American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry

Jack Gilbert

A Fact The woman is not just a pleasure, nor even a problem. She is a meniscus that allows the absolute to have a shape, that lets him skate however briefly on the mystery, her presence luminous on the ordinary and the grand. Like the odor at night in Pittsburgh’s empty streets after summer rain… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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Blank Verse · Classic · Drama · Dramaturgy · Elizabethan · English Literature · Excerpt · Passage · Play · Poetry · Renaissance · Romance · Theatre · Tragedy

William Shakespeare

O, here Will I set up my everlasting rest, And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing death!  — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act… Continue reading William Shakespeare

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Classic · Collection · Essay · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · French Renaissance · Non-fiction · Paraphrase · Passage · Poetics · Quote · Writing

Michel de Montaigne

IT is easier to write an indifferent poem than understand a good one. There is, indeed, a certain low and moderate sort of poetry that a man may well enough judge by certain rules of art; but the true, supreme, and divine Poetry is above all the rules of reason. Whoever discerns the beauty of… Continue reading Michel de Montaigne

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Poetry · Southern Literature

Yusef Komunyaka

I stared at a tree against dusk Till it was a girl Standing beside a country road Shucking cane with her teeth. She looked up & smiled & waved. Lost in what hurts, In what tasted good, could she Ever learn there’s no love In sugar? —  Yusef Komunyakaa, from “Sugar,” Magic City (Wesleyan University… Continue reading Yusef Komunyaka

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