In human life, art may arise from almost any activity, and once it does so, it is launched on a long road of exploration, invention, freedom to the limits of extravagance, interference to the point of frustration, finally discipline, controlling constant change and growth.
In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.
In spite of my great admiration for individual splendid talents I do not accept the star system. Collective creative effort is the root of our kind of art. That requires ensemble acting and whoever mars that ensemble is committing a crime not only against his comrades but also against the very art of which he is the servant.
In the height of thy prosperity expect adversity, but fear it not. If it come not, thou art the more sweetly possessed of the happiness thou hast, and the more strongly confirmed. If it come, thou art the more gently dispossessed of the happiness thou hadst, and the more firmly prepared.
In the works of the better poets you get the sensation that they're not talking to people any more, or to some seraphical creature. What they're doing is simply talking back to the language itself --as beauty, sensuality, wisdom, irony --those aspects of language of which the poet is a clear mirror. Poetry is not an art or a branch of art, it's something more. If what distinguishes us from other species is speech, then poetry, which is the supreme linguistic operation, is our anthropological, indeed genetic, goal. Anyone who regards poetry as an entertainment, as a read, commits an anthropological crime, in the first place, against himself.
In theatre, the main objective is to make the art happy, not the audience! If you have to choose between the audience and the art, always choose the second! You must know that the audience will always pull you down; resist it and fly at the heights like an eagle!
Increase in goodness as long as thou art here, that, when thou departest, in that thou mayest still be joyful. According to our words and deeds in this life will be the remembrance of us in the world.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain
It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy and yet unenvied, to be healthy with physic, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of art.