poetry

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
speaking
ever

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)