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Ezra Pound

What thou lovest well remains,                                                  the rest is drossWhat thou lov’st well shall not be reft from theeWhat thou lov’st well is thy true heritage — Ezra Pound, from “Canto LXXXI,” Cantos of Ezra Pound (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1993

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John Donne

For I am every dead thing,In whom Love wrought new alchemy.For his art did expressA quintessence even from nothingness,From dull privations, and lean emptiness;He ruin’d me, and I am re-begotOf absence, darkness, death—things which are not.” —  John Donne, from “A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day,” The Complete English Poems. (Penguin… Continue reading John Donne

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Hermann Hesse

Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell. — Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund. Published by Fischer Verlag 1930, published in English 1932 (Dunlop translation as Death and the Lover); 1968 (Molinaro translation… Continue reading Hermann Hesse

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W.B. Yeats

Song of Wandering Aengus I went out to the hazel wood,Because a fire was in my head,And cut and peeled a hazel wand,And hooked a berry to a thread;And when white moths were on the wing,And moth-like stars were flickering out,I dropped the berry in a streamAnd caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it… Continue reading W.B. Yeats

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Giorgos Seferis

We have no rivers, we have no wells, we have no springs; / only a few cisterns — and these empty — that echo, and we worship / them. A stagnant hollow sound, the same as our loneliness, / the same as our love, the same as our bodies. — Giorgos Seferis; from strophe 10… Continue reading Giorgos Seferis

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Philip K. Dick

I’m not much but I’m all I have. — Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip. (Vintage; Reissue edition May 30, 1995) Originally published 1964.

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William Stafford

My family slept those level miles,but like a bell rung deep till dawnI drove down an aisle of sound,nothing real but in the bell,past the town where I was born. Once you cross a land like thatyou own your face more: what the lightstruck told a self; every rockdenied all the rest of the world.We… Continue reading William Stafford

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