What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours - that is what you must be able to attain.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (via stxxz)

(via fuckyeahexistentialism)

Our poems are what the gods couldn’t make without going through us.

Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (Graywolf Press, 2010)

(Source: afallowfield, via apoetreflects)

[…] a scar is a memory which never ceases to work; whenever you look at it, you smell the golden tobacco, your grandfather’s coat hanging like a tent in the wind.

Mahmoud Darwish, from Absent Presence, trans. by Mohammed Shaheen (Hesperus Press, 2010)

(Source: metaphorformetaphor, via apoetreflects)

If you are anywhere
nearby, show me
anything at all
to prove you do exist:
a poem in a small, soiled
nightie, a lyric
in the sandbox voices
raised in woe. Release a stanza
from the sink’s hot suds
where dirty dishes glow.
Seal a message inside:
encourage me
to hold on.
Inform me
in detail
exactly how to do it.

Kate Daniels, from “Prayer to the Muse of Ordinary Life,” in The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, ed. by Susan Aizenberg & Erin Belieu (Columbia University Press, 2001)    (via apoetreflects)

(Source: literarymiscellany, via apoetreflects)

The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river. Then one sees through the surface to the depths. In those moments I find one of my greatest satisfactions, not that I am thinking of the past; but it is then that I am living most fully in the present.

—Virginia Woolf, from A Sketch Of The Past (via violentwavesofemotion)

You said: I used to invent love when necessary. When I walked alone on the riverbank. Or whenever the level of salt would rise in my body, I would invent the river.

Mahmoud Darwish, from In the Presence of Absence, translated by Sinan Antoon (Archipelago Books, 2011)

(Source: yesyes, via apoetreflects)

whenever i lean forward
you always seem to be there

listening, waiting for the sound
of my voice

there is something in you
that sees clearly the things

that even i cannot
see about myself

in our conversations we both
lean in, moving inward towards

one another, as if it were a sin
to miss a single word

one of us might say,
an utterance

even when we are apart
i can hear you clearly

calling my name
i always answer

Ron Starbuck, "Leaning Forward," from When Angels Are Born: Poems and Prose Poems (Saint Julian Press, 2012)

(Source: apoetreflects)

your voice
in this being unable to move away
from my gaze
things dispossess me
make of me a ship on a river of stones
if your voice is not
rain alone in my feverish silence
you unbind my eyes
and please
may you never stop

Alejandra Pizarnik, “Presence,” from Alejandra Pizarnik: Selected Poems, trans. Cecilia Rossi (Waterloo Press, 2010)

(Source: apoetreflects)

If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood

Naomi Shihab Nye, from “Hidden,” in Fuel (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1998)

(Source: ahuntersheart, via apoetreflects)