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Gerard Manley Hopkins

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No doubt my poetry errs on the side of oddness. I hope in time to have a more balanced and Miltonic style. But as air, melody, is what strikes me most of all in music, and design in painting, so design, pattern, or what I am in the habit of calling inscape is what I above all aim at in poetry. Now it is the virtue of design, pattern, or inscape to be distinctive, and it is the vice of distinctiveness to become queer. This vice I cannot have escaped.
Letter to Robert Bridges (February 15, 1879)

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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The religions begin by assuring us that if we could see the full picture we would find it more integrated than we would normally suppose. Life gives us no view of the whole. [...] It is as if life were a great tapestry, which we face from its wrong side. This gives it the appearance of a maze of knots and threads, which for the most part appear chaotic.
From a purely human standpoint the wisdom traditions are the species' most prolonged and serious attempts to infer from the maze on this side of the tapestry the pattern which, on its right side, gives meaning to the whole. As the beauty and harmony of the design derive from the way its parts are related, the design confers on these parts a significance that we, seeing only scraps of the design, do not normally perceive.

Huston Smith

My life appeared to me as unnatural, uncertain and incredible as the design on the pencase I am using at this moment. It seems that a painter who has been possessed, perhaps a perfectionist, has painted the cover of this pencase. Often, when I look at this design, it seems familiar; perhaps it is because of this design that I write or perhaps this design makes me write.

Sadegh Hedayat

A game of cricket is at work from the first ball to the last in shaping an outline or design for itself. Sometimes the design degenerates into dullness and incompetence, but design there always is, and there is an interest even in the tracing of the course and impulse of its failures.

Dudley Carew

A painter makes patterns with shapes and colours, a poet with words. A painting may embody an ‘idea’, but the idea is usually commonplace and unimportant. In poetry, ideas count for a good deal more; but, [...] the importance of ideas in poetry is habitually exaggerated: '... Poetry is no the thing said but a way of saying it.' [In poetry,] the poverty of the ideas seems hardly to affect the beauty of the verbal pattern.

G. H. Hardy

It all began with my painting a picture of an American flag. Using this design took care of a great deal for me because I didn’t have to design it. So I want on to similar things like the targets things the mind already knows. That gave me room to work on other levels. For instance, I’ve always thought of a painting as a surfqace; painting it in one color made this very clear.. ..A picture ought to be looked at the same way you look at a radiator.

Jasper Johns
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