Thursday’s Quotables #4: Poetry

Today is National Poetry Day, so I decided to share a few lines from my favorite poets.  All of the quotes have to do with life and whether or not to take it seriously.  The first one is the question, and the remaining are my favorite answers:

I’ve been a thinking, whether it were best/ To take things seriously, or all in jest;/ Whether, with grim Heraclitus of yore,/ To weep, as he did, till his eyes were sore;/ Or rather laugh with him, that queer philosopher,/ Democritus of Thrace, who used to toss over/ The page of life and grin at the dog-ears/ As though he’d say, “Why, who the devil cares?”” – Edgar Allen Poe (“O, Tempora! O, Mores!”)

But I am old; and good and bad/ Are woven in a crazy plaid./ I sit and say, “The world is so;/ And he is wise who lets it go.” – Dorothy Parker (“The Veteran”)

If I don’t drive around the park,/ I’m pretty sure to make my mark./ If I’m in bed each night by ten,/ I may get back my looks again./ If I abstain from fun and such,/ I’ll probably amount to much;/ But I shall stay the way I am,/ Because I do not give a damn.” – Dorothy Parker (“Observation”)

This last quote isn’t from a poem, but from Moby Dick:

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.

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