Tag Archives: answers at Quora by Iulia Halatz

What’s the most epic book ever written?

The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe

“A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself. He can live without hope, without friends, without books, even without music, as long as he can listen to his own thoughts.”

“We know that we are going to die, in fact it is the only thing we know of what is in store for us. All the rest is mere guesswork, and most of the time we guess wrong. Like children in the trackless forest we grope our way through our lives in blissful ignorance of what is going to happen to us from one day to another, what hardships we may have to face, what more or less thrilling adventures we may encounter before the great adventure, the most thrilling of all, the Adventure of Death.”

“Happiness we can only find in ourselves, it is a waste of time to seek for it from others, few have any to spare. Sorrow we have to bear alone as best we can, it is not fair to try to shift it on others, be they men or women. We have to fight our own battles and strike as hard as we can, born fighters as we are.”

“To my amazement, I have heard that there are people who have never seen a gnome. I can’t help pitying these people. I am certain there must be something wrong with their eyesight.”

Answer featured in Quora Digest.

Who are the best love poetry writers currently alive?

I have answered this at Quora.com.

Mr Ondaatje is not necessarily a love poetry writer, but for me, everything he writes is poetry and he is a poet, singing “unknowingly the message and the promise from the lotus-gardens beyond the sunset”.

This is a poem that I love:

Speaking To You

by Michael Ondaatje

Speaking to you
this hour
these days when
I have lost the feather of poetry
and the rains
of separation
surround us tock
tock like Go tablets

Everyone has learned
to move carefully

‘Dancing’ ‘laughing’ ‘bad taste’
is a memory
a tableau behind trees of law

In the midst of love for you
my wife’s suffering
anger in every direction
and the children wise
as tough shrubs
but they are not tough
–so I fear
how anything can grow from this

all the wise blood
poured from little cuts
down into the sink

this hour it is not
your body I want
but your quiet company.