I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Veiled

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You store up powers of discretion and of decision by reading poetry. Poetry has always to deal with your future. And I’m already able to know what I positively cannot know about myself, in this very strange garment woven as a dream about the future. If you wanted to know the same truth, which the poet offers you, in the form of an ethical code, in the form of a lecture on morality, without this poetic veil, you would become a solemn ass.

It is asinine to study a course of ethics in advance. No situation which you will have to meet will ever have anything to do with all the abstract notions, and sentences, and phrases, which you have picked up in the process of learning about yourself, directly. But it is very different when you have read Goethe’s Werther, or Moby–Dick or Pierre, and then become despondent. Your despondency will be illuminated. You can strengthen and fortify your heart in this simile. (Eugen Rosenstock–Huessy, Make Bold To Be Ashamed, 1953)

Written by Scott Moonen

November 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Poetry, Quotations

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