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Kathleen Norris

  • My stomach is of many minds; / It believes everything it eats.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Stomach," Falling Off ()
  • I will be good to my stomach, / Tomorrow; listen, and believe it / For a while.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Stomach," Falling Off ()
  • ... illusions: they fit like an iron lung, and / can keep you going indefinitely. The persons / suspected of stealing them are to be considered / armed, and dangerous.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Memorandum / The Accountant's Notebook," Falling Off ()
  • I know for sure / that at the end, / the playful stranger who appears / is not death / but love.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Three Small Songs for the Muse," in Marilyn Sewell, ed., Cries of the Spirit ()
  • There are men I could spend eternity with. But not this life.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "Blue Mountain," The Middle of the World ()
  • I am learning to see loneliness as a seed that, when planted deep enough, can grow into writing that goes back out into the world.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • Dakota
    • ()
  • Gossip is theology translated into experience. In it we hear great stories of conversion, like the drunk who turns his or her life around, as well as stories of failure. We can see that pride really does go before a fall, and that hope is essential. We watch closely those who retire, or who lose a spouse, lest they lose interest in living. When we gossip we are also praying, not only for them but for ourselves.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • Dakota
    • ()
  • ... both prayer and poetry begin deep within a person, beyond the reach of language.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • in Jack Heffron, ed., The Best Writing on Writing, vol. 2 ()
  • Syncletica sums up, I believe, the difficulty writers have in America in surviving success: to keep bearing fruit one must keep returning, humbly, to the blank page, to the uncertainty of the writing process, and not pay much heed to the 'noted author' the world wants you to be.

  • True intimacy is frightening, and I was well into my marriage before I realized that I either had to seek it or live a lie. Intimacy is what makes a marriage, not a ceremony, not a piece of paper from the state.

  • I suppose I read now for the reasons I've always read — because it takes me out of myself, it enlarges me and pushes me into new relationships with other people, other stories, and the human imagination itself. Reading is a transformative activity.

    • Kathleen Norris,
    • "In My Mother's Lap," in Michael Dorris and Emilie Buchwald, eds., The Most Wonderful Books ()

Kathleen Norris, U.S. poet, essayist