Ray Bradbury- thoughts, quotes and a recent poem.Jun 6, 2012 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line One of the greatest writers, Ray Bradbury, stopped typing June 5th, 2012. RIP.
I worry about rejection—but not too much. The real fear isn’t rejection but that there won’t be enough time in your life to write all the stories you have in you. So every time I put a new one in the mail, I know I’ve beaten death again. – Ray Bradbury
Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 to June 5th2012) has just died as I write this. A writer I admire and draw inspiration from. I am grateful for the life-long relationship I have had with him as a reader to a very prolific writer. His work-ethic AND diversity inspires me.
He’s perhaps best known as a science fiction, fantasy writer, but to assign a label like science fiction or horror or fantasy to his work is inaccurate. His dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 from 1953 is a masterpiece. He was among very few writers who created novels out of a series of short stories as in 1950’s Martian Chronicles, 1951’s The Illustrated Man, Green Shadows, White Whale –1992. Dandelion Wine published in 1957 are connected stories that take place in Green Town Illinois in the summer of 1928. He published many of the chapters as individual short stories beginning in 1946 with The Night.
There have been so many Bradbury novels, plays and stories (and story collections) that I’ve loved. Something this Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric, The October Country to the more recent The Cat’s Pajamas. He wrote screenplays, theatrical plays and many essays and non-fiction pieced that have been collected in several collections. Zen in the Art of Writing has been a source of many of my favorite Bradbury quotes.
People are always asking me which of my books are my favorites. And I say look… I have 4 daughters and eight grandchildren, and I don’t play favorites. And I’m really trying to live by that. The way I treat my daughters, my grandchildren are the way I treat my novels, my short stories—they are all my loves, my children. I’m very grateful they happened to me. I didn’t make them happen. Sometimes late at night when I can’t sleep, I’ll go down and open one of my books and I’ll read a paragraph and I’ll say ‘My God I wrote that! I can’t believe I wrote that. And sometimes I cry. Because it’s such a God-given thing you see to surprise yourself and to find the surprises. -- Ray Bradbury
I hope if you haven’t taken the time to read some Bradbury you’ll get a book or two of his and read it. If you haven’t ever read him—I hope you’ll pick up one of his book and be taken away by his magic.
There are 50 or so Ray Bradbury quotes, I’ve ‘borrowed’ with attribution for my Facebook page over the last several years. Here are some of my favorites which are mostly well known and a few lesser known ones as well.
"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." -- Ray Bradbury
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together. --RAY BRADBURY
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn. –Ray Bradbury
We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.---Ray Bradbury
There’s no real way of thanking my own teachers except through teaching others. We all need on person to look us in the face and say you can do what you want to do. I tell young writers you can never be James Joyce, you can never be Mickey Spillane, you can only be yourself. I tell them it doesn’t have to be the greatest, but it does have to be you. – Ray Bradbury.
I hold a record for rejections from New Yorker magazine. We ought to have a celebration someday call up the New Yorker and say when you reject the 301rst story we ought to have a party. -- Ray Bradbury.
Unless you are a madman you can’t make due in the art field. You’ve got to inspired and mad and excited and love it more than anything else in the world—and to hell with the relatives and if any girl doesn’t like what you are doing—out of your life. And if any of your friends, male friends make fun of you—to hell with them—out out. And then you get rid of all the relatives at once, immediately (laughing). No more Thanksgiving Dinners. But it has to be this kind of… My God I have Got to do it. You simply got to do it. If you aren’t this excited you can’t win.—Ray Bradbury
We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.--RAY BRADBURY
I wasn’t worried about freedom I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV. I get letters from teachers all the time saying my books have been banned temporarily and I ay don’t worry about it—put them back on the shelves. And they go back there and see them back in and see them back on the shelves again and they say... gee how did they get back on there. And you keep putting them back and they keep taking them off and you finally win, you know. But be very quiet about it and don’t ask for my help because if I come to your town to help you, I’m a big frog in a small puddle and they are going to hate me—all of them. So you can’t ask me to interfere, you do the job, you are the librarian, you are the teacher, stand firm and you’ll win and they always do. So Fahrenheit is not about censorship it’s about the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news. And the proliferation of giant screens and bombardment of factoids. All the popular programs, the competition programs on TV they don’t give you anything but factoids. They tell you when Napoleon was born but not who he was. So it doesn’t matter about the date, you should never memorize dates, the hell with dates. That. So we moved into this period of history that I described in Fahrenheit Fifty years ago. -- Ray Bradbury
And education has been allowed to go to hell completely. We aren’t teaching reading and writing. There has to be a complete revolution in education starting in kindergarten. No new school buildings, we don’t need them. We need new kindergartens and teach the kids to read and write so by the time they go to the first grade the burden of teaching reading is taken off the other teachers and they can teach their subjects. Right now they are teaching reading in the 5thgrade, the 10thgrade, it’s ridiculous.
We have a moronic country and that’s in Fahrenheit… Ray Bradbury.
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.—Ray Bradbury
There are so many more worth sharing/quoting that are (thanks to the internet) quite easy to find. I started collecting them the old fashioned way (writing them down in a notebook) 30 years ago. I find when I re-type them, even when I can easily cut and paste them—I get to enjoy, explore, consider my relation to the quote a little more.
One of my very favorite Ray Bradbury quotes, became the basis for a loose prose poem I wrote this past April (2012) as part of NaPoWriMo. For several years, every April during National Poetry Month I’ve written a poem every day of the month. A few years ago I started sharing writing prompts and suggestions and challenges and sharing them with poets around the country.
The challenge or prompt was to write a poem inspired by a quote you really liked.
All or nothing
By Christopher J. Jarmick
Carefully she dips her toe
into the cool water.
She wishes she had just jumped in,
Took his hand in hers
and jumped into the water with him.
But she laughed, said no,
Let him leap into pool like
a crazy fool, a ten year old boy.
She was too old for that.
But now she knows it’s cold
And she’ll have to slowly
work her way into the water,
the way she slows down the
car at intersections anticipating
yellow lights, the way she
hesitates before almost anything
No sense in being reckless.
But then, if we let our intellect
guide our every move,
we’d never try to do impossible
things, we’d never climb mountains
or jump into mountain streams,
and we’d certainly never
begin to write a book or a poem.
We’ll never write a perfect one.
Logic would never let anyone
start a new small business—
two thirds of them fail within
We’d certainly never
fall in love—hearts are broken,
dreams are shattered, and if
we’re really lucky, maybe
the third of fourth time you
fall in love, it blossoms and
you get married.
Half of all marriages end in
Divorce—so what kind of
Reward is that.
Better to not fall in love
Don’t eat sugar
Don’t work too hard,
Don’t run with a fork in your
hand, or your mother
might have a heart attack.
He doesn’t want to live his
life like that.
Doesn’t want to think at the
end, he didn’t do the things
he dreamt of doing, because
he had to be responsible,
had to be careful. He couldn’t
stay foolish his whole life, it was
time to grow up, do things
the right way, the smart way…
Leap off the cliff
build your wings on
the way down.
Trust in your survival
Have faith that
you won’t crash
onto the rocks.
Believe that part of her is still
A little bit foolish and she still
Believes in magic…and love—
Now apologize for pushing her
Into the pool,
Ask her to marry you,
Write your damn
And say… Thank you
Here’s the quote:
If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. – Ray Bradbury
©2012, Christopher J. Jarmick
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