Monday, April 27, 2009

Poetry quote of the Day: Avivah Zornberg

Today's quote was not originally offered as a definition of poetry, but I'm taking the personal liberty of making it one.  And asking: do you have a quote that wasn't about poetry, per se, but works wonderfully when you put it in that light?

“Truth is shattered into a thousand pieces when God throws it down to earth.”

-from the blog, SOF Observed, which attributes this quote to "Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, citing a kernel of midrash from her new book, The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious."

This post is part of my Poetry Quote a Day series for National Poetry Month.


  1. Huh. This is seriously deep. Mostly we don't consider truth shattering to be a good thing, but then, once it's in the hands of God, what is truth?


  2. That's gorgeous. I don't have a particular quotation, but constantly while reading novels, the narrator or a character will describe something else, and I'll think, Ooooh, that definition fits poetry perfectly. Of course, I have none of those on hand, but thank you for sharing this one!

  3. I don't have a quote, but the one you've offered took my breath away. Thank you for posting it. So deep and wide--you've given me lots to think about!

  4. I love the idea of each one of us looking at the world through a tiny splinter or shard of a once-whole truth - at least that's how I interpret it, and I think poets try to do that. Here is a Chinese proverb I like a lot which seems to me to be indirectly about poetry: “The miracle is not to fly in the air, nor to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.”

  5. Yes, Julie, that's lovely. And so true---poetry is foot placed after foot, walking daily into unexplored territory. Perfect.

  6. Whoa.
    How to follow THAT????

    Here are two quotes I like for being about poetry even though they're not:

    Fill a space in a beautiful way. -- Georgia O'Keefe

    Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words. -- Ecclesiasticus

  7. Of course those two fabulous quotes ARE about poetry, Liz. You and I say so! Thank you for these. I could use that first one as a writing mantra.


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