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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Palace Aphorisms: poetry series


aphorism no. 40

Never discourage a young person from poetry; it is utterly impossible to say how the disasters and fires of youth may transform and temper the metal between the ages of 15 and 30.

5 October

aphorism no. 39

A brain exceptional in all ways is a hindrance to a poet. Likewise, a poet may be a hindrance and a stumbling block to a brain exceptional in all ways.

5 October

aphorism no. 38

Lyric poetry is the most hopeful of arts because it aims at making syllables of air and a lost moment last.

October 4

aphorism no. 37

Poetry is the lover who is followed and never caught, despite repeted satiation.

October 4

aphorism no. 36

When the poem is a labyrinth, the poet must be lost and spin her own thread.

3 October

aphorism no. 35,
or an uncomfortable fact

Poets in the academy convert poems from their natural, wild state of sublime uselessness into something bourgeois and useful—that is, into a mere publication credential in a list that will contribute to promotion, merit pay, tenure, and desirable middle-class commodities.

3 October

aphorism no. 34

Don't be afraid of saying in a poem what you do not yet understand.

3 October

aphorism no. 33

To shred passable prose into bad poetry is a hobby of many contemporaries who are called poets, yet were not called to be poets.

3 October 2006

aphorism no. 32

Poetry never matches the burning dream in the head. No match will light that dream, but a dream may light the match.

2 October 2006

aphorism no. 31

The best poetry casts the shadow of a further secret.

1 October 2006

Note: The week's aphorisms will be gathered into a 'collection,' as is appropriate to the subject--an aphorism per day, all under the heading above. And this one is going up early, since October 1st falls on the weekend--and time is strange at the palace.

Slide down the page for the remainder of the Cooperstown aphorisms ('fat people & tourists' series).

* * * * * * *
The glass bowl of pencil shavings is courtesy of Laura Murphy Frankstone of Currently she is sketching, painting, and eating well in Paris.

The photograph of streaming light and rosy leaves is by Francis Valadj of JacareĆ­, Brazil. Courtesy of the photographer and


  1. That's a lovely apercu. I'm looking forward to poetry month, here in Asphoria.

  2. Asphoria, ruled by the Great As_!

    Where we have bouquets of Asphodel, that greeny flower, and dream of Asbury and read Ashbery, and knock down Ashtarth poles and burn them in bonfires, and climb white ash trees to the tippy top...

    Ashputtle, weeping and praying on her mother's grave under the hazel tree, is our heroine.

  3. As you are getting ready for the October Poetry blog month, I thought you might like some Floetry. I don't normally go in for this type of music but the name sounds great! The song SupaStar Feat Common is the one I like. If you wanna check it out just so you can have some Floetry, this link should work:

  4. An e-present! Thank you very much. For a moment, I thought it was a gift from the lively, antagonistic world of Foetry.

  5. Still can't see the one letter words, Marly. Is it here?

    I'm nodding my head as I read these...
    Number 33 - yup, know plenty examples of those - while nos 31 and 32 are quite beautiful and profound at the same time.

  6. Oops.

    Clare, I misled you elsewhere--that would be in the comments at...lemme see... I just love Giornale Nuovo.

  7. Ran across your sight. I enjoyed what I read and plan on returning. I'm also a writer and an artist. Keep of the good work. Take care.

  8. Daedalus,

    Thanks for dropping a note in my labyrinth!

    Do you know this gallery-- ? I think the Bretonesque side of you would like some of the people who exhibit there.

  9. Number 38. Love it.

  10. Sublime fecklessness!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.