On Inspiration Pt. 1

As some of you may have noticed by now, my writing is often repetitive. Similar themes, similar words, similar imagery, etc. I thought I might shed some light on my obsession with trees, rotting things, and mental illness. Or rather, at the very least, give you all some idea of what kind of writing pushes me to write more. Not more in the sense of length, but more in the sense of grandeur and vitality that I strive for. Here we have a select handful of some of my favorite quotations. Whether it is due to inspiration, beauty, or how it frightens me, each of these is held close to my heart. Enjoy.

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.”
William Blake, The Letters

“The world, the sky the stars, the earth, and our souls are gods.”

“I am a beautiful thing, shaped for fighting
Unstrung I obey no man; only when skillfully tied-”
Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

“The highly sensitive [introverted] tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive. They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions- sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments- both physical and emotional- unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss- another person’s shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.”
Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

“For weeks, I’d been frozen, sealed-off; now, in the shower, I would turn up the water as hard as it would go and howl, silently. Everything was raw and painful and confusing and wrong and yet it was as if I’d been dragged from freezing water through a break in the ice, into sun and blazing cold.”
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

“All peoples are driven
to the point of eating their gods
after a time: it’s the old greed
for a plateful of outer space, that craving for darkness
the lust to feel what it does to you
when your teeth meet the divinity, in the flesh,
when you swallow it down
and you can see with its own cold eyes,
look out through murder.”
Margaret Atwood, Eating Snake

“Which of my feelings are real? Which of the me’s is me? The wild, impulsive, chaotic, energetic, and crazy one? Or the shy, withdrawn, desperate, suicidal, doomed, and tired one? Probably a bit of both, hopefully much that is neither.”
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

“This was the edge of time, between chaos and shape. This was the little bit of evolution that endlessly repeats itself in the young and new-born thing. In this moment there are no cars or aeroplanes. The Sistine Chapel is unpainted, no book has been written. There is the moon, the water, the night, one creature’s need and another’s response. The moment between chaos and shape and I say his name and he hears me.”
Jeanette Winterson, The 24-Hour Dog

“Once I asked her if she wanted to bring the wolf into bed with us. I don’t mind, I said. It wouldn’t change anything between us. And she looked at me like she might say yes, like it might have been what she was waiting for, someone to pull back the coverlet and allow both her and her creature in, to love them both and not ask her to choose. She looked at me like she was afraid I would take it back, like it wasn’t possible that she could ever end the constant circle she ran, around and around, her and the wolf and the forest, her human mouth and her ferocious teeth. She looked at me like I’d offered her everything.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Red Girl

“It ends or it doesn’t. That’s what you say. That’s how you get through it. The tunnel, the night, the pain, the love. It ends or it doesn’t. If the sun never comes up, you find a way to live without it. If they don’t come back, you sleep in the middle of the bed, learn how to make enough coffee for yourself alone.
Adapt. Adjust. It ends or it doesn’t. It ends or it doesn’t. We do not perish.”
Caitlyn Siehl

“…a poem is troubled into its making. It’s not a thing that blooms; it’s a thing that wounds.”
Lucie Brock-Broido, from an interview with Carole Maso for BOMB magazine

“I’m a romantic, an absurdist. I am bad with facts and I get confused. I’m a hostile witness. I didn’t want to see this, talk about this. I wanted to testify to something else.”
Richard Siken, Black Telephone

“She loved the moors. Flowers brighter than the rose bloomed in the blackest of the heath for her; out of a sullen hollow in a livid hillside her mind could make an Eden. She found in the bleak solitude many and dear delights.”
Charlotte Brontë, from a book on her sister Emily Brontë

“To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

“Fléctere si néqueo súperos Acheronta movebo – If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.”
Virgil, The Aeneid

“[She], with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god.”
Heraclitus, as seen in Kate Zambreno’s Heroines

“MACBETH : Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth

“…I am still blazing
in my golden hell.”
Sylvia Plath, To A Jilted Lover

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
Jack Kerouac

“And maybe you and I are otherworldly—poets, to be exact.”
Anne Sexton, A Self-Portrait in Letters

“Every world crowns its own kings, laurels its own gods […] we burn in our own fire.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals 1950-1962

“δεινὰ γὰρ τὰ πάντ᾽ ἐπιπνεῖ, μέλισσα δ᾽
οἵα τις πεπόταται.

for she, terror-inspiring, breathes on all things,
and flits like a honeybee.”
Euripides, Hippolytus 563-4

“Today I heard my heart screeching like a subway train
loudly enough to remind me it was still human
loudly enough to hurt”
Audre Lorde, Coal

“you belong that way, barefoot probably
ideas spinning like a chandelier
at the kind of party i would like”
Kate Monica

“As a child she was described ashaving the eyes of a half-tamed creature, being drawn to the unnatural, with a penchant for improvising tempestuous fairy stories.”
Patti Smith, in her Introduction to Wuthering Heights

“If it’s darkness
we’re having, let it be extravagant.”
Jane Kenyon, from “Taking Down the Tree,” Collected Poems

“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

devour your kings
Salma Deera,  Letters From Medea

“I dream of a language whose words, like fists, would fracture jaws.”
Emil Cioran, Strangled Thoughts

“There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is terrible, wild, and lawless.”
Plato, The Republic

“I will be wild. I will be brutal. I will encircle you and conquer you. I will be more powerful than your boats and your swords and your blood lust. I will be inevitable.”
Iphigenia, from A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky.


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