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Or So I Feel...

"A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.This may sound easy, but it isn't. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel -- but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling -- not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know,you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time - and whenver we do it, we are not poets. If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you've written one line of one poem, you'll be very lucky indeed. And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world -- unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die. Does this sound dismal? It isn't. It's the most wonderful life on earth.Or so I feel."

e.e. cummings

This is absolutely one of my most favorite things in the world. Ever. When I heard this I was in my first year at Juilliard. It was the first month of school, I had just moved to New York and life seemed endless. And now its done. It was way too fast and entirely too long. I lived a million different lives in those four years. And if I could do it all over I wouldn't change a thing. But I wouldn't do it all over. Not for anything in the world.


Shawn Tina said...

this is all i want to do - live a poetical life, live many lives.

uioae said...

I decided tonight to read your blog from the beginning, in a way that isn't creepy or renders me a stalker, but because I find you absolutely fascinating and I don't even know why. Progress may be slow, but it is discoveries like this - this e.e. cumming quote - that assures me it will be worthwhile to read everything that you have written... though without the obsessive drive that would make this decision an uncomfortable exercise for either you or for me.

In any case, what I wanted to say was only "thanks".