Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Needless to say, when I was writing "The Tollund Man" (the first draft came swiftly) I was not thinking of Wordsworth or Hesiod or Eliot or the Muses. When I call Wordsworth an example, I just mean to cite his poem "Resolution and Independence" as an instance of something constant in the poetic life, something indeed that is indispensable to it. Call it apt admonishment, call it contact with the hiding places, call it inspiration, call it the staying power of lyric, call it the bringing of memories that are luminous into the relatively dark world, call it what you like, but be sure it is what a poet's inner faith and freedom depends upon. And the myth of his own meaningfulness among those intelligent contemporaries depends upon it also.

Seamus Heaney in the Hudson Review

Friday, May 16, 2008

"I believe there is a moral
as well as
a physical grain in things,
and that our chief business is to discover
what we can of that pattern and to align ourselves with it.
...[To] search for an underlying order
even in the mess of human affairs
is less foolish than to accept chaos as the only truth."

Scott Russell Sanders, The Force of Spirit, p. 43,