Most word-lovers I know, myself included, have the same habit: collecting quotes. Whether it be two lines from a poem or something a professor said in class, taking those words out of context and into one’s own life is important.
I’ve been “living” in the same studio space in the UConn art building for a year and a half now, and the result is a wall covered in quotes scribbled in Sharpie– lines from favorite authors, wisdom from professors and mentors, excerpts from literature, etc. Here are some photos of my favorites.
This is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the most blatantly inspirational quote that doesn’t immediately turn me off with syrupy-sweet promises of sunshine and rainbows. Instead, Camus gives me the affirmation that (I think) we all need. The intense uncertainty and frustration that all humans will feel in their lifetime is not a need for despair, but is instead part of what makes us human and gives us the desire to create and figure things out. A link to the full text of The Myth of Sysiphus, from which the quote was taken, can be found here.
This is one of my favorite manifesto-like pieces of writing that I’ve come across. Dan Freidman’s “Be Radical,” or the 12-point Modernist agenda, is completely relevant even in today’s contemporary society. He urges us to keep a sense of humor and fantasy in our work, without losing sight of progress, personal values, and cultural duties. An article reviewing why this agenda remains relevant, with the full text of the manifesto, can be found here.
These three lines come from two beloved poets, Randall Jarrell and Robert Hass. I was taking a poetry class and we learned both of these poems at the same time, and it blew my mind. I fell in love with the way Randall Jarrell used conversational speech in unconventional ways, creating a dreamlike space that is simultaneously grounded in the reality of a middle-aged woman’s lifetime. Robert Hass’ language moves away from the conversational and back again in a very powerful way: Blackberry, blackberry, blackberry. The full text of Jarrell’s Seele im Raum can be found here, and Hass’ poem Meditation at Lagunitas can be found here.