One of the great functions of art is to help us imagine what it is like to be not ourselves, what it is like to be someone or something else, what it is like to live in another skin, what it is like to live in another body, and in that sense to surpass ourselves, to go out beyond ourselves.

My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed. I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.

Poetry can break open locked chambers of possibility, restore numbed zones to feeling, recharge desire.

The impulse to create begins — often terribly and fearfully — in a tunnel of silence.