Dana Gioia quotes

  • The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Art #Real #Successful

  • There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Song #Art #Stories

  • Money. You don't know where it's been, but you put it where your mouth is. And it talks!
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Mouths

  • And hate the bright stillness of the noon without wind, without motion. the only other living thing a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended in the blinding, sunlit blue. And yet how gentle it seems to someone raised in a landscape short of rain- the skyline of a hill broken by no more trees than one can count, the grass, the empty sky, the wish for water.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Summer #Hate #Rain

  • Paradoxically, the simpler poetry is, the more difficult it becomes for a critic to discuss intelligently. Trained to explicate, the critic often loses the ability to evaluate literature outside the critical act. A work is good only in proportion to the richness and complexity of interpretations it provokes.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Literature #Proportion #Interpretation

  • Being so deeply rooted in one place and culture allows a genuine writer to experiment wildly with the material without ever losing touch with its essence.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Essence #Culture #Losing

  • In America, the term younger poet is applied with chivalric liberality. It can be used to describe anyone not yet collecting a Social Security pension.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #America #Poet #Social

  • In an age of global standardization, regional voices also remind both writer and reader that no life is lived generically. If the purpose of literature is truly, as the ancients insisted, to instruct and delight, then what better to understand and enjoy than the here and the now ?
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Voice #Age #Purpose

  • To speak from a particular place and time is not provincialism but part of a writer's identity.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Identity #Speak #Particular

  • Old empires always appeal to modern poets more than new ones.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Empires #Poet #Modern

  • Poetry is not a creed or dogma. It is a special way of speaking and listening.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Listening #Special #Way

  • Once an author finishes a poem, he becomes merely another reader. I may remember what I intended to put into a text, but what matters is what a reader actually finds there which is usually something both more and less than the poet planned.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #What Matters #May #Remember

  • Twisting through the thorn-thick underbrush, scratched and exhausted, one turns suddenly to find an unexpected waterfall, not half a mile from the nearest road, a spot so hard to reach that no one comes a hiding place, a shrine for dragonflies and nesting jays, a sign that there is still one piece of property that won't be owned.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Dragonflies #Pieces #Half

  • Poetry speaks most effectively and inclusively (whether in free or formal verse) when it recognizes its connection - without apology - to its musical and ritualistic origins.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Art #Apology #Poetry

  • What we conceal Is always more than what we dare confide. Think of the letters that we write our dead.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Writing #Thinking #Letters

  • We lived in places that we never knew. We could not name the birds perched on our sill, Or see the trees we cut down for our view. What we possessed we always chose to kill. "We claimed the earth but did not hear her claim, And when we died, they laid us on her breast, But she refuses us until we earn Forgiveness from the lives we dispossessed.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Cutting #Views #Names

  • My blessed California, you are so wise. You render death abstract, efficient, clean. Your afterlife is only real estate, And in his kingdom Death must stay unseen.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Wise #Real #Blessed

  • The new year always brings us what we want Simply by bringing us along—to see A calendar with every day uncrossed, A field of snow without a single footprint.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #New Year #Years #Snow

  • Current Catholic worship often ignores the essential connection between truth and beauty, body and soul, at the center of the Catholic worldview. The Church requires that we be faithful, but must we also be deaf, dumb, and blind? I deserve to suffer for my sins, but must so much of that punishment take place in church?
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Punishment #Catholic #Dumb

  • Teach us the names of what we have destroyed.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Names #Teach

  • Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world,
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Art #Understanding #World

  • We offer you the landscape of your birth -- Exquisite and despoiled. We all share blame. We cannot ask forgiveness of the earth For killing what we cannot even name.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Names #Earth #Landscape

  • Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica. To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Cousin #Real #Names

  • How many voices have escaped you until now, the venting furnace, the floorboards underfoot, the steady accusations of the clock numbering the minutes no one will mark. The terrible clarity this moment brings, the useless insight, the unbroken dark.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Dark #Voice #Venting

  • The music that of common speech but slanted so that each detail sounds unexpected as a sharp inserted in a simple scale.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Simple #Sound #Details

  • This is a prayer, inchoate and unfinished, for you, my love, my loss, my lesion, a rosary of words to count out time's illusions, all the minutes, hours, days the calendar compounds as if the past existed somewhere like an inheritance still waiting to be claimed.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Prayer #Loss #Past

  • We are not as we were. Death has been our pentecost.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Pentecost

  • Poetry offers a way of understanding and expressing existence that is fundamentally different from conceptual thought.
    -- Dana Gioia

    #Art #Poetry #Understanding