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Sarah Kay

When I meet you, in that moment, I am no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present, and you, you get to share mine. And that is the ultimate present. — Sarah Kay, from “Hiroshima,” No Matter the… Continue reading Sarah Kay

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Cal Bedient

my behind scenesbeetle-on-its-back griefwaves its arms                    digging a grave in the air.where did it come from?                   birth’smerelimbs?a mother’s grimacebreaking the ice of her face? — Cal Bedient, from “White Snow Falling Without Wind,” Candy Necklace (Wesleyan University Press, 1997)

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British Culture · British Literature · Classic · Coming of Age · Excerpt · Fiction · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote

W. Somerset Maugham

He knew that all things human are transitory and therefore that it must cease one day or another. He looked forward to that day with eager longing. Love was like a parasite in his heart, nourishing a hateful existence on his life’s blood; it absorbed his existence so intensely that he could take pleasure in… Continue reading W. Somerset Maugham

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

I looked at the sky and at the earth and straight aheadand since then I’ve been writing a long letter to the deadon a typewriter with no ribbon just a horizon lineso the words knock in vain and nothing sticks. —  Tomas Tranströmer, from “Baltics,” The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated from the Swedish… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer

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Truman Capote

The wind is us – it gathers and remembers all our voices, then sends them talking and telling through the leaves and the fields. — Truman Capote, Truman Capote and the Legacy of “In Cold Blood,”  by Ralph F. Voss. (University Alabama Press; 3rd ed. edition March 15, 2015) Originally published January 1st 2011.

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Anne Sexton

Rapunzel A womanwho loves a womanis forever young.The mentorand the studentfeed off each other.Many a girlhad an old auntwho locked her in the studyto keep the boys away.They would play rummyor lie on the couchand touch and touch.Old breast against young breast…Let your dress fall down your shoulder,come touch a copy of youfor I am… Continue reading Anne Sexton

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Autobiographical · Biographical · Classic · Confessional · Cuban-American Culture · Diary · French-American Culture · Journal · Memoir · Non-fiction · Notebook · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote

Anaïs Nin

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers,… Continue reading Anaïs Nin

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Gregory Orr

All night I dreamed of heaven:a blue space I drifted through, hugeenough to store everything.Far belowI saw this world—pearlof great price; ‘Body,’ Love said,‘is the only boatfrom which you can dive to find it.’ — Gregory Orr, from “Nantucket Morning/This World,” The Caged Owl: New & Selected Poems. (Copper Canyon Press April 1, 2002)

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Adventure · Autobiographical · Aviation · Biographical · Classic · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · History · Memoir · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Quote · Travel

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

How shallow is the stage on which this vast drama of human hates and joys and friendships is played! Whence do men draw this passion for eternity, flung by chance as they are upon a scarcely cooled bed of lava, threatened by the beginning by the deserts that are to be, under the constant menace… Continue reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Excerpt · Fragment · Jewish Russian-American Culture · Jewish Russian-American Literature · Passage · Poetry

Anna Margolin

My days take root in stones.Growing causes so much pain.But the blueness above themis altogether more ethereal, purer. As with slender, gnarled brancheswhich tarries a while and is gonethey would weave a heavenover me, and over my silence. — Anna Margolin, “My days take root in stones,” Drunk from the Bitter Truth: The Poems of… Continue reading Anna Margolin

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