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Jorge Luis Borges

You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.  — Jorge Luis Borges

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

Theodore Roethke

What Can I Tell My Bones? 1 Beginner, Perpetual beginner, The soul knows not what to believe, In its small folds, stirring sluggishly, In the least place of its life, A pulse beyond nothingness, A fearful ignorance.       Before the moon draws back,       Dare I blaze like a tree? In a world always late… Continue reading Theodore Roethke

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Zhuang Zhou

I’m going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to listen recklessly. — Zhuang Zhou (c. 369 BC – c. 286 BC), The Complete Works of Zhuangzi. Translated by Burton Watson. (Columbia University Press December 3, 2013) 

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C.P. Cavafy

On hearing about powerful love, respond, be moved like an aesthete. Only, fortunate as you’ve been, remember how much your imagination created for you. This first, and then the rest—the lesser loves— that you experienced and enjoyed in your life: the more real and tangible. Of loves like these you were not deprived —  C.P.… Continue reading C.P. Cavafy

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Paulette Jiles

And she understood, all by herself, without reading it in a novel or hearing it on a radio program, that falling passionately in love with someone, without reservation or holding back, was good for the heart. For its valves and its arteries and that invisible shadow of the heart called the soul. Falling in love… Continue reading Paulette Jiles

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William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me mistakes I have made. Ask me whether what I have done is my life. Others have come in their slow way into my thought, and some have tried to help or to hurt: ask me what difference their strongest love or hate has made. I will… Continue reading William Stafford

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Harlan Ellison

I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless,… Continue reading Harlan Ellison

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