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Laura Riding Jackson quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)

“People will think you brilliant
only if you tell them what they know.
To avoid being thought brilliant,
avoid knowing what they know.
Write to discover to yourself
what you know.

Anarchism is Not Enough”
Laura Riding Jackson
“She saw that the world was evil and yet craved for happines in it, which she thought to get by being evil herself. And she had no more happiness than I have had -- who chose the other way. There was something that was the same in each of us: we were alike in that we hated the world, and yet saw that it could not have been otherwise. And we both tried to love in spite of this hate: perhaps she was more successful than I. Therefore do not talk lightly of a new start. Evil as the old things were, they were all that we had. And if you feel that they are gone now, be sorrowful -- for it will be a long time before new things come to replace them, and we cannot say how much better they will be.”
Laura Riding Jackson
“As stone suffers of stoniness,
As light of its shiningness,
As birds of their wingedness,
So I of my whoness.

And what the cure of all this?
What the not and not suffering?
What the better and later of this?
What the more me of me?

How for the pain-world to be
More world and no pain?
How for the faithful rain to fall
More wet and more dry?

How for the wilful blood to run
More salt-red and sweet-white?
And how for me in my actualness
To more shriek and more smile?

By no other miracles,
By the same knowing poison,
By an improved anguish,
By my further dying.”
Laura Riding Jackson
“We live on the circumference of a hollow circle. We draw the circumference, like spiders, out of ourselves: it is all criticism of criticism.”
Laura Riding Jackson, Anarchism Is Not Enough
“Forgive me, giver, if I destroy the gift:
it is so nearly what would please me
I cannot but perfect it”
Laura Riding Jackson
“Ah, the minutes twinkle in and out
And in and out come and go
One by one, none by none,
What we know, what we don't know.”
Laura Riding Jackson
“between the word and the world lie
fading eternities of soon”
Laura Riding Jackson
“Take hands.
There is no love now.
But there are hands.
There is no joining now,
But a joining has been
Of the fastening of fingers
And their opening.
More than the clasp even, the kiss
Speaks loneliness,
How we dwell apart,
And how love triumphs in this.”
Laura Riding Jackson, The Poems of Laura Riding: A Newly Revised Edition of the 1938/1980 Collection
“the words are only part of the poetic
formula: the rest is ritual, and the
reason in THEM must contend with the
mechanics of magic-making in IT -- and
must not win.”
Laura Riding Jackson
“nothing is really important but being oneself”
Laura Riding Jackson, The Poems of Laura Riding: A Newly Revised Edition of the 1938/1980 Collection
“The Sad Boy

Ay, his old mother was a glad one.
And his poor old father was a mad one.
The two begot this sad one.

Alas for the single shoe
The Sad Boy pulled out of the rank green pond,
Fishing for fairies
On the prankish advice
Of two disagreeable lovers of small boys.

Pity the unfortunate Sad Boy
With a single magic shoe
And a pair of feet
And an extra foot
With no shoe for it.

This was how the terrible hopping began
That wore the Sad Boy thin and through
To his only shoe
And started the great fright in the provinces above Brent
Where the Sad Boy became half of himself
To match the beautiful boot
He had dripped from the green pond.

Wherever he went weeping and hopping
And stamping and sobbing,
Pounding a whole earth into a half-heaven,
Things split where he stood
Into the left side for the left magic,
Into no side for the missing right boot.

Mercy be to the Sad Boy
Scamping exasperated
After a wide boot
To double the magic
Of a limping foot.

Mercy to the melancholy folk
On the Sad Boy's right.
It was not for want of wandering
He lost the left boot too
And the knowledge of his left side,
But because one awful Sunday
This dear boy dislimbed
Went back to the old pond
To fish up another shoe
And was quickly (being too light for his line)
Fished in.

Gracious how he kicks now
All the little ripples up!
The quiet population of Brent has settled down,
And the perfect surface of the famous pond
Is slightly pocked, marked with three signs,
For visitors come to fish for souvenirs,
Where the Sad Boy went in
And his glad mother and his mad father after him.”
Laura Riding Jackson, The Poems of Laura Riding: A Newly Revised Edition of the 1938/1980 Collection


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