Thursday, January 22, 2015

Morley on Imagination

A small framed piece in my office, a gift from one of our Holmes donors, captures a few words from Christopher Morley. I have not yet tracked down their source:


Energy is not endless,
better hoard it for
your own work.
Be intangible and
hard to catch.
Be secret and
proud and inwardly
dodge every kind
of organization, and
Be about
your own affairs, as
you would also forbear
from others at theirs,
and thereby
show your respect
for the holiest
ghost we know --
the creative

I'm not sure this is the best advice for one working in a large organization such as a research university, but I sometimes find myself moving in this direction.

1 comment:

Bill Peschel said...

Had to use my google-fu on this, and found at this site:

It's from "O Rare Don Marquis," a column in The Saturday Review from Jan. 8, 1938. Morley was talking about DM's last two years, "nothing left of him but the look in his eyes, and it was grim to speculative how much he realized of what had happened. I cannot help thinking that he had a very special message to younger artists, a message which was implicit in many of his seemingly jocular paragraphs. It was this: energy is not endless ..."

Advice well worth remembering.