"A lot of the fun lies in trying to penetrate the mystery; and this is best done by saying over the lines to yourself again and again, till they pass through the stage of sounding like nonsense, and finally return to a full sense that had at first escaped notice."
"Children know from a remarkably early age that things are being kept from them, that grown-ups participate in a world of mysteries."
"I had a vision of my body in mid-Atlantic, hanging unsupported just about three feet above the white caps, looking as if you could pass steel hoops along it from end to end by way of demonstrating that there were no wires or hidden brackets to keep it aloft."
"It doesn't seem to me strange that children should like the macabre, the sensational, and the forbidden."
"Mandelstam's wife committed all his poems to memory in fear that both he and his poems would be destroyed by Stalin."
"Mysteries, like the Masonic rites, are ones parents and elders are sworn not to reveal to the uninitiated, which include all children. And so we sought for signs."
"Poetry operates by hints and dark suggestions. It is full of secrets and hidden formulae, like a witch's brew."
"There's not a good poet I know who has not at the beck and call of his memory a vast quantity of poetry that composes his mental library."
"These questions absorbed me at an age when I was supposed to be getting down the rudimentary facts of American history, which I carelessly neglected."