What happened to poetry’s pithy wisdom and memorable phrases? Modernism killed it, with its banal “petals on a black bough” and its pretentious “wheel barrow” and its “difficulty.”
In the humanities, the best experiment is always on oneself, and Thomas Brady, editor of Scarriet, the great poetry experimenter of our day, presents his own pithy wisdom to vindicate his own criticism of Modernism.
In morals, there’s no good; there’s only bad not getting it right.
Sculpting poetry is an art, requiring meter, rhyme—and grammar.
You shall know Venus by his actions and Mars by her disguise.
If we find no fault with the brick, can we still criticize the house?
Life is hardness, responding to sharpness.
The poet is one who longs for the sea, but cannot swim.
The scientist is a poet who guesses. The poet is a scientist who doesn’t need to guess.
Never assume the worst example of a thing is what it is.
Modern poetry implies the following: “You are not smart enough to not understand my poem.”
Art is not what it is, but what we take away.
I belong to the lesser, but the lesser is the greater.
The chief difference between painting and film: one needs a soundtrack.
Mercy is not logical.
Realism in painting ponders what abstract painting forgets.
For some, the cartoonish is true.
The opposite of comity is comedy.
Art is the means by which morality escapes its oppressive character.
It’s better to be unreasonable than timid, for the timid possess no reason at all.
Every time we want something, the answer is no, because every yes has a no right behind it.
Perspective is geometry in painting and grammar in poetry.
Naked should dictate dress; dress should never dictate naked.
The topic has replaced the poet.
Obscurity is cured by love.
A race of plain women and handsome men is a conquering race, handsome women and plain men, a conquered one.
Conversation is not poetry.
Why does art let history tell it what to do?
Comedy is the sentimentalist’s last resort.
The true formalist is not known by their line, but by their stanza.
The best thing your poem can do for you is make someone fall in love with you who otherwise wouldn’t.
When the success of something condemns it, you know something is afoot.
There is more on my lonely island than on your social network.
If it looks like wisdom, it’s probably not wisdom.
The knight, love, slays the dragon, lust. The light that guides the knight? Good taste.
I hate filth. I love free speech. The great human dilemma.
We can love anything—even hate.
Your stupidity enjoys something. Your criticism understands it.
Quality in poetry is easy; the quantity in poetry is the difficult thing.
The more well-constructed a poem is, the less it says.
Poetry is never a ‘criticism of life,’ life is a criticism of poetry, the poet’s pride notwithstanding.
All poets want to be read, but the spoken poem is the one they remember.
Nothing changes, except the individual’s experience; group change is illusory.
The universe is vast, but I have lived where you have lived.
Sports-watching is theater for people who don’t like theater.
“She loves you” is more poetic than “I love you.”
The more in love, the more silent.
The tree reflected in the lake is more poetic than the tree.
Poetry is love which cannot speak, speaking.
The mouth cracks jokes; but the eye is always serious.
I do not know what you are or who you are, until I know one thing: are you moral?
I looked for genius and never saw it, until one came to me, knowing what I was looking for.
Love goes from being secretive to being public and then longs for secrecy again.
Knowing when you have seen something before is not knowing, but remembering. Knowing involves not having seen it before.
The poet’s job is not to know—only to be understood.