Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To be an artist

To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes.
Akira Kurosawa

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A poem

Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say -- and to feel -- Yes, that's the way it is, or at least that's the way I feel it. You're not as alone as you thought.
John Steinbeck

Monday, March 23, 2009

A task

Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self, and it is a task no longer; it is joy; it is art.
Bliss Carman

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The last day of winter and a sad Korean poem..

The Ferry Boat and the Passenger
by Manhae Han Yong-un

I am a ferry boat.
You're my passenger.

you treat on me with muddy feet.
I cross the river, hugging you in my arms.

When you are in my arms,
I do not care
Whether the river is deep, shallow or rapid.

If you do not come,
I wait for you from morning till night,
Exposed to winds and wet with snow or rain.

Once you reach the other bank,
You go away without looking back.
But I know you will come back some day.
So I grow old, waiting for you day and night.

I am a ferry boat.
You're my passenger.


Genius creates, and taste preserves. Taste is the good sense of genius; without taste, genius is only sublime folly.
Alexander Pope

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sculptor's thoughts

When you see a fish you don't think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water... If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit.
Constantin Brancusi

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A poem

Far Within Us #3
by Vasko Popa

Unquiet you walk
Along the rims of my eyes

On the invisible grating
Before your lips
My naked words shiver

We steal moments
From the unheeding iron saws

Your hands sadly
Flow into mine
The air is impassable

(translation by Anne Pennington)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Try again

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Samuel Beckett

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best - that is inspiration.
Robert Bresson

Monday, March 9, 2009

A poem

The Family
by Mary Oliver

The dark things of the wood
Are coming from their caves,
Flexing muscle.

They browse the orchard,
Nibble the sea of grasses
Around our yellow rooms,

Scarcely looking in
To see what we are doing
And if they still know us.

We hear them, or think we do:
The muzzle lapping moonlight,
The tooth in the apple.

Put another log on the fire;
Mozart, again, on the turntable,
Still there is a sorrow

With us in the room.
We remember the cave.
In our dreams we go back

Or they come to visit.
They also like music.
We eat leaves together.

They are our brothers.
They are the family
We have run away from

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Becoming rich

It is in spending oneself that one becomes rich.
Sarah Bernhardt

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Solitude and good company

Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.
Lord Byron

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Act of choice

We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.
John Berger