Friday, August 21, 2020

portions and percipients



 

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And that’s how we measure out our real respect for people - by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate - and enjoy. End of sermon. As Buddha says: live like a mighty river. And as the old Greeks said: live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.

—Ted Hughes

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Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.


—Hermann Hesse (1887 - 1962)


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All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. The mind is its own place, and of itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain, or withdraws life’s dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being. It makes us the inhabitants of a world to which the familiar world is a chaos. It reproduces the common universe of which we are portions and percipients, and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being. It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know. It creates anew the universe, after it has been annihilated in our minds by the recurrence of impressions blunted by reiteration.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley

A Defence of Poetry






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