10 Great Quotes About Poetry, Writing, and Art by Robert Bly

“You say to yourself, Well, this poem isn’t going to be any good, but I’ll write it anyway.”

“My feeling is that poetry is also a healing process, and then when a person tries to write poetry with depth or beauty, he will find himself guided along paths which will heal him, and this is more important, actually, than any of the poetry he writes.”

“Poetry keeps longing alive.”

“One day while studying a Yeats poem I decided to write poetry the rest of my life. I recognized that a single short poem has room for history, music, psychology, religious thought, mood, occult speculation, character, and events of one’s own life.”

“The language you use for your poems should be the language you use with your friends.”

“A poem in fact may be a sort of nourishing liquid, such as one uses to keep an amoeba alive. If prepared right, a poem can keep an image or a thought or insights on history or the psyche alive for years, as well as our desires and airy impulses.”

“Those of us who make up poems have agreed not to say what the pain is.”

“Reclaiming the sacred in our lives naturally brings us close once more to the wellsprings of poetry.”

“When anyone seriously pursues an art – painting, poetry, sculpture, composing – over twenty or thirty years, the sustained discipline carries the artist down to the countryside of grief, and that descent, resisted so long proves invigorating. . . . As I’ve gotten older, I find I am able to be nourished more by sorrow and to distinguish it from depression.”

“The best poems take long journeys. I like poetry best that journeys–while remaining in the human scale–to the other world, which may be a place as easily overlooked as a bee’s wing”

—Robert Bly

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