In the old days, my thoughts like tiny sparks would flare up in the almost dark of consciousness and I would transcribe them, and page after page shone with a light that I called my own. I would sit at my desk amazed by what had just happened. And even as I watched the lights fade and my thoughts become small, meaningless memorials in the afterglow of so much promise, I was still amazed. And when they disappeared, as they inevitably did, I was ready to begin again, ready to sit in the dark for hours and wait for even a single spark, though I knew it would shed almost no light at all. What I had not realized then, but now know only too well, is that sparks carry within them the wish to be relieved of the burden of brightness.
Mark Strand, from “A Letter from Tegucigalpa,” Almost Invisible: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012)
"I ask nothing else but to speak simply, to be granted this grace.
Because our song has become overloaded with so many kinds of
music that slowly it is sinking
and our art has been overlaid so heavily that the gold has eaten
away its face
and it is time we spoke the few words we have because tomorrow
our souls set sail."
George Seferis, from “An Old Man on the Riverbank,” in A Levant Journal, trans. by Roderick Beaton (Ibis Editions, 2007)
"A minute is actually an immense space of time."