As our final article of the semester, we at Hothouse are thinking of endings and the oh-so-lovely tradition of yearbook quotes. While they can be tacky, they also can really plumb the depths of the literary-leaning undergrad’s heart. Read on for the “yearbook” quotes of the 2021-2022 Hothouse staff and be sure to imagine us all with frizzy hair, braces, half blinking in the cameraman’s light.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.–Dead Poets Society
I remember watching Dead Poets Society when I was in middle school and this is the line that hasn’t left me since. It summarizes my love of writing which is, ultimately, what brought me to Hothouse. I’m graduating this semester, and this has understandably made me very sentimental about how I’ve spent my time at UT. I’ve had a chance to share my love of literature and storytelling through Hothouse, which is something I deeply cherish and hope to continue doing as long as I can.
Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
This quote stands out to me each time I reread Dorian Gray, and the various shades of highlighting and circling on the page seem to prove it. I’ve been thinking of Wilde’s characteristically wistful take on endings as the year comes to a bittersweet close. I immensely enjoyed my first few semesters on the Hothouse staff, midnight writing sessions and deadlines (sometimes) included. This year has been all the more special to me because of how fast it flew by but, I know I’ll return in the fall and hopefully make some more fleetingly precious memories.
Turi S. Sioson
Really, he thought, if you couldn’t trust a poet to offer sensible advice, who could you trust?Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
I like this quote partly because I’m a poet and partly because I think it’s ridiculous in the best way. Poets are unhinged in the best of times but tell a lot of truth in their weird, wild expressions; I like the idea that there’s sense in what other people might think of as unconventional or concerning.
The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honour and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.Audre Lorde, from Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power
I think more people should listen to Audre Lorde. I am grateful that I was able to come across the essay that this quote comes from. It continues to provide me with so much guidance. It inspires me to shut the fuck up and do something more, to be better. I want to demand the most of life and I want life to demand the most of me.
There’s a point, around the age of twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.Ursula K. Le Guin
To be a writer is to welcome the wonderfully odd parts of ourselves. Good stories, and good storytellers, rarely lack personality. Going through my final semester studying English and Creative Writing helped solidify for me that my path in life does not have to follow or be compared to anybody else’s. The act of embracing my own identity, dreams, and progress will always be more than enough. There is freedom in accepting who we are, all our idiosyncrasies included.
…outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia, divine athambia, divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown…Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Maybe it’s not just me, but my life has seemed especially absurd this year, so what better quote to sum it up than something from an absurdist play? Perhaps it’s just the tiny rubber ducks that have exploded into my apartment and now populate every corner, or perhaps it’s the fact that my landlord still has not replaced the 20-year-old microwave that began sparking two months ago, but I’m starting to be convinced I live in some sort of sitcom. Only instead of a laugh track in the background, I get to constantly hear the demolition going on next door…
fish swim in cathedrals.
And every one of us
is called by name.“The Dam” by Miroslav Holub translated by Stuart Friebert and Dana Hábová
This semester with Hothouse, I was lucky to explore my interests in art and literature at the intersection of faith and earth—which is where this poem falls—including in Claude Monet’s paintings and My name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. I also wrote on Shakespeare and theater, and am especially grateful to Stephanie + Megan for their direction on that piece.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Sometimes I’m desperately searching for a reminder that I’m still here, still me. When I write, like the beat of my heart, I know I am irrefutably alive. To the Hothouse staff, who understand this and more about writers and their finicky ways, I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks; and ever thanks.
“There is no almanac for the living—a pulse flies and then stops. You are pain pinned to muscle—also grasses, breath, tree-dawns, and gears. You are dark arteries of quiet, the white heat smashed through deserts and levers and coasts—that flickering pause between thoughts. More even than your own life, you flow from what is. The stars swept into stillness, the ground drinking rain. You are the whole shape of sound. Whether or not you sing.”Joanna Klink, The Nightfields
This semester has been one of obstacles and triumphs. The obstacles contained the usual: stressing over classes, long projects, and the incessant overthinking of what the future may hold. But the triumphs of this semester are what I hold on to, and one major triumph was that this was my first semester at Hothouse! Being on the fiction/prose board has been such an honor, especially because of how much I learned about the editing process. I got to become part of a community of individuals who obsess over the same novels and literary geniuses! I will always remember this semester as the one where I became part of the amazing Hothouse team.
And there she wasMrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
It’s really only fitting that I use a Woolf quote to end my time at Hothouse and UT too. In closing, I am thinking a lot about perfect endings, and if they exist. I am pretty decisive that they do not, but then again, being reminded of our presence and the stains we leave behind has a way of prolonging endings indefinitely. I have deeply enjoyed working with this excellent class of website writers. So, as Woolf says ” and there she was,” I say, “and there I went”.