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"There is the fresh imagination and understanding. I may hit directly to the core of the intellectual intuitive: One almost has to forget that others have thought before one so that essentials may be alive and not inhibited by the second- or third-hand reaction generally exhaled.

The mind of an Unemployed or universal Architect epitomized in the desire to recreate what is desolated, to rebuild; the fact that the spirit exists beside every terrible destruction; that the sensitive but inarticulate line is being put upon innumerable plans while all is in shambles. The characters are of course symbolic. The jungle that the whole thing may or may not pull through is pretty nerve-wracking. But as I have mentioned, I ask myself the question and the rest is inordinate adventure."

- Joan Murray, from a letter to a friend, 1941


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"Though Murray was a self-professed perfectionist, she distinguishes between a pejorative 'neatness' and 'balance'. The latter signals an erotic feat--when divisions inherent in ones self intertwine. To be vulnerable to both continual destruction and creation and still participate in the work of the building spirit is Murray's invincible realization as a poet."

- Farnoosh Fathi, from her editor's introduction to Joan Murray: Drafts, Fragments, and Poems, xxxiii