The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice. ― Virginia Woolf, Orlando. (Penguin Classic; Abridged edition, October 3, 2000) Originally published October 11th 1928.
The glow and beauty of the stars are nothing near the splendid moon when in her roundness she burns silver about the world. — Sappho, “133, FULL MOON,” The Classical Greek Reader. Trans. Willis Barnstone. (Oxford University Press; 1 edition, August 13, 1998)
It’s strange. I felt less lonely when I didn’t know you. — Jean-Paul Sartre, The Flies. (1943)
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly —William Shakespeare, Macbeth Act IV Scene vii
I went into the desert to forget about you. But the sand was the color of your hair. The desert sky was the color of your eyes. There was nowhere I could go that wouldn’t be you. — Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003)
With shadows I draw worlds, I scatter worlds with shadows. I hear the light beat on the other side. — Octavio Paz, from “This Side,” The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz: 1957-1987, trans. Eliot Weinberger (New Directions, 1987)