Monument Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 156 quotes )
Sitting on the floor, I'd replay the past in my head. Funny, that's all I did, day after day after day for half a year, and I never tired of it. What I'd been through seemed so vast, with so many facets. Vast, but real, very real, which was why the experience persisted in towering before me, like a monument lit up at night. And the thing was, it was a monument to me.
All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory and defeat. Everything moves toward the end, when the outcome will be known. Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded, listening to the wild monologues of the triumphant or the fearful. They bring a kind of peace. Not by anaesthesia or easy reassurance, but by the promise that what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it had never been. Yet the promise is not of a monument. (Who, still on a battlefield, wants monuments?) The promise is that language has acknowledged, has given shelter, to the experience which demanded, which cried out
It will be hard James but you come from sturdy peasant stock men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity You come from a long line of great poets some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said "The very time I thought I was lost My dungeon shook and my chains fell off." You know and I know that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you James and Godspeed.
It is the noble races that have left behind them the concept 'barbarian' wherever they have gone; even their highest culture betrays a consciousness of it and even a pride in it (for example, when Pericles says to the Athenians in his famous funeral oration 'our boldness has gained access to every land and sea, everywhere raising imperishable monuments to its goodness and wickedness"). This 'boldness' of noble races, mad, absurd, and sudden in its expression, the incalculability, even incredibility of their undertakings—Pericles specially commends the rhathymia of the Athenians—their indifference to and contempt for security, body, life, comfort, their hair-raising cheerfulness and profound joy in all destruction, in all the voluptuousness of victory and cruelty—all this came together, in the minds of those who suffered from it, in the image of the 'barbarian,' the 'evil enemy,' perhaps as the 'Goths,' the 'Vandals.
My nose is Gargantuan! You little Pig-snout, you tiny Monkey-Nostrils, you virtually invisible Pekinese-Puss, don't you realize that a nose like mine is both scepter and orb, a monument to me superiority? A great nose is the banner of a great man, a generous heart, a towering spirit, an expansive soul--such as I unmistakably am, and such as you dare not to dream of being, with your bilious weasel's eyes and no nose to keep them apart! With your face as lacking in all distinction--as lacking, I say, in interest, as lacking in pride, in imagination, in honesty, in lyricism--in a word, as lacking in nose as that other offensively bland expanse at the opposite end of your cringing spine--which I now remove from my sight by stringent application of my boot!
Two months after marching through Boston, half the regiment was dead; at the dedication, William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe. Their monument sticks like a fishbonein the city's throat. Its Colonel is as leanas a compass-needle. He has an angry wrenlike vigilance, a greyhound's gently tautness; he seems to wince at pleasure, and suffocate for privacy. He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely, peculiar power to choose life and die--when he leads his black soldiers to death, he cannot bend his back.
The wheels rolled on, and rolled down by the Monument, and by the Tower; and by the Docks; down by Ratcliffe, and by Rotherhithe; down by where accumulated scum of humanity seemed to be washed from higher grounds, like so much moral sewage, and to be pausing until its own weight forced it over the bank and sunk it in the river.
The whole human earth was bleeding. Time, buildings, routes, rain, erase the constellation of the crime, the fact is, this small planethas been covered a thousand times by blood, war or vengeance, ambush or battle, people fell, they were devoured, and later oblivion wiped cleaneach square meter: sometimesa vague, dishonest monument, other times a clause in bronze, and still later, conversations, births, townships, and then oblivion. What arts we have for exterminationand what science to obliterate memory! What was bloody is covered with flowers. Once more, young men, ready yourselvesfor another chance to kill, to die again, and to scatter flowers over the blood.
Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales? If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness.
Somewhere beyond the battening, urged sweep of three-bedroom houses rushing by their thousands across all the dark beige hills, somehow implicit in an arrogance or bite to the smog the more inland somnolence of San Narciso did lack, lurked the sea, the unimaginable Pacific, the one to which all surfers, beach pads, sewage disposal schemes, tourist incursions, sunned homosexuality, chartered fishing are irrelevant, the hole left by the moon’s tearing-free and monument to her exile; you could not hear or even smell this but it was there, something tidal began to reach feelers in past eyes and eardrums, perhaps to arouse fractions of brain current your most gossamer microelectrode is yet too gross for finding.
Let me tell you what you feel like when you know you are ready to die. You sleep a lot, and when you wake up the very first thought in your head is that you wish you could go back to bed. You go entire days without eating, because food is a commodity that keeps you here. You read the same page a hundred times. You rewind your life like a videocassette and see the things that make you weep, things that make you pause, but nothing that makes you want to play it forward. You forget to comb your hair, to shower, to dress. And then one day, when you make the decision that you have enough energy left in you to do this one, last, monumental thing, there comes a peace. Suddenly you are counting moments as you haven’t for months. Suddenly you have a secret that makes you smile, that makes people say you look wonderful, although you feel like a shell-brittle and capable of cracking into a thousand pieces.
Not a thousand years ago, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Not a thousand years ago, the Supreme Court decided that separate could not be equal. And today, as we sit here, no one is learning anything in this country. You see a nation which is the leader of the rest of the world, that had to pay the price of that ticket, and the price of that ticket is we're sitting in the most illiterate nation in the world. THE MOST ILLITERATE NATION IN THE WORLD. A monument to illiteracy. And if you doubt me, all you have to do is spend a day in Washington. I am serious as a heart attack.
Most lives vanish. A person dies, and little by little all traces of that life disappear. An inventor survives in his inventions, an architect survives in his buildings, but most people leave behind no monuments or lasting achievements: a shelf of photograph albums, a fifth-grade report card, a bowling trophy, an ashtray filched from a Florida hotel room on the final morning of some dimly remembered vacation. A few objects, a few documents, and a smattering of impressions made on other people. Those people invariably tell stories about the dead person, but more often than not dates are scrambled, facts are left out, and the truth becomes increasingly distorted, and when those people die in their turn, most of the stories vanish with them.
To visit the Tower, then, is to enter into contact not with a historical Sacred, as is the case for the majority of monuments, but rather with a new nature, that of human space: the Tower is not a trace, a souvenir, in short culture; but an immediate consumption of a humanity made natural by that glance which transforms it into space.
Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that I embarked on the project of touring historic sites and monuments having to do with the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley right around the time my country iffily went off to war, which is to say right around the time my resentment of the current president cranked up into contempt. Not that I want the current president killed. Like that director, I will, for the record (and for the FBI agent assigned to read this and make sure I mean no harm – hello there), clearly state that while I am obsessed with death, I am against it.
In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life. An intense love, a veritable tornado sweeping across the plains—flattening everything in its path, tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shreds, crushing them to bits. The tornado’s intensity doesn’t abate for a second as it blasts across the ocean, laying waste to Angkor Wat, incinerating an Indian jungle, tigers and everything, transforming itself into a Persian desert sandstorm, burying an exotic fortress city under a sea of sand. In short, a love of truly monumental proportions. The person she fell in love with happened to be 17 years older than Sumire. And was married. And, I should add, was a woman. This is where it all began, and where it all ended. Almost.
One day, I am going to write a travel guide containing only maps and addresses of hotels, and with the rest of the pages blank. That way, people will have to make their own initery, to discover themselves restaurants, monuments and all the magnificent things that every city has, but which are never mentioned because ' the history we have been taught' does not include them in the list of things you must see.