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    patricia hampl Quotes

    poetry is the sung voice of accurate perception.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: perception  poetry 
     
    I come from people who have always been polite enough to feel that nothing has ever happened to them.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: people 
     
    Memoir is trustworthy and its truth assured when it seeks the relation of self to time, the piecing of the shards of personal experience into the starscape of history's night. The materials of memoir are humble, fugitive, a cottage knitting industry seeking narrative truth across the crevasse of time as autobiography folds itself into the vast, fluid essay that is history. A single voice singing its aria in a corner of the crowded world.
    — Patricia Hampl
    Silence, that inspired dealer, takes the day's deck, the life, all in a crazy heap, lays it out, and plays its flawless hand of solitaire, every card in place. Scoops them up, and does it all over again.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: silence  crazy 
     
    Here, in memory, we live and die.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: live  memory  die 
     
    What is remembered is what becomes reality.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: reality 
     
    These days it seems the lyric impulse, so seemingly fragile, comes in for a lot of abuse-or simply a lot of mistrust. What's it for, anyway, in this hard-edged, worried world? Into this cultural uncertainty Gregory Orr's spirited meditation on the surprisingly tensile strength of poetry in the face of profound suffering and grief presents a welcome fresh view of the ancient human instinct to cry out and to praise.
    — Patricia Hampl
    Writing was the soul of everything else ... Wanting to be a writer was wanting to be a person.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: people  soul  writing 
     
    A careful first draft is a failed first draft
    — Patricia Hampl
    Writing is so hard. And then, sometimes, it is so bewilderingly easy.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: writing 
     
    We do not, after all, simply have experience; we are entrusted with it. We must do something-make something-with it. A story, we sense is the only possible habitation for the burden of our witnessing.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: stories 
     
    The golden light of metaphor, which is the intelligence of poetry, was implicit in alchemical study. To change, magically, one substance into another, more valuable one is the ancient function of metaphor, as it was of alchemy.
    — Patricia Hampl
    No memoirists writes for long without experiencing an unsettling disbelief about the reliability of memory, a hunch that memory is not, after all, just memory.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: memory  write 
     
    Memory is, first, a captivating mystery.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: memory  mystery 
     
    The paradox: there can be no pilgrimage without a destination, but the destination is also not the real point of the endeavor. Not the destination, but the willingness to wander in pursuit characterizes pilgrimage. Willingness: to hear the tales along the way, to make the casual choices of travel, to acquiesce even to boredom. That's pilgrimage - a mind full of journey.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: travel  journey  choice  real  mind 
     
    True memoir is written, like all literature, in an attempt to find not only a self but a world
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: world  self  memoir  true  literature 
     
    Maybe being oneself is always an acquired taste.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: oneself 
     
    I don't write about what I know: I write in order to find out what I know.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: write 
     
    We only store in memory images of value. To write about one's life is to live it twice, and the second time is both spiritual and historical.
    — Patricia Hampl
    The artist's work, it is sometimes said, is to celebrate. But really that is not so; it is to express wonder. And something terrible resides at the heart of wonder. Celebration is social, amenable. Wonder has a chaotic splendor.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: work  heart  wonder  artist 
     
    Prayer as focus is not a way of limiting what can be seen; it is a habit of attention brought to bear on all that is.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: focus  attention  prayer 
     
    Maybe being oneself is an acquired taste. For a writer it's a big deal to bow-or kneel or get knocked down-to the fact that you are going to write your own books and not somebody else's. Not even those books of the somebody else you thought it was your express business to spruce yourself up to be.
    — Patricia Hampl
    People come and go in life, but they never leave your dreams. Once they're in your subconscious, they are immortal.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: people  immortal  dreams 
     
    Memoirists, unlike fiction writers, do not really want to 'tell a story.' They want to tell it all - the all of personal experience, of consciousness itself. That includes a story, but also the whole expanding universe of sensation and thought ... Memoirists wish to tell their mind. Not their story.
    — Patricia Hampl
    The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: beauty  night  winter  pride 
     
    French was the only language we had in common, and even that was like a dialect we had picked up at a rummage sale, rusty and missing a lot of essential parts.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: language  missing 
     
    landscape, that vast still life, invites description, not narration. It is lyric. It has no story: it is the beloved, and asks only to be contemplated.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: lyrics 
     
    The materials of true poetry are always humble, absolutely idiosyncratic, the autobiographical tatters that, in gifted hands, are made into the memoir that fits us all.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: memoir  true  poetry 
     
    A peculiarity of the American historical sensibility allows us to be proud of great-grandfathers (or even grandfathers) who lived in crushing poverty, while the poverty of a father is too close for comfort.
    — Patricia Hampl
    Silence was the first prayer I learned to trust.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: trust  silence  prayer 
     
    Writing about why you write is a funny business, like scratching what doesn't itch. Impulses are mysterious, and explaining them must be done with mirrors, like certain cunning slight-of-hand routines.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: funny  writing  write  business 
     
    It is hard to sever the cords that tie us to our slavery and leave intact those that bind us to ourselves.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: slavery 
     
    The world is full of mystery but it must not be choked with secrets: we must talk to one another.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: world  mystery 
     
    In description we hear and feel the absorption of the author in the material. We sense the presence of the creator of the scene. .. This personal absorption is what we mean by 'style.' It is strange that we would choose so oddly surfacey a word - style - for this most soulful aspect of writing. We could, perhaps more exactly, call this relation between consciousness and its subject 'integrity.' What else is the articulation of perception?
    — Patricia Hampl
    Poverty didn't necessarily engender an envy of wealth; sometimes it might beget a passion for decency.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: poverty  envy  passion 
     
    The real subject of autobiography is not one's experience but one's consciousness. Memoirists use the self as a tool.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: self  experience  real 
     
    It's always a thrilling risk to say exactly what you mean, to express exactly what you see.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: risk 
     
    Memoirists wish to tell their mind, not their story.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: wishes  mind  stories 
     
    The future is here, now, and the past is full of actual deeds, real history. Utopias hardly have the meat on their bones to sustain a people in grave times.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: time  people  future  past  real 
     
    We store in memory only images of value. The value may be lost over the passage of time, but that's the implacable judgment of feeling.
    — Patricia Hampl
    tags: time  memory  value  lost 
     
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