Joseph Brodsky

“[t]he poet has one more duty that explains his devotion to form: his debt to his predecessors, to those who created the poetic language he has inherited.”

“A poet’s attitude toward his predecessors is more than a question of genealogy. We do not choose our parents: it is they who choose us by giving us life.… Whatever we may think of ourselves, we are they, and they must be able to understand us if we want to understand ourselves. The more they leave to us, the richer is our language, the freer we are in the choice of means, the finer is our ear—our method of cognition—and the more nearly perfect is the world we create by ear.” 


Our Valley

“You have to remember this isn’t your land. It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside and thought was yours. Remember the small boats that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men who carved a living from it only to find themselves carved down to nothing. Now you say this is home, so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust, wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.”
— Excerpt from Our Valley, by Philip Levine


St Francis of Assisi said ‘Solvitur ambulando’– it can be solved by walking.
— Excerpt from Pathlands, by Peter Owen Jones


“In front of the canvas, I have no ideas whatever,” [Matisse] wrote to his daughter, Marguerite, in 1929.

The French Modernist found aesthetic sustenance in Morocco, which he visited twice between 1912 and 1913. Indeed, Matisse often turned to travel whenever he felt stymied as a painter. 


To Paint Is To Love Again

“To paint is to love again. It’s only when we look with eyes of love that we see as the painter sees. His is a love, moreover, which is free of possessiveness. What the painter sees he is duty-bound to share. Usually he makes us see and feel what ordinarily we ignore or are immune to. His manner of approaching the world tells us, in effect, that nothing is vile or hideous, nothing is stale, flat and unpalatable unless it be our own power of vision. To see is not merely to look. One must look-see. See into and around.”
— Henry Miller


Saul Bellow, from Herzog

"Unexpected intrusions of beauty. That is what life is."

Street art celeb Banksy

“I’m lucky because what I make either succeeds or fails. Some people undoubtedly would tell you that’s why it’s crap art, but that’s the way it is. I feel sorry for Abstract Expressionists—how do they know when to go home?”

- Street art celeb Banksy in an interview with Juxtapoz magazine about his new show, Dismaland