Canadian Culture · Canadian Literature · Classic · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fiction · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote

Michael Ondaatje

For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell.… Continue reading Michael Ondaatje

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Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Journal · Passage · Poetry · Russian Culture · Russian Literature

Anzhelina Polonskaya

So today I tried to write againabout the most important things—the enormous sunrising beyond the smokestacks.The crimes of the entire nation.And the twisted throat of a song birdaccomplishing its daily heroics during an argument.But I couldn’t get a line by Elena Shwarts out of my head:the heart is like a punching bag,pounded from the inside.… Continue reading Anzhelina Polonskaya

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Classic · Danish Culture · Danish Literature · Excerpt · Non-fiction · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Psychology · Quote · Religion · Theology

Søren Kierkegaard

What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but… Continue reading Søren Kierkegaard

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Anthology · British Culture · Classic · Collection · Compilation · English Literature · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Romanticism · Victorian

Percy Bysshe Shelley

And on the pedestal, these words appear:My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal Wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands stretch far away. ― Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “Ozymandias,” originally published in the 11 January 1818 issue of The Examiner.… Continue reading Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Anthology · British Culture · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Confessional · Correspondence · English Literature · Excerpt · Letter · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · Romanticism · Victorian

John Keats

Think of my Pleasure in Solitude, in comparison of my commerce with the world – there I am a child – there they do not know me not even my most intimate acquaintance – I give into their feelings as though I were refraining from irritating a little child – Some think me middling, others… Continue reading John Keats

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

Wendell Berry

Accept what comes from silence.Make the best you can of it.Of the little words that comeout of the silence, like prayersprayed back to the one who prays,make a poem that does not disturbthe silence from which it came. — Wendell Berry, from “How To Be a Poet,” Given. (Counterpoint March 1, 2006) Originally published 2005.

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British Culture · Classic · English Literature · Excerpt · Fiction · Historical Fiction · Novel · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · Victorian

George Eliot

To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely-ordered variety on the chords of emotion–a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new… Continue reading George Eliot

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Confessional · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Postmodernism · The Beat Generation

Allen Ginsberg

I I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,     starving hysterical naked,dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking     for an angry fix,angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly     connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night — Allen Ginsberg, from “Howl I,” Howl and Other Poems. (City Lights… Continue reading Allen Ginsberg

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Essays · Excerpt · Paraphrase · Passage · Quote · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance

Jack Spicer

And I think that it is certainly possible that the objective universe can be affected by the poet. I mean, you recall Orpheus made the trees and the stones dance and so forth, and this is something which is in almost all primitive cultures. I think it has some definite basis to it. I’m not… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Contemporary · Excerpt · Online Magazine · Online Review · Passage · Periodical · Poetry

Linda Pastan

Consider the Space between Stars Consider the white spacebetween words on a page, not justthe margins around them. Or the space between thoughts:instants when the mind is inventingexactly what it thinks and the mouth waitsto be filled with language.Consider the space between lovers after a quarrel,the white sheet a cold metaphorbetween them. Now picture the… Continue reading Linda Pastan

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