I would liken you To a night without stars Were it not for your eyes. I would liken you To a sleep without dreams Were it not for your songs. — Langston Hughes, “Quiet Girl,” The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (First Vintage Classic, 1995)
Death’s a sad bone; bruised, you’d say, / and yet she waits for me, year after year, / to empty my breath from its bad prison. — Anne Sexton, from “Wanting to Die,” The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton. (Mariner Books; First Mariner Books Edition edition, April 28, 1999) Originally published September 30th 1981.
Quick before our bodies turn themselves in, with a reverence reserved for the dead touch me because I want to remember how beautiful I still am. — Olena Kalytiak Davis, from “Something More Fragile Than This,” And Her Soul Out of Nothing (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)
Nothing is so common as the wish to be remarkable. ― Oliver Wendell Holmes, from “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.” Originally published in segments in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1857 and 1858.