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20 Poetic Quotes from American Poet Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz was an American Poet born on July 29, 1905. He was awarded the Pulitzer Price in 1959 for his work Selected Poems 1928-1958. Kunitz's poetry won critical acclaim for its profoundity and quality; and he was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Libary of Congress twice. Check out 20 of Stanley Kunitz's best quotes:

 

On the connected universe:

On the connected universe:
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"The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers."

 

On a new day:

On a new day:
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"I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day."

 

On being yourself:

On being yourself:
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"Be what you are. Give what is yours to give. Have Style. Dare."

"We have to learn how to live with our frailties. The best people I know are inadequate and unashamed."

 

On the sacred:

"I refuse to turn to theology to justify the life or redeem it. There is a question always of the connection to the eternal. I say to myself above all, keep alive your conviction that there are sacred elements in the life in the practice of the life that must be respected. But the conviction in the existence of the sacred does not necessarily imply that you need to believe in a creator, because we are the ones that made the sacred."

 

On timeless wisdom:

"Old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died.
They are only sleeping at the bottom of your mind,
waiting for our call. We have need for them.
They represent the wisdom of our race."

 

On writing:

"Writer's block is a natural affliction. Writers who have never experienced it have something wrong with them. It means there isn't enough friction-that they aren't making enough of an effort to reconcile the contradictions of life. All you get is sweet monotonous flow. Writer's block is nothing to commit suicide over. It simply indicates some imbalance between your experience and your art, and I think that's constructive."

"I dropped my hoe and ran into the house and started to write this poem, 'End of Summer.’ It began as a celebration of wild geese. Eventually the geese flew out of the poem, but I like to think they left behind the sound of their beating wings."

 

On the nature of poems:

On the nature of poems:
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"A poet needs to keep his wilderness alive inside him. To remain a poet after forty requires an awareness of your darkest Africa, that part of yourself that will never be tamed."

"The poem in the head is always perfect. Resistance begins when you try to convert it into language."

"Poetry is language surprised in the act of changing into meaning."

 

On the type of poems:

"Some poems present themselves as cliffs that need to be climbed. Others are so defensive that when you approach their enclosure you half expect to be met by a snarling dog at the gate. Still others want to smother you with their sticky charms."

 

On consciousness and ego:

"The unconscious creates, the ego edits."

 

On memory:

"Memory is each man's poet-in-residence."

 

On life:

"Whatever you choose to claim
of me is always yours;
nothing is truly mine
except my name. I only
borrowed this dust."

 

On perseverance:

"In a murderous time
the heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
through dark and deeper dark
and not to turn."

On marriage:

On marriage:
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"In every house of marriage there's room for an interpreter."

 

On gardening:

"To conquer a piece of earth and make it as beautiful as one can dream of it being: That is art, too. A man cannot be separated fromthe earth. I come out of the garden every day feeling, oh, inspired in a way that one needs in order to convert the daily-ness of the life into something greater than that little life itself."

 

On leaving things open-ended:

"I like an ending that's both a door and a window."

"End with an image and don't explain."

 

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It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by the end they are all about you

It doesn't matter how I begin my poems because by  the end they are all about you

The tired sunsets and tired people it takes a lifetime to die and no time at all

The tired sunsets and tired people it takes a lifetime to die and no time at all

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