1. “The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.”
— Dana Gioia
2. “It seems to me that awakening to the full potential of what your life might be – beyond the possibilities of your own family, your own class, your own race, your own neighborhood – that is one of the great gifts that art affords.”
3. “Money. You don’t know where it’s been, but you put it where your mouth is. And it talks!”
4. “This is a prayer, inchoate and unfinished, for you, my love, my loss, my lesion, a rosary of words to count out time’s illusions, all the minutes, hours, days the calendar compounds as if the past existed somewhere like an inheritance still waiting to be claimed.”
5. “How many voices have escaped you until now, the venting furnace, the floorboards underfoot, the steady accusations of the clock numbering the minutes no one will mark. The terrible clarity this moment brings, the useless insight, the unbroken dark.”
6. “There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions.”
7. “What we conceal Is always more than what we dare confide. Think of the letters that we write our dead.”
8. “We are not as we were. Death has been our pentecost.”
9. “Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica. To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.”
10. “The music that of common speech but slanted so that each detail sounds unexpected as a sharp inserted in a simple scale.”
11. “Once an author finishes a poem, he becomes merely another reader. I may remember what I intended to put into a text, but what matters is what a reader actually finds there which is usually something both more and less than the poet planned.”
12. “Even if great poetry continues to be written, it has retreated from the center of literary life. Though supported by a loyal coterie, poetry has lost the confidence that it speaks to and for the general culture.”
13. “Everyone enjoys stories of double lives and secret identities. Children have Superman; intellectuals have Wallace Stevens.”
14. “Poetry offers a way of understanding and expressing existence that is fundamentally different from conceptual thought.”
15. “Being so deeply rooted in one place and culture allows a genuine writer to experiment wildly with the material without ever losing touch with its essence.”
16. “I attended Catholic schools at a time when Latin was still a living ritual language.”
17. “Poetry is not a creed or dogma. It is a special way of speaking and listening.”
18. “Old empires always appeal to modern poets more than new ones.”
19. “Teach us the names of what we have destroyed.”
20. “My blessed California, you are so wise. You render death abstract, efficient, clean. Your afterlife is only real estate, And in his kingdom Death must stay unseen.”
21. “In America, the term younger poet is applied with chivalric liberality. It can be used to describe anyone not yet collecting a Social Security pension.”
22. “To speak from a particular place and time is not provincialism but part of a writer’s identity.”
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