This “being oneself” is of course impossible. All the talk about it is the expression of collective lostness, confusion and depression. To say, “I want to be only myself” makes about as much sense as saying, “I want to speak my own language.” One has to express himself in the language he has grown up with from childhood or has learned since then. One cannot speak his “own” language, and moreover, even if one did, no one else could understand it. Similarly, we cannot find ourselves but only express ourselves through archetypal role enactments, and in this way we may also — perhaps — find ourselves.
The negative has acquired very bad connotations. We say that we should accent the positive; that is a purely male chauvinistic attitude. How would you know you were outstanding unless by contrast there was something instanding? You cannot appreciate the convex without the concave. You cannot appreciate the firm without the yielding.
When a marriage ends, who is left to understand it?
A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . . It finds the thought and the thoughts find the words.
The man of flesh and blood; the one who is born, suffers and dies — above all, who dies; the man who eats and drinks and plays and sleeps and thinks and wills; the man who is seen and is heard; the brother, the real brother.
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
I am still of the opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood — sex and the dead.
Those pleasures so lightly called physical.
Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
I don’t speak with my patients. Only one in a hundred tells the truth. I try to see what I feel when I’m with them, or when I am brought some of their clothing. I have to feel their sickness in my body. This form of healing has nothing to do with books, and can’t be learned from another person. It’s a matter of feeling, having a fresh mind, knowing how to listen to what no one else listens to.
A broken hand works, but not a broken heart.
I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
I travel light; as light,
That is, as a man can travel who will
Still carry his body around because
Of its sentimental value.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.