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Poetry is the mother-tongue of the human race. ...
by Johann G. Hamann

Poetry is the mother-tongue of the human race.
- Johann G. Hamann

Thus the public use of reason and freedom is nothing but a dessert,
a sumptuous dessert.
- Johann G. Hamann

Everything is vain and tortures the spirit instead
of calming and satisfying it.
- Johann G. Hamann

Not only the entire ability to think rests on language...
but language is also the crux of the misunderstanding of reason with itself.
- Johann G. Hamann

 

The farther reason looks the greater is the haze in which it loses itself.
- Johann G. Hamann

The weakness of ourselves and of our reason makes us
see flaws in beauties by making us consider everything piece by piece.
- Johann G. Hamann

Hence it happens that one takes words for concepts,
and concepts for the things themselves.
- Johann G. Hamann

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Nature is a book, a letter, a fairy tale (in the philosophical
sense) or whatever you want to call it.
- Johann G. Hamann

What good to me is the festive garment of freedom when
I am in a slave's smock at home?
- Johann G. Hamann

Everything the human being heard from the beginning,
saw with its eyes, looked upon and touched with its hands was a living word;
for God was the word.
- Johann G. Hamann

Our reason arises, at the very least,
from this twofold lesson of sensuous revelations and human testimonies.
- Johann G. Hamann

The thirst for vengeance was the beautiful nature which Homer imitated.
- Johann G. Hamann

All human wisdom works and has worries and grief as reward.
- Johann G. Hamann

If only I was as eloquent as Demosthenes,
I would have to do no more than repeat a single word three times.
- Johann G. Hamann

A writer who is in a hurry to be understood today or
tomorrow runs the danger of being misunderstood the day after tomorrow.
- Johann G. Hamann

Physics is nothing but the ABC's.
Nature is an equation with an unknown,
a Hebrew word which is written only with consonants
to which reason has to add the dots.
- Johann G. Hamann

Indeed, if a chief question does remain:
how is the power to think possible? -
The power to think right and left,
before and without, with and above experience? then
it does not take a deduction to prove the genealogical priority of language.
- Johann G. Hamann

Every phenomenon of nature was a word,
- the sign, symbol and pledge of a new,
mysterious, inexpressible but all the more intimate union,
participation and community of divine energies and ideas.
- Johann G. Hamann

Being, belief and reason are pure relations,
which cannot be dealt with absolutely,
and are not things but pure scholastic concepts,
signs for understanding, not for worshipping,
aids to awaken our attention, not to fetter it.
- Johann G. Hamann

If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts
of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Youth, large, lusty, loving -
Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you
with equal grace, force, fascination?
- Walt Whitman

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.
- Muriel Rukeyser

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings,
and making music with them.
- Dennis Gabor

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered
into by reading other poems.
- John Barton

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
- Leonard Cohen

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

Any healthy man can go without food for two days -
but not without poetry.
- Charles Baudelaire

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

The River of Life flows without emotion.
The River surges. The River quiets.
The River overflows its banks. The River dries to a trickle.
The River swirls and storms. The River becomes calm.
The River runs clear. The River runs dark with silt.
The River is indifferent to what benefit
or what harm is caused by its water.
The River is the River, and that is all there is to it.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
- Thomas Gray

Poetry is an orphan of silence.
The words never quite equal the experience behind them.
- Charles Simic

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and
the thought has found words.
- Robert Frost

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
- T. S. Eliot

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder,
with a dash of the dictionary.
- Khalil Gibran

A poet's autobiography is his poetry.
Anything else is just a footnote.
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Poetry: the best words in the best order.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has,
it may be inadvisable to draw it out...
Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
- A. E. Housman

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money,
either.
- Robert Graves

Poetry should...
should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
- John Keats

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.
- John Cage

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet,
though he has never written a line in all his life.
- George Sand

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
- William Hazlitt

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.
- John Ruskin

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power.
Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions,
all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
- Paul Engle

The River of Life has no judgments.
The River flows with no concept of good and bad - right and wrong.
The fields and dreams of men may be nourished by the River of Life,
or flooded and covered with silt, and the River just flows.
Men may catch fish and live on the River of Life,
or they may founder in a storm and drown, and the River just flows.
The River of Life is timeless.
It is not unchanging, but it is timeless,
and it changes in its own time.
The River of Life knows no obstacles.
The River can cut through solid rock - in its own time.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
- Marianne Moore

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
- Rita Dove

The River of Life has no meaning, no good, no bad,
no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy.
The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS. There is nothing to do.
There is nothing to say.
There is nothing to think.
There is nothing to feel.
The River just flows. The River is the source of all nourishment -
the source of all obstacles.
The River is the source of all life - the source of all death.
The River is the source of all joy - and the source of all sorrow.
Yet the River has no joy - and the River has no sorrow.
The River is just the River.
One can flow harmoniously with the River -
or one can struggle fearfully against the River -
and the River just flows.
One can accept the River - or one can deny the River -
and the River just flows.
One can worship the River of Life - or one can curse the River of Life -
and the River just flows. There is nothing to do - and the River flows.
There is nothing to say - and the River flows.
There is nothing to think - and the River flows.
There is nothing to feel - and the River flows.
The River flows - and all else is our drama.
The River flows - and all else is our invention.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that.
Poetry is as precise as geometry.
- Gustave Flaubert

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door,
leaving those who look through to guess about what
is seen during the moment.
- Carl Sandburg

One merit of poetry few persons will deny:
it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- Voltaire

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
- Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
- Carl Sandburg

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.
- Joseph Joubert

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.
- Carl Sandburg

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
- Plutarch

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet
believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
- Salvatore Quasimodo

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
- Paul Valery

A poem begins as a lump in the throat,
a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
- Robert Frost

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.
- Robert Penn Warren

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
- W. H. Auden

Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally,
in the end, pleasure.
- Mark Strand

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.
- John Fowles

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means,
you have missed the body of the poem.
- M. H. Abrams

However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence,
there can't be much to it.
- James Schuyler

You don't have to suffer to be a poet;
adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.
- John Ciardi

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
- Oscar Wilde

Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast
possession of definition.
- Eli Khamarov


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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