Ruth Bidgood: “No need to wonder…”

No need to wonder what heron-haunted lake

lay in the other valley,

or regret the songs in the forest

I chose not to traverse.

No need to ask where other roads might have led,

since they led elsewhere;

for nowhere but this here and now

is my true destination.

The river is gentle in the soft evening,

and all the steps of my life have brought me home.

–   Ruth Bidgood  (as quoted in “Lost In Wonder: Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness”, by Esther De Waal.   Please let me know if this is not accurate.)

Owen Barfield on the language of poetry

Leithart quoting Barfield.  Bold is mine. » Blog Archive » Technical terms

They express, as nearly as any word can do, a concrete, particular thing, and not an abstract, generalized idea. . . .it may be worth pointing out here an instinctive tendency in poets, and others, to use general term of things which they are ignorant of or despise, or in which they can discern no poetic value, and particular – even technical – terms of things which really inspire them. Love is the begetter of intimate knowledge; for what we love it is not tedious, but delightful, to observe minutely.”

He continues: “No genuine lover of poetry and of words can pick up a book on, say, Botany or Metallurgy, and read of spores and capsules and lanceolate leaves, or pearly and adamantine lustres, without feeling poetically enriched by that section of the new vocabulary which actually impinges on his own present consciousness of Nature. Nor can he even listen to a circle of enthusiasts – sailors, golfers, wireless men, actors, and the like – riding, as they do, their special hobby-horses idiomatically over all departments of life, without being delighted, without being frappe (for a short time only) by the result.”

Paul Valery on writing

“The gods in their graciousness give us an occasional first line for nothing; but it is for us to fashion the second, which must chime with the first and not be unworthy of its supernatural elder.”

      -Paul Valery: The Art of Poetry, p.18

Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago) on art

“More vividly than ever before he realized that art has two constant, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St. John.”

(from the scene where Zhivago is walking behind the funeral procession of his friend)