The challenge is to keep up with all the new poets at the same time I love the old ones.

What does it mean... that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it?

Over and over in the butterfly we see the idea of transcendence. In the forest we see not the inert but the aspiring. In water that departs forever and forever returns, we experience eternity.

Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.

Well, who knows. Who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window between him and the darkness. Anyway, Blake the hosier's son stood up and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city— turned away forever from the factories, the personal strivings, to a life of the imagination.

I consider myself kind of a reporter - one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write.

I learn a lot about my poems when I read them by the way people respond to them.

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

Joy is not made to be a crumb.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers.

There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled. Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it. Your heart is beating, isn't it? You're not in chains, are you? There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own.

It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt.

Words have not only a definition... but also the felt quality of their own kind of sound.

The subjects that stir the heart are not so many, after all, and they do not change.

There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But, who wants easier?

I'm going to die one day. I know it's coming for me, too. I'll be a mountain, I'll be a stone on the beach. I'll be nourishment.

A carpenter is hired- a roof repaired, a porch built. Everything that can be fixed. June, July, August. Everyday we hear their laughter. I think of the painting by van Gogh, the man in the chair. Everything wrong, and nowhere to go. His hands over his eyes.

Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

LONELINESS I too have known loneliness. I too have known what it is to feel misunderstood, rejected, and suddenly not at all beautiful. Oh, mother earth, your comfort is great, your arms never withhold. It has saved my life to know this. Your rivers flowing, your roses opening in the morning. Oh, motions of tenderness!

Winter walks up and down the town swinging his censer, but no smoke or sweetness comes from it, only the sour, metallic frankness of salt and snow.

I walk in the world to love it.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

I worked privately, and sometimes I feel that might be better for poets than the kind of social workshop gathering. My school was the great poets: I read, and I read, and I read.

I went to India and was quite taken with it. There's a feeling there that things are holy first and useful second.

People want poetry. They need poetry. They get it. They don't want fancy work.

It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.

I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple--or a green field--a place to enter, and in which to feel.

To tell you the truth, I believe everything - tigers, trees, stones - are sentient in one way or another. You'd never catch me idly kicking a stone, for example.

My first two books are out of print and, okay, they can sleep there comfortably. It's early work, derivative work.

As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.

If the world were only pain and logic, who would want it?

We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.

Some things are unchangeably wild, others are stolidly tame. The tiger is wild, and the coyote, and the owl. I am tame, you are tame. There are wild things that have been altered, but only into a semblance of tameness, it is no real change. But the dog lives in both worlds.

And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old—or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.

I acknowledge my feeling and gratitude for life by praising the world and whoever made all these things.

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don't hesitate. Give in to it.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

What I mean by spirituality is not theology, but attitude.

Be ignited, or be gone.

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? While the soul, after all, is only a window, and the opening of the window no more difficult than the wakening from a little sleep.

When will you have a little pity for every soft thing that walks through the world, yourself included.

Language is, in other words, not necessary, but voluntary. If it were necessary, it would have stayed simple; it would not agitate our hearts with ever-present loveliness and ever-cresting ambiguity; it would not dream, on its long white bones, of turning into song.

A Voice from I Don't Know Where.

I'd rather write about polar bears than people.

The working, concentrating artist is an adult who refuses interruption from himself, who remains absorbed and energized in and by the work—who is thus responsible to the work.

Whatever power of the earth rampages, we turn to it dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever the name of the catastrophe, it is never the opposite of love.

Invention hovers always a little above the rules.

The woods that I loved as a child are entirely gone. The woods that I loved as a young adult are gone. The woods that most recently I walked in are not gone, but they're full of bicycle trails.