"The oldest, truest, most beautiful organ of music, the origin to which alone our music owes its being, is the human voice."
"Joy is not in things; it is in us."
"All that running around in my underwear put money in my pockets. I can focus on working in interesting movies without having to worry about supporting myself."
"My basic philosophy can be summed up by an expression we use in Norwegian: hurry slowly. Get there, but be patient."
"Still, language is resilient, and poetry when it is pressured simply goes underground."
"Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole."
"If I smashed the traditions it was because I knew no traditions. I'm the girl with the unquenchable thirst."
"I'm drawn to the magical efficacies of language as a political act."
"Your compassion travels beyond your own inner circle. And then you breathe out an alternative version where you mentally and emotionally and psychologically purify the poisons. So indeed, the generative idea is in the crux of this practice and of my propensity toward poetry, which is a practice of the imagination."
"I took my vow to poetry; this is where I'm going to be. These are my people; this is my tribe."
"I was going to public school in the post-World War II, the grey doldrum years. But I was in this extraordinary environment of Manhattan, of Greenwich Village, of bohemian parents."
"My mother started taking us to church when I was in seventh or eight grade. That was always a question, Do you believe in God?"
"We need a world-wide Department of Peace."
"Growing up in the fifties, having to wear a dog tag, having to take shelter in a bomb shelter. That turned me toward the road, I did not want to live in fear of that, I was going to work somehow against what that vision was, and what that horror was. It was poetry, art, music."
"Poets have to keep pushing, pushing, against the darkness, and write their way out of it as well."
"No one begs you to be a poet or write a 1000-page poem. You have to be fueled by a drive, a conviction - a need, a necessity, a vision that is so pressing that it has no other outlet but through you."
"America's the great conundrum and the great dream and the great fascination: the new land, the new world, the new temple, the new city, and the great mess. The most handguns, bombs, weaponry, violence, the cop of the world etcetera. All the contradictions. Mediocrity versus something like indigenous jazz, one of the most evolved sophisticated musical forms on the planet."
"As a younger person you can come in through many, many gateways. It's like some huge Mandela. You can enter into this and get refreshed."
"I think of the amazing things that were going on. So it's so rich. The doors keep opening."
"I am a self-appointed ambassador for poetry."