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Poetry remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. ...
by Jorge Luis Borges

Poetry remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art.
- Jorge Luis Borges

My father and he had one of those English friendships
which begins by avoiding the intimacies
and eventually eliminates speech altogether.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Democracy is an abuse of statistics.
- Jorge Luis Borges

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
- Jorge Luis Borges

 

In the order of literature, as in others,
there is no act that is not the coronation of an infinite
series of causes and the source of an infinite series of effects.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Like all those possessing a library,
Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.
- Jorge Luis Borges

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.
- Jorge Luis Borges

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There is a concept that is the corrupter and destroyer of all others.
I speak not of Evil, whose limited empire is that of ethics;
I speak of the infinite.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery,
which is worth nothing.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Any life is made up of a single moment,
the moment in which a man finds out,
once and for all,
who he is.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The fact is that all writers create their precursors.
Their work modifies our conception of the past,
just as it is bound to modify the future.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Life itself is a quotation.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The original is unfaithful to the translation.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The central problem of novel-writing is causality.
- Jorge Luis Borges

I have known uncertainty: a state unknown to the Greeks.
- Jorge Luis Borges

I foresee that man will resign himself each day to new abominations,
and soon that only bandits and soldiers will be left.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Like all writers, he measured the achievements of others
by what they had accomplished,
asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Reading is an activity subsequent to writing:
more resigned,
more civil, more intellectual.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.
- Jorge Luis Borges

One concept corrupts and confuses the others.
I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics;
I am speaking of the infinite.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Reality is not always probable, or likely.
- Jorge Luis Borges

In general, every country has the language it deserves.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Art always opts for the individual, the concrete;
art is not Platonic.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Life and death have been lacking in my life.
- Jorge Luis Borges

My undertaking is not difficult, essentially.
I should only have to be immortal to carry it out.
- Jorge Luis Borges

To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand,
but we must build as if the sand were stone.
- Jorge Luis Borges

I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of
the night without thinking that the night pleases us
because it suppresses idle details,
just as our memory does.
- Jorge Luis Borges

To be immortal is commonplace; except for man,
all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death;
what is divine,
terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is immortal.
- Jorge Luis Borges

Time is the substance from which I am made.
Time is a river which carries me along,
but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me,
but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me,
but I am the fire.
- Jorge Luis Borges

The truth is that we live out our lives putting off all that can be put off;
perhaps we all know deep down that we are immortal
and that sooner or later all men will do and know all things.
- Jorge Luis Borges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

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

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

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

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

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

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

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

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

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

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

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

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

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


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