considered a love poet or an environmental - I don't want any of those tags. W S Merwin
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I think it's good for anybody to learn languages. Americans are particularly limited in that way. Europeans less so... We're beginning to have Spanish move in on English in the states because of all the people coming from Hispanic countries... and we're beginning to learn some Spanish. And I think that's a good thing... Only having one language is very limiting... You get to think that's the way the human race is made; there's only one language worth speaking... Well, this isn't good for English. W S Merwin
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Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle Everything I do is stitched with its color. W S Merwin
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My words are the garment of what I shall never be Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy. W S Merwin
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Laughter was the shape the darkness took around the first appearance of the light. W S Merwin
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What you remember saves you. W S Merwin
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I say to my breath once again, little breath come from in front of me, go away behind me, row me quietly now, as far as you can, for I am an abyss that I am trying to cross. W S Merwin
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If you can't bear what's happening to the natural world, if you can't bear the way we treat each other; if you can't bear wars, you just can't bear the whole idea of war, which is possibly unavoidable. But still, you resist it. Because you just hate our treating each other that way and causing that suffering. W S Merwin
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