There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.
Lying is done with words, and also with silence.
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.
You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.
When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.
I keep coming back to you in my head, but you couldn't know that, and I have no carbons
I feel more helpless with you than without you.
No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees, sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air, dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding, our animal passion rooted in the city.
Until we know the assumptions in which we are drenched, we cannot know ourselves.
[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.
If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up.
My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.
I touch you knowing we weren't born tomorrow, and somehow, each of us will help the other live, and somewhere, each of us must help the other die.
It will take all your heart, it will take all your breath It will be short, it will not be simple
The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.
I don't trust them but I'm learning to use them.
No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.
...you look at me like an emergency
A thinking woman sleeps with monsters that beak which grips her, she becomes.
If you think you can grasp me, think again: my story flows in more than one direction a delta springing from the riverbed with its five fingers spread
War is an absolute failure of imagination, scientific and political. That a war can be represented as helping a people to 'feel good' about themselves, or their country, is a measure of that failure.
The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth.
Sleeping. Turning in turn like planets rotating in their midnight meadow: a touch is enough to let us know we're not alone in the universe, even in sleep.
I choose to love this time for once with all my intelligence -from "Splittings
The serious revolutionary, like the serious artist, can't afford to lead a sentimental or self-deceiving life.
Not biology, but ignorance of ourselves, has been the key to our powerlessness
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
The moment of change is the only poem.
I am an instrument in the shape/ of a woman trying to translate pulsations/ into images for the relief of the body/ and the reconstruction of the mind.
Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don't know you know.
These scars bear witness but whether to repair or to destruction I no longer know.
And I ask myself and you, which of our visions will claim us which will we claim how will we go on living how will we touch, what will we know what will we say to each other.
Love, our subject: we've trained it like ivy to our walls.
What kind of beast would turn its life into words?
A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
If I cling to circumstances I could feel not responsible. Only she who says she did not choose, is the loser in the end.
For now, poetry has the capacity - in its own ways and by its own means - to remind us of something we are forbidden to see.
What we see, we see and seeing is changing
To do something very common, in my own way.
In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppression, is violence.
There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women's bodies by men. The woman's body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.
I've had to guess at her, sewing her skin together as I sew mine, though with a different stitch
Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.
There is no 'the truth,' 'a truth'--truth is not one thing, or even a system. It is an increasing complexity.
You touched me in places so deep I wanted to ignore you.
Poetry is, among other things, a criticism of language.
I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes...are maps...I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail
It is always what is under pressure in us, especially under pressure of concealment--that explodes in poetry.
But from here on I want more crazy mourning, more howl, more keening -from "A Woman Dead in Her Forties
A language is a map of our failures
We are not supposed to go down into the darkness of the core. Yet, if we can risk it, the something born of that nothing is the beginning of truth.
Nothing can be done but by inches. I write out my life hour by hour, word by word . . . imagining the existence of something uncreated this poem our lives.
Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events
The liar has many friends, and leads an existence of great loneliness.
If you unquestioningly accept one piece of the culture that despises and fears you, you are vulnerable to other pieces.
I wanted to choose words that even you would have to be changed by Take the word of my pulse, loving and ordinary Send out your signals, hoist your dark scribbled flags but take my hand
Those who speak largely of the human condition are usually those most exempt from its oppressions - whether of sex, race, or servitude.
- this is where I live now. If you had known me once, you'd still know me now though in a different light and life. This is no place you ever knew me.
We move but our words stand become responsible for more than we intended and this is verbal privilege
She had to possess the courage to enter, through language, states which most people deny or veil with silence.
We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone. The accidents happen, we’re not heroines, they happen in our lives like car crashes, books that change us, neighborhoods we move into and come to love.
The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities
I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes. / The words are maps. / I came to see the damage that was done / and the treasures that prevail.
I have a notion that genius knows itself; that Dickinson chose her seclusion, knowing she was exceptional and knowing what she needed.
This is why the classical of the jazz music station plays? to give a ground of meaning to our pain?
Yet we can't wait for the undamaged to make our connections for us; we can't wait to speak until we are wholly clear and righteous. There is no purity, and, in our lifetimes, no end to this process.
I write for the still-fragmented parts in me, trying to bring them together. Whoever can read and use any of this, I write for them as well.
Can you remember? When we thought the poets taught how to live?
We must use what we have to invent what we desire.
The friend I can trust is the one who will let me have my death. The rest are actors who want me to stay and further the plot.
I know you are reading this poem in a room where too much has happened for you to bear where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed and the open valise speaks of flight but you cannot leave yet.
Silence can be a plan rigorously executed the blueprint to a life It is a presence it has a history a form Do not confuse it with any kind of absence
Only to have a grief equal to all these tears! There's not a sob in my chest. Dry hearted Peer Gynt I pare away, no hero, merely a cook.
The thing I came for: [...] the thing itself and not the myth
In every room, the furniture reflects you larger than life, or dwindling
But it is the subjects, the conversations, the facts we shy away from, which claim us in the form of writer's block, as mere rhetoric, as hysteria, insomnia, and constriction of the throat.
I don't think we can separate art from overall human dignity and hope
...because life is short and you too are thirsty.
And yet, protest it if we will, Some corner of the mind retains The medieval man, who still Keeps watch upon those starry skeins And drives us out of doors at night To gaze at anagrams of light.
An education is not something that you get, but something that you claim.
Vous travaillez pour l'armee, madame?' (You are working for the army?), a Frenchwoman said to me early in the Vietnam war, on hearing I had three sons.
Who neither touched nor spoke? whose nape, whose finger-ends nervelessly lied the hours away?
There is a cop who is both prowler and father: he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers, had certain ideals.
You grieve in loneliness, and if I understand you fuck in loneliness.
Those years you never looked at any of us. Staring into your own eyelids. Like you saw a light there. Can you see me now?
Theory-the seeing of patterns, showing the forest as well as the trees