e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

The Poetry Archive

I’ve just been browsing round this website. Among their treasures I found this quote by Lucille Clifton:

Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing.

If they came out of knowing I suspect there would be many fewer poems and many would be more boring.

Wonder pushes the boundaries of knowledge. Without it we not only wouldn’t have much poetry, but not much science or humanities. Wonder is the driving force behind the search for knowledge.

And poetry is one of its natural expressions. Before we measured the stars, bred new flowers or worked out the paths of migrating birds, we wrote poems about them.

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