Yusef Komunyakaa On Poetry


1B7D07B9-1496-4CBD-A6F5-880C019CEF7EYusef Komunyakaa
(April 29, 1941 -)

Attempt to write every day, to read everything, to listen, to be in the world, to challenge ideas and to question ourselves. Because it’s not just poetry; it’s the experience of inquiry…

Be aware of the small things in the world, not necessarily the monumental things. The small things add up to a monumental reality.

Tao Writer On Stand Undiminished

B56E5F81-883D-4D7A-8545-E49C6A2562D1Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)

It means every element of your being has the power, the permission, the blessings of the blessed, to seek and befriend on every path, road, mountain passage, or astral plane the limitless aspects of you. It means to be and to accept all that you are and are not with grace not shame, with love, and not distain. It means to overcome the power of your own fear, to be the light you are, and to stand in full sail to the wind at every juncture of your life. It means not to be contained by any system, especially your own. It means to live knowing this life is a gift to you, to me, and to all kind.

Dwight D. Eisenhower On The Military Industrial Complex

4A6120CD-55C4-4E65-BF8F-786489FC9EC6President Dwight D. Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969)

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Martin Luther King on Non-Violence

1c045-martin-luther-kingMartin L. King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

I think though that we can be sure that the vast majority of Negroes who engage in the demonstrations and who understand the nonviolent philosophy will be able to face dogs and all of the other brutal methods that are used without retaliating with violence, because they understand that one of the first principles of nonviolence is a willingness to be the recipient of violence, while never inflicting violence on another.

Wisława Szymborska On Inspiration

25bcb-img_1669Wisława Szymborska  (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012)

It’s not that they’ve never known the blessing of this inner impulse. It’s just not easy to explain something to someone else that you don’t understand yourself…Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally. There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — and I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous “I don’t know.”

Susan Faludi On Feminism

26E4ABF1-EA5D-4E02-896E-7F7C8E5167D0Susan Faludi (April 18, 1959 -)

I don’t see how you can be a feminist and not think about men. In order for women to live freely, men have to live freely, too. Being a feminist opens your eyes to the ways men, like women, are imprisoned in cultural stereotypes.

Léo Dangel On Memoriam

9BE90FAE-D426-4C04-BF81-ED512BAF3A09Leo Dangel (1941 – 2016)

In the early afternoon my mother
was doing the dishes. I climbed
onto the kitchen table, I suppose
to play, and fell asleep there.
I was drowsy and awake, though,
as she lifted me up, carried me
on her arms into the living room,
and placed me on the davenport,
but I pretended to be asleep
the whole time, enjoying the luxury—
I was too big for such a privilege
and just old enough to form
my only memory of her carrying me.
She’s still moving me to a softer place.