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Once every five hundred years or so,
by A. R. Ammons

Once every five hundred years or so,
a summary statement about poetry comes along that we
can't imagine ourselves living without.
- A. R. Ammons

Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.
- A. R. Ammons

A poem generated by its own laws may be unrealized
and bad in terms of so-called objective principles of taste,
judgement, deduction.
- A. R. Ammons

In nature there are few sharp lines.
- A. R. Ammons

 

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing,
but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
- A. R. Ammons

I take the walk to be the externalization of an interior
seeking so that the analogy is first of all between
the external and the internal.
- A. R. Ammons

Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings,
to the unknown, and returns us to our rational,
structured selves refreshed.
- A. R. Ammons

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Is it not careless to become too local when there are
four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone.
- A. R. Ammons

Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.
- A. R. Ammons

If a poem is each time new, then it is necessarily an act of discovery,
a chance taken, a chance that may lead to fulfillment or disaster.
- A. R. Ammons

I am grateful for - though I can't keep up with -
the flood of articles,
theses, and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry.
- A. R. Ammons

Questions structure and, so, to some extent predetermine answers.
- A. R. Ammons

You have your identity when you find out,
not what you can keep your mind on, but what you can't keep your mind off.
- A. R. Ammons

If we ask a vague question, such as,
'What is poetry?' we expect a vague answer,
such as, 'Poetry is the music of words,'
or 'Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.'
- A. R. Ammons

If the greatest god is the stillness all the motions add up to,
then we must ineluctably be included.
- A. R. Ammons

Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value,
though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values.
- A. R. Ammons

The poet exposes himself to the risk.
All that has been said about poetry,
all that he has learned about poetry,
is only a partial assurance.
- A. R. Ammons

There's something to be said in favor of working in
isolation in the real world.
- A. R. Ammons

For though we often need to be restored to the small,
concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to
be reminded of the large,
vague, unlimited, unknown.
- A. R. Ammons

Only silence perfects silence.
- A. R. Ammons

Each poem in becoming generates the laws by which it is generated:
extensions of the laws to other poems never completely take.
- A. R. Ammons

I must stress here the point that I appreciate clarity,
order, meaning, structure, rationality:
they are necessary to whatever provisional stability we have,
and they can be the agents of gradual and successful change.
- A. R. Ammons

Besides the actual reading in class of many poems,
I would suggest you do two things: first,
while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it,
teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition.
- A. R. Ammons

Even if you walk exactly the same route each time -
as with a sonnet -
the events along the route cannot be imagined to be
the same from day to day,
as the poet's health, sight, his anticipations,
moods, fears, thoughts cannot be the same.
- A. R. Ammons

I can't tell you where a poem comes from,
what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other man.
The reason I can't tell you is that the purpose of
a poem is to go past telling,
to be recognised by burning.
- A. R. Ammons

That's a wonderful change that's taken place,
and so most poetry today is published,
if not directly by the person, certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself,
working with his friends.
- A. R. Ammons

Through humor, you can soften some
of the worst blows that life delivers.
And once you find laughter,
no matter how painful your situation might be,
you can survive it.
- Bill Cosby

Once you know yourself as a genuine seeker,
and when your own inner chamber is quite enlightened,
then comes the natural unfoldment of pure love and compassion
and a genuine desire to serve others.
- Rod Stryker

The simplest questions are the most profound.
Where were you born?
Where is your home?
Where are you going?
What are you doing?
Think about these once in a while
and watch your answers change.
- Richard Bach

You only live once, and once is enough
if you play your cards right.
- the movie Interiors (1978)

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe,
nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws,
but the smallest insect, we wish
to be created at once by special act.
- Charles Darwin

You need to make a commitment,
and once you make it,
then life will give you some answers.
- Les Brown

Once you label me, you negate me.
- Soren Kierkegaard

You only live once -
but if you work it right, once is enough.
- Joe E. Lewis

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
- Helen Keller

Once you say you're going to settle for second,
that's what happens to you in life.
- John F. Kennedy

All this worldly wisdom was once
the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
- Henry David Thoreau

Once we accept our limits, we can go beyond them.
- Albert Einstein

Shake structures.
School yourself.
Look twice at a thing,
once upside down.
Answer yourself clearly.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

What is once well done is done forever.
- Henry David Thoreau

The journey between what you once were
and who you are now becoming
is where the dance of Life really takes place.
- Barbara De Angelis

A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.
- John Burroughs

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
- William Shakespeare

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

We come this way but once.
We can either tiptoe through life
and hope we get to death without being badly bruised
or we can live a full, complete life achieving
our goals and realizing our wildest dreams.
- Bob Proctor

The world moves, and ideas that were
once good are not always good.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.
- Socrates

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along,
because once I have persuaded him, he will stick.
If I scare him, he will stay just as long
as he is scared, and then he is gone.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you plan for a year, plant a seed.
If for ten years, plant a tree.
If for a hundred years, teach the people.
When you sow a seed once, you will reap a single harvest.
When you teach the people, you will reap a hundred harvests.
- Kuan Chung

You only meet your once in a lifetime friend ...
once in a lifetime.
- Little Rascals

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens,
you can never regain their respect and esteem.
It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time;
you can even fool some of the people all of the time;
but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
- Abraham Lincoln

If you have an important point to make,
don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver.
Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again.
Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.
- Winston Churchill

Count your blessings. Once you realize
how valuable you are and how much you have going for you,
the smiles will return, the sun will break out,
the music will play, and you will finally
be able to move forward the life that God intended
for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.
- Og Mandino

Failure does not exist.
Failure is simply someone else's opinion of how
a certain act should have been completed.
Once you believe that no act must be performed
in any specific other-directed way,
then failing becomes impossible.
- Wayne Dyer

Once we doubt ourselves, success slips beyond our grasp.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person,
"Always do what you are afraid to do."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

How could youths better learn to live
than by at once trying the experiment of living?
- Henry David Thoreau

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better.
What if they are a little coarse,
and you may get your coat soiled or torn?
What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled
in the dirt once or twice.
Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The whole world is a cyclone.
But once you have found the center, the cyclone disappears.
This nothingness is the ultimate peak of consciousness.
- Osho

Sister is probably the most competitive
relationship within the family,
but once the sisters are grown,
it becomes the strongest relationship.
- Margaret Mead

Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing.
You don't win once in a while,
you don't do things right once in a while,
you do them right all the time.
Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
- Vince Lombardi

I expect to pass through this world but once.
Any good therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.
- William Penn

If we want to direct our lives,
we must take control of our consistent actions.
It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives,
but what we do consistently.
- Anthony Robbins

When someone you love dies,
you don't lose them all at once.
You lose them in pieces over time
- the movie Simon Birch

Once you have mastered time,
you will understand how true it is that
most people overestimate what
they can accomplish in a year -
and underestimate what
they can achieve in a decade!
- Tony Robbins

Drop guilt! - because to be guilty is to live in hell.
Not being guilty, you will have the freshness
of dewdrops in the early morning sun,
you will have the freshness of lotus petals in the lake,
you will have the freshness of the stars in the night.
Once guilt disappears you will have
a totally different kind of life, luminous and radiant.
You will have a dance to your feet
and your heart will be singing a thousand and one songs.
- Osho

For those who do not think,
it is best at least to rearrange
their prejudices once in a while.
- Luther Burbank

I once had a rose named after me
and I was very flattered.
But I was not pleased to read
the description in the catalogue:
no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Everyone is a genius at least once a year;
a real genius has his original ideas closer together.
- Georg Lichtenberg

The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.
- E. Joseph Cossman


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