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Elizabeth Smart

  • You have to be slightly blind to believe in any cause.

  • I am possessed by love and have no options.

  • All time is now, and time can do no better. Nothing can ever be more now than now, and before this nothing was.

  • Always that tyrannical love reaches out. Soft words shrivel me like quicklime. She will not allow me to be cold, hungry. She will insist that I take her own coat, her own food.

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • "Dig a Grave and Let Us Bury Our Mother" (1939), In the Meantime ()
  • What is poetry? Do not enquire. The secret dies by prying. How does the heart beat? I fainted when I saw it on the screen, opening and closing like a flower ... Poetry is like this, it is life moving, terrible, vivid. Look the other way when you write, or you might faint.

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • "Dig a Grave and Let Us Bury Our Mother" (1939), In the Meantime ()
  • Words, my horses, roam unbroken / In my head, or, tethered, / Wait their wandering master's ride.

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • "Escaping Words" (1940), In the Meantime ()
  • I talk in riddles. I'd rather speak plainly. / But some ways are still unmapped.

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • "All I Know About Why I Write," In the Meantime ()
  • It's because I'm only interested in the big things that I'm not interested in politics.

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • in Alice Van Wart, ed., Necessary Secrets : The Journals of Elizabeth Smart ()
  • O I know they make war because they want peace; they hate so that they may live; and they destroy the present to make the world safe for the future. When have they not done and said they did it for that?

    • Elizabeth Smart,
    • 1941, in Alice Van Wart, ed., Necessary Secrets : The Journals of Elizabeth Smart ()

Elizabeth Smart, U.S. poet

(1913 - 1986)