Poems & segments

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise. 


William Blake

I wanted to say 'why the long face?'
Sparrow perch and play songs of long face
Burro buck and bray songs of long face
Sings 'I will swallow your sadness and eat your cold clay
Just to lift your long face
And though it may be madness, I will take to the grave
Your precious long face
And though our bones they may break and our souls separate
Why the long face?
And though our bodies recoil from the grip of the soil
Why the long face?'


Joanna Newsom, from Saw Dust and Diamonds

"Another is penetrating him, furrowing him with suffering, and this other, who has been transformed into a torture machine, is the handsome lad whose venomous splendour he has been admiring. Beauty is painful, beauty is frightful. Behind its appearance is revealed the unbearable horror of the Universe."


Jean-Paul Sartre on Jean Genet from Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr 

“Everything that can suffer, does suffer. Everything that can die, will die. You have suffered, you will suffer much more, and a lifetime of your suffering will culminate in your death. When you can muster genuine gratitude for all of that, then you will have made the kind of progress that is not easily reversed. To develop sincere appreciation for this opportunity to be born in a brutal world, not of your making, to struggle and fail time and time again, to feel repeatedly lost, bewildered, frustrated, and hopeless, to swim in this ocean of misery, and, ultimately, to drown in it—this is the beginning of wisdom. You must embody overwhelming gratitude for the opportunity to fail repeatedly, with no guarantee of eventual success, and to wade cheerfully into a doomed struggle against time and your own limitations. You clamber toward your own death across a landscape of thorns, broken glass, and the corpses of those who have gone before you. Would you have it any other way?”

William Ferraiolo in Meditation on Self-Discipline and Failure

i thank You [...] for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
doubt unimaginable You?
of all nothing—human merely being

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


e e cummings (excerpt)

The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.


William Blake from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell