Treasure Island

John Hollander


Quotations

  • ''To understand
    The signs that stars compose, we need depend
    Only on stars that are entirely there
    And the apparent space between them. There
    Never need be lines between them, puzzling
    Our sense of what is what.''
    John Hollander (b. 1929), U.S. poet. The Great Bear (l. 53-58). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''the trouble lies in pointing
    At any stars. For one's own finger aims
    Always elsewhere: the man beside one seems
    Never to get the point. "No! The bright star
    Just above my fingertip."''
    John Hollander (b. 1929), U.S. poet. The Great Bear (l. 24-28). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''The world is everything that happens to
    Be true. The stars at night seem to suggest
    The shapes of what might be. If it were best,
    Even, to have it there (such a great bear!
    All hung with stars!), there still would be no bear.''
    John Hollander (b. 1929), U.S. poet. The Great Bear (l. 80-84). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''When Adam found his rib was gone
    He cursed and sighed and cried and swore
    And looked with cold resentment on
    The creature God has used it for.''
    John Hollander (b. 1929), U.S. poet. The Lady's-Maid 's Song (l. 1-4). . . New Poets of England and America. Donald Hall, Robert Pack, and Louis Simpson, eds. (1957) Meridian Books.
  • ''Though shoulder, bosom, lip, and knee
    Are praised in every kind of art,
    Here is love's true anatomy:
    His rib is gone; he'll have her heart.''
    John Hollander (b. 1929), U.S. poet. The Lady's-Maid 's Song (l. 17-20). . . New Poets of England and America. Donald Hall, Robert Pack, and Louis Simpson, eds. (1957) Meridian Books.

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The Mad Potter

Now at the turn of the year this coil of clay
Bites its own tail: a New Year starts to choke
On the old one's ragged end.I bite my tongue
As the end of me--of my rope of stuff and nonsense
(The nonsense held, it was the stuff that broke),
Of bones and light, of levity and crime,
Of reddish clay and hope--still bides its time.

Each of my pots is quite unusable,

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