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Muriel Rukeyser quotes (showing 1-30 of 34)

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“No one wants to read poetry. You have to make it impossible for them to put the poem down--impossible for them to stop reading it, word after word. You have to keep them from closing the book.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“breathe in experience breathe out poetry”
Muriel Rukeyser
“Always our wars have been our confessions of weakness”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry
“When I am dead, even then,
I will still love you, I will wait in these poems,
When I am dead, even then
I am still listening to you.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“Wherever
we walk
we will make

Wherever
we protest
we will go planting

Make poems
seed grass
feed a child growing
build a house
Whatever we stand against
We will stand feeding and seeding

Wherever
I walk
I will make”
Muriel Rukeyser, Out of Silence: Selected Poems
“If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“As we live our truths, we will communicate across all barriers, speaking for the sources of peace. Peace that is not lack of war, but fierce and positive.”
Muriel Rukeyser
tags: peace
“I hear the singing of the lives of women. The clear mystery, the offering, and the pride.”
Muriel Rukeyser
tags: women
“The universe is not made of atoms; it's made of stories.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“The fear of poetry is an indication that we are cut off from our own reality.”
Muriel Rukeyser
tags: poetry
“He said he would be back and we'd drink wine together
He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation
He said he would never again cringe before his father
He said that he was going to invent full-time
He said he loved me that going into me
He said was going into the world and the sky
He said all the buckles were very firm
He said the wax was the best wax
He said Wait for me here on the beach
He said Just don't cry

I remember the gulls and the waves
I remember the islands going dark on the sea
I remember the girls laughing
I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying : Inventors are like poets, a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse
I remember she added : Women who love such are the worst of all
I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer.
I would have liked to try those wings myself.
It would have been better than this.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“We are against war and the sources of war.
We are for poetry and the sources of poetry.”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry
tags: peace
“I think there is choice possible at any moment to us, as long as we live. But there is no sacrifice. There is a choice, and the rest falls away. Second choice does not exist. Beware of those who talk about sacrifice”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry
“In all the cities of this year
I have longed for the other city.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“What three things can never be done?
Forget. Keep silent. Stand alone.
The hill of glass, the fatal brilliant plain.”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Book of the Dead
“I am working out the vocabulary of my silence.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“American poetry has been part of a culture in conflict....We are a people tending toward democracy at the level of hope; at another level, the economy of the nation, the empire of business within the republic, both include in their basic premise the idea of perpetual warfare”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry
tags: poetry
“In our time, they say there is no penalty for writing poems.
They say this.
This is the penalty.”
Muriel Rukeyser
Willard Gibbs is the type of the imagination at work in the world. His story is that of an opening up which has had its effect on our lives and our thinking; and, it seems to me, it is the emblem of the naked imagination —which is called abstract and impractical, but whose discoveries can be used by anyone who is interested, in whatever 'field'— an imagination which for me, more than that of any other figure in American thought, any poet, or political, or religious figure, stands for imagination at its essential points.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“THEN

When I am dead, even then,
I will still love you, I will wait in these poems,
When I am dead, even then
I am still listening to you.
I will still be making poems for you
out of silence;
silence will be falling into that silence,
it is building music.”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Collected Poems
“We hear the saints saying: Our brother the world. We hear the revolutionaries: Dare we win?”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Life of Poetry
“Waiting for Icarus "

He said he would be back and we’d drink wine together
He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation
He said he would never again cringe before his father
He said that he was going to invent full-time
He said he loved me that going into me
He said was going into the world and the sky
He said all the buckles were very firm
He said the wax was the best wax
He said Wait for me here on the beach
He said Just don’t cry

I remember the gulls and the waves
I remember the islands going dark on the sea
I remember the girls laughing
I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying : Inventors are like poets,
a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse
I remember she added : Women who love such are the
Worst of all
I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer.
I would have liked to try those wings myself.
It would have been better than this.”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Collected Poems
“The fear of poetry is the fear.”
Muriel Rukeyser, A Muriel Rukeyser Reader
“...only one man lived who could understand Gibbs's papers. That was Maxwell, and now he is dead.”
Muriel Rukeyser
“LOOKING AT EACH OTHER

Yes, we were looking at each other
Yes, we knew each other very well
Yes, we had made love with each other many times
Yes, we had heard music together
Yes, we had gone to the sea together
Yes, we had cooked and eaten together
Yes, we had laughed often day and night
Yes, we fought violence and knew violence
Yes, we hated the inner and outer oppression
Yes, that day we were looking at each other
Yes, we saw the sunlight pouring down
Yes, the corner of the table was between us
Yes, our eyes saw each other's eyes
Yes, our mouths saw each other's mouths
Yes, our breasts saw each other's breasts
Yes, our bodies entire saw each other
Yes, it was beginning in each
Yes, it threw waves across our lives
Yes, the pulses were becoming very strong
Yes, the beating became very delicate
Yes, the calling the arousal
Yes, the arriving the coming
Yes, there it was for both entire
Yes, we were looking at each other”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Collected Poems
“Lying in the grass
girl and boy
Eating oranges, exchanging kisses
like waves exchanging whiteness.

Lying on the beach
girl and boy.
Eating apples, exchanging kisses
like clouds exchanging whiteness.

Lying underground
girl and boy.
Saying nothing, never kissing
exchanging silence for silence.”
Muriel Rukeyser, The Collected Poems
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”
Muriel Rukeyser

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