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Robert Lowell

Skunk Hour For Elizabeth Bishop Nautilus Island’s hermit heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage; her sheep still graze above the sea. Her son’s a bishop. Her farmer is first selectman in our village; she’s in her dotage. Thirsting for the hierarchic privacy of Queen Victoria’s century, she buys up all the eyesores… Continue reading Robert Lowell

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fantasy · Fiction · Horror · Magical Realism · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · Speculative Fiction

Jonathan Carroll

Old age arrives like the first days of fall. One afternoon you look up, or smell something in the air, and know instinctively things have changed. I suppose the same thing is true about our own death. Suddenly it’s near enough that we can smell it. — Jonathan Carroll, The Marriage of Sticks. (Tor Books;… Continue reading Jonathan Carroll

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Contemporary · Editorial · Excerpt · Online Anthology · Online Magazine · Passage · Periodical · Poetry · Prose Poetry

Richard Siken

Oh we’re a mess, poor humans, poor flesh—hybrids of angels and animals, dolls with diamonds stuffed inside them We’ve been to the moon and we’re still fighting over Jerusalem. Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. — Richard Siken, from… Continue reading Richard Siken

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Classic · Contemporary · Excerpt · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · Russian-American Culture · Russian-American Literature · Science Fiction · Trilogy

Isaac Asimov

If you’re born in a cubicle and grow up in a corridor, and work in a cell, and vacation in a crowded sun-room, then coming up into the open with nothing but sky over you might just give you a nervous breakdown. — Isaac Asimov, Foundation. (Spectra; Reissue edition, June 1, 2004) Originally published 1951.

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · American Counterculture · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Jazz · Passage · Poetry · Surrealism · The Beat Generation

Bob Kaufman

In order to exist I hide behind stacks of red and blue poems And open little sensuous parasols — Bob Kaufman, from “Afterwards They Shall Dance,” Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness. (New Directions, January 17, 1965)

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Classic · Excerpt · Fiction · German Culture · German Literature · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Few people are capable of concerning themselves with the most recent past. Either the present holds us violently captive, or we lose ourselves in the distant past and strive with might and main to recall and restore what is irrevocably lost. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities. (Oxford University Press, March 1999) Originally published… Continue reading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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