Lisel Mueller Quotes

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Lisel Mueller Quotes & Sayings

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Lisel Mueller Quotes #1111028
#1. What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #801323
#2. By the time I arrive at evening, / they have just settled down to rest; / already invisible, they are turning / into the dreamwork of the trees ... .
Lisel Mueller Quotes #670210
#3. There are Mornings"

Even now, when the plot
calls for me to turn to stone,
the sun intervenes. Some mornings
in summer, I step outside
and the sky opens
and pours itself into me
as if I were a saint
about to die. But the plot
calls for me to live, be ordinary,
say nothing to anyone.
Inside the house,
the mirrors burn when I pass.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #479205
#4. Everything is autobiography, even if one writes something that is totally objective. The fact that it's a subject that seizes you makes it autobiographical.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #768701
#5. Now in the thriving season of love
when the bud relents into flower,
your love turned absence has turned once more,
and if my comforts fall soft as rain
on her flutters, it is because
love grows by what it remembers of love
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1104012
#6. Heartland
Now that we've given our hearts away
With the bric-a-brac, we want them back.
Now we look for them secondhand,
Someone else's, in the old songs,
The slowly unfolding novels
We never had time for. Hearts
That taught themselves to fly;
…overstuffed hearts, still leaking
Downy secrets like feathers.

We want someone to say,
'I give you my heart', meaning,
'Summer and winter', meaning
'All my time in the this world'…
Lisel Mueller Quotes #202939
#7. Why We Tell Stories
I
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground
and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers
and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery
of dreams, and because we awakened
and learned to speak
Lisel Mueller Quotes #780479
#8. Necessities
1
A map of the world. Not the one in the atlas,
but the one in our heads, the one we keep coloring in.
With the blue thread of the river by which we grew up.
The green smear of the woods we first made love in.
The yellow city we thought was our future.
The red highways not traveled, the green ones
with their missed exits, the black side roads
which took us where we had not meant to go.
The high peaks, recorded by relatives,
though we prefer certain unmarked elevations,
the private alps no one knows we have climbed.
The careful boundaries we draw and erase.
And always, around the edges,
the opaque wash of blue, concealing
the drop-off they have stepped into before us,
singly, mapless, not looking back.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1422240
#9. At home the bookshelves connected heaven and earth.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #14934
#10. Tears

The first woman who ever wept
was appalled at what stung
her eyes and ran down her cheeks.
Saltwater. Seawater.
How was it possible?
Hadn't she and the man
spent many days moving
upland to where the grass
flourished, where the stream
quenched their thirst with sweet water?
How could she have carried these sea drops
as if they were precious seeds;
where could she have stowed them?
She looked at the watchful gazelles
and the heavy-lidded frogs;
she looked at glass-eyed birds
and nervous, black-eyed mice.
None of them wept, not even the fish
that dripped in her hands when she caught them.
Not even the man. Only she
carried the sea inside her body.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1425646
#11. Because we had survived
sisters and brothers, daughters and sons,
we discovered bones that rose
from the dark earth and sang
as white birds in the trees
Because the story of our life
becomes our life
Because each of us tells the same story
but tells it differently
and none of us tells it the same way twice . (from, Why We Tell Stories)
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1100284
#12. Well, language seems to be something that obsesses me. I'm always writing about it.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #440909
#13. When I was in college, I did do some writing of poetry, somewhat inspired, I think at that time, by Carl Sandburg, because English was still relatively new to me, and Sandburg, of course, wrote in a very easy-to-understand, very colloquial and informal manner.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1488275
#14. How I would paint happiness
Something hidden, a windfall,
A meteor shower. No-
A flowering tree releasing
all its blossoms at once,
and the one standing beneath it
unexpectedly robed in bloom ...
Lisel Mueller Quotes #589022
#15. Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1597325
#16. I want to celebrate these elms which have been spared by the plague, these survivors of a once flourishing tribe commemorated by all the Elm Streets in America. But to celebrate them is to be silent about the people who sit and sleep underneath them, the homeless poor who are hauled away by the city like trash, except it has no place to dump them. To speak of one thing is to suppress another.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #52017
#17. Still, when your truthful eyes,
your keen, attentive stare,
endow the vacuous slut
with royalty, when you match
her soul to her shimmering hair,
what can she do but rise
to your imagined throne?
And what can I, but see
beyond the world that is,
when, faithful, you insist
I have the golden key
and learn from you once more
the terror and the bliss,
the world as it might be?
Lisel Mueller Quotes #384759
#18. This poem is endless, the odds against us are endless,
our chances of being alive together
statistically nonexistent;
Lisel Mueller Quotes #819695
#19. Memory and poetry go together, absolutely. It is a matter of preserving and of remembering things.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1313715
#20. Monet Refuses the Operation"

Doctor, you say that there are no halos
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weig
Lisel Mueller Quotes #142179
#21. How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness
and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:
as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1473068
#22. I am imprinted with the whole sense of European history, especially German history, going back to World War I, which really destroyed all the old values and culture. My grandparents had been reasonably well-off but they became quite poor, living in an attic apartment.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1168143
#23. Poetry, for me, is the answer to, 'How does one stay sane when private lives are being ransacked by public events?' It's something that hangs over your head all the time.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1071987
#24. What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things
Lisel Mueller Quotes #207397
#25. Someone was always leaving
and never coming back.
The wooden houses wait like old wives
along this road; they are everywhere,
abandoned, leaning, turning gray.
Lisel Mueller Quotes #1473582
#26. Late Hours
On summer nights the world
moves within earshot
on the interstate with its swish
and growl, and occasional siren
that sends chills through us.
Sometimes, on clear, still nights,
voices float into our bedroom,
lunar and fragmented,
as if the sky had let them go
long before our birth.
In winter we close the windows
and read Chekhov,
nearly weeping for his world.
What luxury, to be so happy
that we can grieve
over imaginary lives.

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