Quotes — Watts and Oliver

These are for, and thanks to, Susan and her Fabulous Fool.

What Mr. Watts says here could be said of poetry as well I think.

“We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

–Alan Watts

“Every poem is a statement.

“Every poem is music — a determined, persuasive, reliable, enthusiastic, and crafted music.

“Without an understanding of this music, Shakespeare is only the sense we can make of him; he is the wisdom without the shapeliness, which is one half of the poem.”

“I hope their [reader’s] understanding and pleasure of metric poetry will be deepened and complicated, so much so that their response to the poems becomes not only comprehension, but comprehension accompanied by a felt experience.”

— Mary Oliver

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