Saturday, June 2, 2012
Wallace Stevens Quotes
"A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman."
"Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking."
"All the great things have been denied and we live in an intricacy of new and local mythologies, political, economic, poetic, which are asserted with an ever-enlarging incoherence."
"Civilization must be destroyed. The hairy saints of the North have earned this crumb by their complaints."
"Democritus plucked his eye out because he could not look at a woman without thinking of her as a woman. If he had read a few of our novels, he would have torn himself to pieces."
"Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore."
"If some really acute observer made as much of egotism as Freud has made of sex, people would forget a good deal about sex and find the explanation for everything in egotism."
"Intolerance respecting other people's religion is toleration itself in comparison with intolerance respecting other people's art."
"It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom."
"Money is a kind of poetry."
"Most modern reproducers of life, even including the camera, really repudiate it. We gulp down evil, choke at good."
"Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom: The echoes are the bottom."
"One cannot spend one's time in being modern when there are so many more important things to be."
"Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake."
"Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!"
"Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress."
"The genuine artist is never "true to life." He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life."
"The imagination is man's power over nature."
"The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself."
"Thought is an infection. In the case of certain thoughts, it becomes an epidemic."
"To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind."
"Union of the weakest develops strength not wisdom. Can all men, together, avenge one of the leaves that have fallen in autumn? But the wise man avenges by building his city in snow."
"What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality."