Eternal Poet



We are not biologically destined to get less creative. – Jonah Lehrer, neuroscientist and author, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, p124.

There is something counterintuitive about this research. We naturally assume…that negative feedback stifles the sensitive imagination. But it turns out we’re tougher than we thought. The imagination is not meek – it doesn’t wilt in the face of conflict. Instead, it is drawn out, pulled from its usual hiding place. – Jonah Lehrer, neuroscientist and author, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, p161.

Artists have a vested interest in our believing in the flash of revelation, the so-called inspiration…shining down from heavens as a ray of grace. In reality, the imagination of the good artist or thinker produces continuously good, mediocre, or bad things, but his judgement, trained and sharpened to a fine point, rejects, selects, connects…All great artists and thinkers are great workers, indefatigable not only inventing, but also in rejecting sifting, transforming, ordering. – Nietzsche “Human, All Too Human”.

Creativity is like that magic trick. For the first time, we can see the source of imagination, that massive network of electrical cells that lets us constantly form new connections between old ideas. However, this new knowledge only makes the act itself more astonishing. The moment of insight might emanate from an obscure circuit in the right hemisphere, but that doesn’t diminish the thrill of having a new idea in the shower. Just because we can track the flux of neurotransmitters, or measure the correlation between walking speed and the production of patents, or quantify the effect of social network, that doesn’t take away from the sheer wonder of the process. There will always be something miraculous about the imagination. – Jonah Lehrer, neuroscientist and author, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, p251.

The Church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world. The simple fact is that the imagination ‘gets you,’ even when your reason is completely against the idea of God. ‘Imagination communicates,’ as Aurthur Danto says, ‘indefinable but inescapable truth.’ Those who read a book or listen to music expose themselves to that inescapable truth. There is a sort of schizophrenia that occurs if you are listening to Back and you hear the glory of God and yet your mind says there is no God and there is no meaning. you are committed to believing nothing means anything and yet the music comes in and takes you over with your imagination. When you listen to great music, you can’t believe life is meaningless. Your heart knows what your mind is denying. We need Christian artists because we are never going to reach the world without great Christian art to go with great Christian talk. – Tim Keller

To be pleasing to God, art must be true as well as good. Truth has always been one important criterion for art. Art is an incarnation of the truth. It penetrates the surface of things to portray them as they really are. – Philip Graham Ryken, “Art for God’s Sake”, p39.

The work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. From him it gains life and being. Nor is its existence casual and inconsequent, but it has a definite and purposeful strength, alike in its atmosphere; and from this inner standpoint one judges whether it is a good work of art or a bad one. If its “form” is bad it means that the form is too feeble in meaning to call forth corresponding vibrations of the soul. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p57.

The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p58.

I think of myself as an artist. All I want to do is just create ideas, come up with things, and make sure it’s not repetitive. The thing that really has always got on my nerves about music is that so many groups and so many artists find this thing and it works. And then from then on it’s like a constant pursuit of recreating that. To me, it should be the polar opposite. As soon as you’ve done something and it works, you start something fresh and let’s see if something else can work. I don’t like the idea of exploiting something that you’ve done in the past. It’s so much better to come up with something new. – Daniel Johns, “Music”, p125.

At a fundamental level, we all need something to do, and ideally something to look forward to, when we wake up every day. What you spend your time doing each day shapes your identity. – “Wellbeing, The Five Essential Elements”, p 15.

Some artists depict their reality; others express it. – Paul J. Matta, poet, thinker, writer.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. – Proverbs 25:2

Do you even know what imagination is? It allows us to think, dream and feel. All these things are beyond what are really here. Then we get excited about what will happen….you just need an upgrade for your mind. – Silas Massey (8 yr old nephew), future game programmer.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. – Rumi, “The Essential Rumi”, p36.

The joy and function of poetry is, and was, the celebration of man, which is also the celebration of God. – Dylan Thomas, “Poetic Manifesto”.

The harmony of the new art demands a more subtle construction than this, something that appeals less to the eye a and more to the soul. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p55.

And it is my firm conviction that a man can learn more about poetry by really knowing and examining a few of the best poems than by meandering about among a great many. – Ezra Pound, “ABC of Reading”, p43.

“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not one sided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. – T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”.

An artist is never free. No group of people lacks freedom more. An artist is bound by his gift, his vocation. On the other hand he is at liberty to choose between realizing his talent as fully as he can, or selling his soul for thirty pieces of silver… For only total honesty and sincerity, compounded by the knowledge of his own responsibility towards others, can ensure the fulfillment of an artist’s creative destiny. – Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting in Time”, p165.

If you don’t have the opportunity to regularly do something you enjoy – even if it’s more of a passion or interest than something you get paid to do – the odds of you having a high wellbeing in other areas diminish rapidly. – “Wellbeing, The Five Essential Elements”, p16.

The artist has carried the tradition of vision and visualization down through the ages. – Stan Brakhage, “Metaphors on Vision”.

Jean Lescure says of the painter “Lapicque demands of the creative act that it should offer him as much surprise as life itself.” Art then is an increase of life, a sort of competition of surprises that stimulates our consciousness and keeps it from becoming somnolent. In a quotation of Lapicque himself we read: ‘If, for instance, I want to paint horses taking the water hurdle at the Auteuil race-course, I expect my painting to give me as much that is unexpected, although of another kind, as the actual race I witnessed gave me. Not for a second can there be any question of reproducing exactly a spectacle that is already in the past. But I have to re-live it entirely, in a manner that is new and, this time, from the standpoint of painting. By doing this., I create for myself the possibility of a fresh impact…And Lescure concludes: “An artist does not create the way he lives, he lives the way he creates.” – Collette Gaudin, “Introduction to: ‘On Poetic Imagination and Reverie'”, page: xxxiii.

If we want cinema to be a true, independent art, there must be transformation. An image or a sound on its own is nothing. It takes on meaning only in relationship to what transforms it. – Robert Bresson

The pictures come to me as in a dream. – Vincent Van Gogh

Only actors can give artistic expression to states of the soul. – Carl Theodor Dreyer

The Bible repeatedly appeals to the intelligence through the imagination. So should we. – Philip Ryken, “The Liberated Imagination”, p121.

How could I ever go to bed at night satisfied when I live a life that I only do what is humanly possible when I’ve been given the assignment to do the impossible? – Bill Johnson, conference in Austin, TX 2011.

Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music. – Ezra Pound, “ABC of Reading”, p61.

Art should be defined by its expressions; not its interpretations. – Paul J. Matta

Imagination is always considered to be the faculty of forming images. But is is rather the faculty of deforming the images offered by perceptin, of freeing ourselves from the immediate images; it is especially the faculty of changing images. If there is not a changing of images, an unexpected union of images, there is no imagination, no imaginative action. If a present image doess not recall an absent one, if an occasional image does not give rise to a swarm of aberrant images, to an explosion of images, there is no imagination. – Gaston Bachelard, “On Poetic Imagination and Reverie”, p19.

I see the clearest evidence of genius when an artist follows his conception, his idea, his principle, so unswervingly that he as this truth of his constantly in his control, never letting go of it even for the sake of his own enjoyment of his work. – Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting in Time”, p76.

The power of man’s imagination is far greater than any poison. – Jaloux, Edgar Poe, “Et Les Femmes”, p125.

Whether I want it or not, the depths of my imagination are stronger than I am, and it’s there that I live. – Gordon Onslo-Ford

The point is not to have works of art; we have enough of those…the object is to have artists, those incarnations of imagination and freedom. – Anonymous quote from “Art and Soul, p94.

It is not desirable to devote all your time to an appreciation of art. Art should drive you forth. It should be an incentive to life. The greatest value of art to the appreciator is in that it stimulates to personal activity. – Robert Henri, “The Art Spirit”, p196.

“I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”

“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”, p116.

Positively, the world is all that God made and Christ came to redeem. This includes culture because humans have never lived in isolation from each other, and when they get together they automatically create culture. It would be impossible to think of loving humans and yet hating human culture, of loving individuals and yet hating their music, songs, stoires, paintings, games, tituals, decorations, clothes, languages,and hairstyles. God made us cultural beings. – Steve Turner, “Imagine”, p44.

It seems to me that what is wanted, in art, is to harness the power of the unfinished. – Louise Gluck, “Proofs & Theories”, p74.

I think the great poets work this way. That is, I think the materials are subjective, but the methods are not. I think this is so whether or not detachment is evident in the finished work. Athe the heart of that wiork will be a question, a problem. And we will feel, as we read, a sense that the poet was not we to any one outcome. The poems themselves are like expreiments, which the reader is freely invited to recreate in his own mind. – Loiuse Gluck, “Proofs & Theories”, p45.

Poetry is not the thing said but a way of saying it. – A.E. Housman, “The Name and Nature of Poetry”, p187.

Meaning is of the intellect; poetry is not. – A.E. Housman, “The Name and Nature of Poetry”, p187.

…man conforms thoughts to things…The imagination may be defined to be the use which the Reason makes of the material world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Portable Emerson – ‘Nature'”, p35.

Works of art are of infinite loneliness and with nothing so little to be reached as with criticism. Only love can grasp and hold and be just toward them…let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birh-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating. There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything! – Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”, p30.

Klara smiled. ‘You have heard my story?’

‘Yes, that is -”

‘Oh,’ she interrupted quickly, as she saw his brow darken, ‘it’s not people’s fault if they speak differently of it. The things we expreience often cannot be expressed, and any one who insists on telling them nevertheless, is bound to make a mistake-’ A pause.

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Stories of God”, p121-122.

The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action. – Harry Blamires, “The Christian Mind”, p43.

…the Creator God could have built the tabernacle all by himself, without using Bezalel or Oholiab or anyone else to do it. Instead, God called artists to make the tabernacle, and to make sure that they did it well… – Philip Graham Ryken, “Art for God’s Sake”, p22.

At such a time art ministers to lower needs, and is used for material ends. She seeks her substance in hard realities because she knows of nothing nobler. Objects, the reporductin of which is considered fher sole aim, remain monotonously the same. The question “what?” disappears from art; only the question “how?” remains. By what method are these material objects to be reproduced? The word becomes a creed. Art has lost her soul. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p9.And so the arts are encroaching one upon another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental. Every man who steeps himself in the spiritual possibilities of his art is a valuable helper in the building of the spiritual pyramid which will some day reach to heaven. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p22.Everything is at the artist’s disposal, and the freedom of today has at once its dangers and its possibilities…New principles do not fall from heaven, but are logically if indirectly connected with past and future. What is important to us is the momentary position of the principle and how best it can be used. It must not be employed forcibly. But if the artist tunes his soul to this note, the sound will ring in his work of itself. – Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, p55.

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