Posts Tagged ‘essays’

No apologies

February 2, 2012


               “Or you stand at the railing of the boat going up the Nile, a day’s journey from Luxor, and it’s sunset. You’re just looking. There are no words you are impelled to write down; you don’t make a sketch or take a photograph. You look, and sometimes your eyes feel tired, and you look again, and you feel saturated, and happy, and terribly anxious.

               There is a price to be paid for stubbornly continuing to make love with one’s eyes… For not letting go: of ruined grandeur, of the imperative of bliss. For continuing to work on behalf of, in praise of, beauty…

               Indeed, one might spend a lifetime apologising for having found so many ways of acceding to ecstasy.”


Susan Sontag, “About Hodgkin,” Where the Stress Falls, London: Penguin 2009: 159.

Every touch should thrill.

June 15, 2010

“I know not how it is that we need an interpreter: but the great majority of men seem to be minors, who have not yet come into possession of their own, or mutes, who cannot report the conversation they have had with nature… Too feeble fall the impressions of nature on us to make us artists. Every touch should thrill. Every man should be so much an artist, that he could report in conversation what had befallen him. …The poet is the person in whom these powers are in balance, the man without impediment, who sees and handles that which others dream of…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Poet’, in Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Second Series, London: George G Harrap, undated (inscription reads 1922): 5.