Dorianne Laux quotes

  • You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Mistake

  • I try to avoid calling myself a poet because I think that's something someone else has to call you. It's like bragging.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Thinking #Trying #Calling

  • Good writing works from a simple premise: your experience is not yours alone, but in some sense a metaphor for everyone's.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Writing #Simple #Metaphor

  • If you want to be a writer in the world you really have to sit down and say, Why do I want to do this and why was I drawn to it to begin with? And keep reminding yourself to return to that original impulse.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #World #Want #Down And

  • We continue to speak, if only in whispers, to something inside us that longs to be named.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Speak

  • The reason I started writing was because I was a little kid in San Diego who was getting beaten up by her dad and sexually abused and because I felt different than everybody else and I had this big huge secret that was tearing me apart.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Dad #Writing #Kids

  • I don’t worry anymore about writing. There are times that I go through dry periods. I never go through a block. I’m always writing, but there are times where I’m just not on my game, and I’ll use that time to read some new poets, go see some art, walk down to the river and just stare at it, or have a conversation with my sister, or whatever—do whatever it is that I do in my life, hoping that I’ll get filled up enough. And something will happen, some juggling will happen and boom.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Art #Block #Writing

  • I'm not the only person in the world who is suffering. I'm trying to talk to the world, responding to those voices.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Voice #Suffering #Trying

  • Every poem I write falls short in some important way. But I go on trying to write the one that won’t.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Fall #Writing #Trying

  • We're all writing out of a wound, and that's where our song comes from. The wound is singing. We're singing back to those who've been wounded.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Song #Writing #Singing

  • You are not your poetry. Your self-esteem shouldn't depend on whether you publish, or whether some editor or writer you admire thinks you're any good.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Self Esteem #Thinking #Editors

  • Writing and reading are the only ways to find your voice. It won't magically burst forth in your poems the next time you sit down to write, or the next; but little by little, as you become aware of more choices and begin to make them -- consciously and unconsciously -- your style will develop.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Reading #Writing #Voice

  • I love people and psychology. As a writer, I’m not so interested in Fred getting from the living room to the car. I want to go inside Fred’s soul and play there.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Play #Car #People

  • We aren't suggesting that mental instability or unhappiness makes one a better poet, or a poet at all; and contrary to the romantic notion of the artist suffering for his or her work, we think these writers achieved brilliance in spite of their suffering, not because of it.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Writing #Thinking #Artist

  • Every good poem asks a question, and every good poet asks every question.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Poet

  • We all get habituated, right? You get up in the morning, have your coffee, and read your newspaper, and that’s great. Everybody loves life in its mundane, daily aspects. It’s what makes us feel secure. But I also start to go numb a little bit and I don’t see what’s around me. So I put myself in a new situation and suddenly I’m really seeing the person next to me, hearing music, and I’m smelling, and I can’t help but want to write it down.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Morning #Coffee #Writing

  • Someone spoke to me last night, told me the truth. Just a few words, but I recognized it. I knew I should make myself get up, write it down, but it was late, and I was exhausted from working all day in the garden, moving rocks.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Moving #Writing #Night

  • A poem is like a child; at some point we have to let it go and trust that it will make its own way in the world.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Children #Let It Go #World

  • Death comes to me again, a girl in a cotton slip, barefoot, giggling. It’s not so terrible she tells me, not like you think, all darkness and silence. There are windchimes and the smell of lemons, some days it rains, but more often the air is dry and sweet. I sit beneath the staircase built from hair and bone and listen to the voices of the living. I like it, she says, shaking the dust from her hair, especially when they fight, and when they sing.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Girl #Sweet #Rain

  • If trees could speak they wouldn't
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Tree #Speak

  • Who you are contributes to your poetry in a number of important ways, but you shouldn't identify with your poems so closely that when they are cut, you're the one that bleeds.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Cutting #Numbers #Important

  • That's how it is sometimes--God comes to your window, all bright light and black wings, and you're just too tired to open it.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Tired #Light #Wings

  • How not to imagine the tumors ripening beneath his skin, flesh I have kissed, stroked with my fingertips, pressed my belly and breasts against, some nights so hard I thought I could enter him, open his back at the spine like a door or a curtain and slip in like a small fish between his ribs, nudge the coral of his brains with my lips, brushing over the blue coil of his bowels with the fluted silk of my tail.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Night #Blue #Doors

  • And I saw it didn't matter who had loved me or who I loved. I was alone. The black oily asphalt, the slick beauty of the Iranian attendant, the thickening clouds--nothing was mine. And I understood finally, after a semester of philosophy, a thousand books of poetry, after death and childbirth and the startled cries of men who called out my name as they entered me, I finally believed I was alone, felt it in my actual, visceral heart, heard it echo like a thin bell.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Philosophy #Book #Heart

  • Maybe it's what we don't say/that saves us.
    -- Dorianne Laux

  • Moon In the Window I wish I could say I was the kind of child who watched the moon from her window, would turn toward it and wonder. I never wondered. I read. Dark signs that crawled toward the edge of the page. It took me years to grow a heart from paper and glue. All I had was a flashlight, bright as the moon, a white hole blazing beneath the sheets.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Children #Heart #Dark

  • I have always loved too much, or not enough.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Too Much #Enough

  • Poetry is an intimate act. It's about bringing forth something that's inside you--whether it is a memory, a philosophical idea, a deep love for another person or for the world, or an apprehension of the spiritual. It's about making something, in language, which can be transmitted to others--not as information, or polemic, but as irreducible art.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Spiritual #Art #Memories

  • Tinted Distances is a tender meditation that reveals a careful eye and steady devotion to elegy and ode.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Distance #Eye #Meditation

  • Someone spoke to me last night,/ told me the truth. Just a few words,. but I recognized it./ I knew I should make myself get up,/ Write it down, but it was late,/ and I was exhausted from working/ all day in the garden, moving rocks./ Now, I remember only the flavor--/ not like food, sweet or sharp./ More like a fine powder, like dust./ And I wasn't elated or frightened,/ but simply rapt, aware./ That's how it is sometimes--/ God comes to your window,/ all bright light and black wings,/ and you're just too tired to open it.
    -- Dorianne Laux

    #Sweet #Moving #Writing