Carl Sandburg

In its origin, a poem is something completely unequivocal. It is a discharge, a call, a cry, a sigh, a gesture, a reaction by which the living soul seeks to defend itself from or to become aware of an emotion, an experience. In this first spontaneous most important function no poem can be judged. It speaks first of all simply to the poet himself, it is his cry, his scream, his dream, his smile, his whirling fists.

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Dani Shapiro

"What I do know - what I've spent the past couple of decades learning about myself – is that if I'm not writing, I'm not well. If I'm not writing, the world around me is slowly leached of its color. My senses are dulled. I am crabby with my husband, short-tempered with my kid, and more inclined to see small things wrong with my house (the crack in the ceiling, the smudge prints along the staircase wall) than look out the window at the blazing maple tree, the family of geese making its way across our driveway. If I'm not writing, my heart hardens, rather than lifts."

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