Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Anna Kamienska

"Writing down your thoughts is both necessary and harmful. It leads to eccentricity, narcissism, preserves what should be let go. On the other hand, these notes intensify the inner life, which, left unexpressed, slips through your fingers. If only I could find a better kind of journal, humbler, one that would preserve the same thoughts, the same flesh of life, which is worth saving. ... Moreover the writer invents himself as a character in this form. He shapes himself from the shards of the everyday, from the truth of that daily life. Which is also a truth not to be scorned."

"My poems are more my silence than my speech. Just as music is a kind of quiet. Sounds are needed only to unveil the various layers of silence."

"Anxiety is creative. Confusion is not creative."

"From the start I had a great desire to change the language, for example, to replace the word 'grace' with something else. I was annoyed by the word 'humility' and many other words, which I hadn't used in a long while. It seemed to me that 'faith' was also a matter for the dictionary. Of course, language is a system of metaphors and contains the whole experience of farming communities, migrant peoples, various social orders, monarchy, slavery, serfdom. We've grown used to many words, forgetting that they're only metaphors, though in their own time they were actively metaphoric, new discoveries. I thought that ceaseless linguistic invention was required even in the realm of faith. Thinkers must be poets. ... I'm slowly relinquishing my claims in linguistic matters, though, and I humbly return to faith and to humility, since these are word-vessels so saturated with content through ages of thought and use that to abandon them would be the act of a heedless parvenu."

--Anna Kamienska in Poetry

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