If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger. –Muriel Rukeyser
Poetry’s work is the clarification and magnification of being. –Jane Hirshfield
If only the sun-drenched celebrities are being noticed and worshipped, then our children are going to have a rough time seeing the value in the shadows, where the thinkers, probers and scientists are keeping society together. –Rita Dove
you said. Afterward
we’ll float between two worlds—
five bronze beetles
stacked like spoons in one
peony blossom, drugged by lust:
if I came back as a bird
I’d remember that—
until everyone we love
is safe is what you said.
I do think that all of us think in poems. I think of a poem as being deeper than headline news. You know how they talk about breaking news all the time, that–if too much breaking news, trying to absorb all the breaking news, you start feeling really broken. And you need something that takes you to a place that’s a little more timeless, that kind of gives you a place to stand to look out at all these things. Otherwise you just feel assaulted by all the tragedy in the world. –Naomi Shihab Nye
The poet’s job is to put into words those feelings we all have that are so deep, so important, and yet so difficult to name, to tell the truth in such a beautiful way, that people cannot live without it. –Jane Kenyon
When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her. –Adrienne Rich
We have a motto at Naropa: “Keep the world safe for poetry.” It’s humorous but has some real bite to it. If the world is safe for poetry, it can be safe for many other things.