Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times. Come, yet again, come, come. —Rumi
Death followed by eternity the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought. ― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. (Grove Press; Reprint edition January 21, 1994) Oribinally published 1966.
I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing, In my veins, in my bones, I feel it,— The small waters seeping upward, The tight grains parting at last. When sprouts break out, Slippery as fish, I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet. —Theodore Roethke, from “Cuttings (later),” The Lost Son and Other Poems (Doubleday, 1948)
A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. — Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “A Defence of Poetry” (1821)
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. — Aeschylus as quoted by Robert F. Kennedy in his speech announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic. — Thomas Szaz, “Schizophrenia,” The Second Sin. (Anchor Press; First edition 1973)
So remembering is only one more way of being alone when the voice has gone everywhere in the dusk of the porches looking for the last thing to say. —Tess Gallagher, from “Rhodondendrons,” Instructions to the Double (Graywolf Press, 1976)