If we want to know what it felt like to be alive at any given moment in the long odyssey of the race, it is to poetry we must turn. The moment is dear to us, precisely because it is so fugitive, and it is somewhat of a paradox that poets should spend a lifetime hunting for the magic that will make the moment stay. Art is that chalice into which we pour the wine of transcendence. What is imagination but a reflection of our yearning to belong to eternity as well as to time?
– Stanley Kunitz
I’m not sure anyone better articulates this tension between now and then, forever and the moment, that animates so much of my life. These lines from Kunitz about this paradox remain some of my favorite).
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