Two Birds Perched on a Fence

Says the first:

The response we make when she “believe” a work of the imagination is that of saying: “This is the way things are. I have always known it without being fully aware that I knew it. Now, in the presence of this play or novel or poem (or picture or piece of music) I know that I know.”

– Thornton Wilder, preface to 3 Plays

Says the second:

A high truth, indeed, fairly, finely, and skillfully wrought out, brightening at every step and crowning the final development of a work of fiction may add artistic glory, but is never any truer and seldom any more evident, at the last page than at the first.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne, preface to The House of the Seven Gables

A third and fourth bird alight:

PR: Do you think poetry has any future?
AMMONS: It has as much future as past—very little.
PR: Could you elaborate on that?
AMMONS: Poetry is everlasting. It is not going away. But it has never occupied a sizable portion of the world’s business and probably never will.

– A. R. Ammons, Paris Review interview

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