Famous Quotes & Sayings

Gregory Orr Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 32 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Gregory Orr.

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Famous Quotes By Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr Quotes 2211453

The way the word sinks
into the deep snow of the page — Gregory Orr

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Each night, I knelt on a marble slab
and scrubbed at the blood.
I scrubbed for years and still it was there.
But tonight the bones in my feet
begin to burn. I stand up
and start walking, and the slab
appears under my feet with each step,
a white road only as long as your body. — Gregory Orr

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How easy to give up hope. How easy to draw death over you Like a black cloak. Cover Your face, your eyes. Stand There like a dead tree. I did that, claiming it was penance, Claiming I was sorry I was Alive after the beloved died. Who was I fooling? No one Demanded I act that way, Least of all the ones I loved Who longed to live again And could not unless I uttered Their names, unless I told Their stories, unless I felt In my own bones How much they loved the world. — Gregory Orr

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Poetry is the thread that leads us out of the labyrinth of despair and into the light. — Gregory Orr

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D.H. Lawrence says that myths are "inexhaustible" because they are symbols of heart mysteries. That is, they can't be exhausted - they somehow have embodied some central human mystery (love, loss, being a body in time, who knows which or what?) and thus can be retold infinitely and still be rich. That's part of your saying: it's old, but it's also new. Or: there's nothing "new" in the human heart, but it still matters lots. — Gregory Orr

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To me, poetry is about survival first of all. Survival of the individual self, survival of the emotional life. — Gregory Orr

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I believe in poetry as a way of surviving the emotional chaos, spiritual confusions, and traumatic events that come with being alive. — Gregory Orr

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Where would I be if not for your wild heart?
I ask this not from love, but selfishly -
how could I live? How could I make my art? — Gregory Orr

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Beauty is like life itself: a dawn mist the sun burns off. It gives no peace, no rest. — Gregory Orr

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Whenever I read a poem that moves me, I know I'm not alone in the world. I feel a connection to the person who wrote it, knowing that he or she has gone through something similar to what I've experienced, or felt something like what I have felt. And their poem gives me hope and courage, because I know that they survived, that their life force was strong enough to turn experience into words and shape it into meaning and then bring it toward me to share. — Gregory Orr

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No one can threaten poetry. It's always been there, always will be. Humans need it to live: it has sustaining powers. How could we (anyone) get through adolescence without some form of song? Song is only a version of lyric poetry that is carried more by melody than by internal coherence and unity. but lyric and song - they are the same. — Gregory Orr

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With "poets dead and gone" as Keats says in "Mermaid Tavern" they are alive and talking to us and us to them. — Gregory Orr

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Speaking of people I had to exclude: Hank Williams. which is to say, songs are part of lyric poetry in my book, my thinking. In fact they are the urgent element of poetry in our time, they carry the most emotion for the most people in our culture. everyone LOVES poetry, because we all love (one form or another) of rock and roll (be it folk to emo to rap). It's all rock and roll and all lyric poetry. — Gregory Orr

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Language is a theme in the whole book, no? I mean it ends with the title poem about words are all we have. I guess midrash makes sense. How does it change in the course of the sequence? Well, God is into No and into Stasis/Nouns. Adam and Eve, in order to be in this world (and get this world going) must choose verbs. Which is to gain sex but also to choose death and all else that goes with change. To choose becoming over being. — Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr Quotes 1837949

The deer carcass hangs from a rafter.
Wrapped in blankets, a boy keeps watch
from a pile of loose hay. Then he sleeps

and dreams about a death that is coming:
Inside him, there are small bones
scattered in a field among burdocks and dead grass.
He will spend his life walking there,
gathering the bones together.

Pigeons rustle in the eaves.
At his feet, the German shepherd
snaps its jaws in its sleep. — Gregory Orr

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For Trisha
The truth's in myth not fact,
a story fragment or an act
that lasts and stands for all:
how bees made honey in a skull. — Gregory Orr

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When it's right you can't say Who is kissing whom. — Gregory Orr

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I am committed now to one thing: lyric sequences. I want the intensity of lyric, but the scope and arc of narrative. so, I think I'll just write sequences for the foreseeable (the Beloved sequence doesn't have a 'plot' so I can just keep adding poems to it, it's like a giant bag I can just put beloved lyrics into - I think there are about 300 of them i've published by now). — Gregory Orr

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Another way of saying "put it in the Book" would be that each poem we write pops up in the city of poetry, where anyone can visit it. Just as we visit the poems written before us. Go to Dickinson's house, or Li Po's or whomever we think has something to say to us that might help or be beautiful. — Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr Quotes 1623867

I couldn't help noticing
certain parts of the statues
have been polished
to a high sheen
by passing hands
as the centuries passed.
If it's a form of worship
it is not much odder
or more perverse
than the saint's stone toe
kissed to a stub by fervent lips. — Gregory Orr

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To guide someone
through the halls of hell
is not the same as love. — Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr Quotes 111034

And yet I swear
I love this earth
that scars and scalds,
that burns my feet.

And even hell is holy. — Gregory Orr

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I want language to help us live in a world of wonder/terror/change. I want it to be about "becoming" rather than "being." I think that being and nouns are part of our hopeless dream that time will stop and we will not die. but it's not that way. So, why not celebrate verbs and the beloved's metamorphosis into other people or creatures or places - the same spirit but moving through things, not static. — Gregory Orr

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"Similar but not the same" - that's like the return of the beloved for me. And metamorphosis: the spirit of the beloved moving through things, not lingering long in any one thing or place, no matter how we might wish it. — Gregory Orr

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In Eden I "saw" that Adam or Eve probably spoke each word FOR THE FIRST TIME and that seemed wild and seemed to me that that might have brought them to some essence of language. Once I "saw" the city, I knew it was real. once I saw that a poem was a house, i knew it was real and could go back to it or else write a flurry of poems around it, both worked. — Gregory Orr

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That's crudely put, but
If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music? — Gregory Orr

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Somehow something has gone wrong with poetry in our culture. We have lost touch with its purpose and value, and in doing so, we have lost contact with essential aspects of our own emotional and spiritual lives. — Gregory Orr

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Every breath is a resurrection. — Gregory Orr

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When you're a young poet, reading is a search for your lost family. — Gregory Orr

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Self-Portrait at Twenty"

I stood inside myself
like a dead tree or a tower.
I pulled the rope
of braided hair
and high above me
a bell of leaves tolled.

Because my hand
stabbed its brother,
I said: Make it stone.

Because my tongue
spoke harshly, I said:
Make it dust.
And yet
it was not death, but
her body in its green dress
I longed for. That's why
I stood for days in the field
until the grass turned black
and the rain came. — Gregory Orr

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I can't actually explain why my lines got shorter, but they did. Just as I can't explain why my early poems were 'all image' and my current ones are relatively abstract. The sense of the line changed with the theme, somehow my ear (or brain or heart/mind) fell in love with a short line and very very simple words. — Gregory Orr

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Rhyme as an echo not a closing off of sound. Love it. I don't know where the rhymes came from. Or the puns like "no/know" and so on. Just a way my mind start moving toward what seemed urgent to it. I'd like to claim complete rational intent for it all, but it wasn't that way. if you asked me about rhyme thirty years ago, I'd have said: not me, never. And now I done it. — Gregory Orr