Stanza Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do - that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught's to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There's nothing but the night... Here it Leopold's father - and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life's hopes crumble into dust... I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man... I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayye¡m. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.

Clarence Darrow
Marginalia Sometimes the notes are ferocious, skirmishes against the author raging along the borders of every page in tiny black script. If I could just get my hands on you, Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, they seem to say, I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head. Other comments are more offhand, dismissive - Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" - that kind of thing. I remember once looking up from my reading, my thumb as a bookmark, trying to imagine what the person must look like who wrote "Don't be a ninny" alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson. Students are more modest needing to leave only their splayed footprints along the shore of the page. One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's. Another notes the presence of "Irony" fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal. Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers, Hands cupped around their mouths. Absolutely, " they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!" Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points rain down along the sidelines. And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written "Man vs. Nature" in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. We have all seized the white perimeter as our own and reached for a pen if only to show we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages; we pressed a thought into the wayside, planted an impression along the verge. Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria jotted along the borders of the Gospels brief asides about the pains of copying, a bird singing near their window, or the sunlight that illuminated their page- anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves. And you have not read Joshua Reynolds, they say, until you have read him enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling. Yet the one I think of most often, the one that dangles from me like a locket, was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye I borrowed from the local library one slow, hot summer. I was just beginning high school then, reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room, and I cannot tell you how vastly my loneliness was deepened, how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed, when I found on one page A few greasy looking smears and next to them, written in soft pencil- by a beautiful girl, I could tell, whom I would never meet- Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.

Billy Collins
Bisognerebbe saper attendere, raccogliere, per una vita intera e possibilmente lunga, senso e dolcezza, e poi, proprio alla fine, si potrebbero forse scrivere dieci righe valide. Perche i versi non sono, come crede la gente, sentimenti (che si acquistano precocemente), sono esperienze. Per scrivere un verso bisogna vedere molte citte , uomini e cose, bisogna conoscere gli animali, bisogna capire il volo degli uccelli e comprendere il gesto con cui i piccoli fiori si aprono al mattino. Bisogna saper ripensare a itinerari in regioni sconosciute, a incontri inaspettati e congedi previsti da tempo, a giorni dell'infanzia ancora indecifrati, ai genitori che eravamo costretti a ferire quando portavano una gioia e non la comprendevamo (era una gioia per qualcun altro), a malattie infantili che cominciavano in modo cose¬ strano con tante profonde e grevi trasformazioni, a giorni in stanze silenziose e raccolte e a mattine sul mare, al mare sopratutto, a mari, a notti di viaggio che passavano con un alto fruscio e volavano assieme alle stelle - e ancora non e¨ sufficiente poter pensare a tutto questo. Bisogna avere ricordi di molte notti d'amore, nessuna uguale all'altra, di grida di partorienti e di lievi, bianche puerpere addormentate che si rimarginano. Ma bisogna anche essere stati accanto ad agonizzanti, bisogna essere rimasti vicino ai morti nella stanza con la finestra aperta e i rumori intermittenti. E non basta ancora avere ricordi. Bisogna saperli dimenticare, quando sono troppi, e avere la grande pazienza di attendere che ritornino. Perche i ricordi in se ancora non sono. Solo quando diventano sangue in noi, sguardo e gesto, anonimi e non pie¹ distinguibili da noi stessi, soltanto allora pue² accadere che in un momento eccezionale si levi dal loro centro e sgorghi la prima parola di un verso.

Rainer Maria Rilke
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