Although some use stories as entertainment alone, tales are, in their oldest sense, a healing art. Some are called to this healing art, and the best, to my lights, are those who have lain with the story and found all its matching parts inside themselves and at depth … In the best tellers, I know, the stories grow out of their lives like roots grow a tree. The stories have grown them, grown them into who they are.
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes, American author and teacher (b. 1945)
(Photo by Leslie: Dear Heart)
Children, when they ask you “Why is your mama so funny?” say, “She is a poet. She ain’t got no sense.”
—Lucille Clifton, American poet (1936-2010)
(Photo by Leslie: Clematis “Etoile Violette,” violet star)
Poets are regular people who live down the block and do simple things like wash clothes and stir soup.
—Naomi Shihab Nye, American poet (b. 1952)
If everybody became a poet the world would be much better. We would all read each other.
—Nikki Giovanni, American poet (b. 1943)
(Photo by Leslie: Echinacea, or cone flower)
We rely upon poets, the philosophers, and the playwrights to articulate what most of us can feel, in joy or sorrow. They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope; they give us the strength and balm we cannot find in ourselves. Whenever I feel my courage wavering, I rush to them. They give me the wisdom of acceptance, the will and resilience to push on.
—Helen Hayes, American actress, 1900-1993
(photo: Arrowleaf balsamroot, by Leslie)