Chris Swithinbank

Highlights & Notes

Nature

‘The sensual man conforms thoughts to things; the poet conforms things to his thoughts. The one esteems nature as rooted and fast; the other, as fluid, and impresses his being thereon. To him, the refractory world is ductile and flexible; he invests dust and stones with humanity, and makes them the words of the Reason. The Imagination may be defined to be the use which the Reason makes of the material world.’

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Complete Poems 1904-1962

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Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Complete Poems 1904-1962

o pr
 gress verily thou art m
 mentous superc
 lossal hyperpr
 digious etc i kn
 w

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Moderato Cantabile

La nuit, c’est loin les maisons, dit-il.

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Moderato Cantabile

Une gamme en do majeur couvrit la rumeur de la mer.

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Four Quartets

[…] and every attempt / Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure / Because one has only learnt to get the better of words / For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which / One is no longer disposed to say it. […]

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

The Plague

By giving too much importance to fine actions one may end by paying an indirect but powerful tribute to evil, because in so doing one implies that such fine actions are only valuable because they are rare, and that malice or indifference are far more common motives in the actions of men.

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Poetics of Space

‘Non-knowing is not a form of ignorance but a difficult transcendence of knowledge. This is the price that must be paid for an oeuvre to be, at all times, a sort of pure beginning, which makes its creation an exercise in freedom.’ (Jean Lescure, Lapicque, Galanis, Paris, p. 78)

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Poetics of Space

‘The poetic image […] is not an echo of the past. On the contrary: through the brilliance of any image, the distant past resounds with echoes.’

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

Poetics of Space

The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche

Comment · · Chris Swithinbank

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