But teach me a new word
Some poetry makes you think. Some poetry makes you yearn or fret or feel. Nizar Qabbani's poetry will make you swoon. I fall over his lines like a chez lounge. Nizar Qabbani was born in Damascus, Syria, on March 21, 1923. During the 75 years of his life, he managed to become the most beloved poet of the Arab world. He was fiercely nationalist, fiercely feminist and passionate for passion itself.
There are two aspects of man's existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: Love and Art.
[...] Love is a response to values. It is with a person's sense of life that one falls in love-- with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person's character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul-- the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness.
[...] It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony. Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide. And if there are degrees of evil, then one of the most evil consequences of mysticism-- in terms of human suffering-- is the belief that love is a matter of "the heart" , not the mind, that love is an emotion independent of reason, that love is blind and impervious to the power of philosophy. Love is the expression of philosophy-- of a subconscious philosophical sum-- and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy so desperately.
When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then--and only then--it is the greatest reward of man's life.
-Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto
"For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever had before. The history of any country begins in the heart of a man or of a woman."
"It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or for feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment; heroically, one must force it on."
- Virginia Woolf