poetry quotes: the soul and its longing|
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often life too deep for tears.
- William Wordsworth
I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older
than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
- Langston Hughes
A man and a woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.
- Robert Bly
But is there any comfort to be found?
Man is in love and loves what vanishes,
What more is there to say?
- William Butler Yeats
Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars
It is my emptiness among them
While they drift farther away in the invisible morning.
- W.S. Merwin
Stay with me, God. The night is dark
The night is cold: my little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me, God, and make me strong.
NOTE: The above poem was found on a scrap of paper in a slit trench in Tunisia during the battle
of El Aghelia by members of the British Eighth Army.
We have no rivers, we have no wells, we have no springs,
only a few cisterns--and these empty--that echo,
and we worship them.
A stagnant hollow sound, the same as our loneliness
the same as our love, the same as our bodies.
- George Seferis
translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard
I am not I.
I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And at other times forget.
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
The one who will remain standing when I die.
- Juan Ramon Jimenez
translated by Robert Bly
At the day's end
all our footsteps are added up
to see how near.
- W.S. Merwin
Copyright © 2001
by J.D. Deutschendorf