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Robert Penn Warren

I did not understand my complex of feeling.Particularly as she was saying, ‘Yes,I’m sorry I ever met you. Ever. IfI hadn’t I wouldn’t have to go through thisAwfulness, the awfulest part being thatI’ll remember you. Always.’ — Robert Penn Warren, from “Goodbye,” Uncollected Poems 1943-1989, in The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren, ed. John… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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Autobiographical · Biographical · Classic · Collection · Confessional · Correspondence · Epistolary · Excerpt · French Culture · French Literature · Letter · Paraphrase · Passage · Philosophy · Quote

Simone Weil

The joy of meeting and the sorrow of separation … we should welcome these gifts … with our whole soul, and experience to the full, and with the same gratitude, all the sweetness or bitterness as the case may be. Meeting and separation are two forms of friendship that contain the same good, in the… Continue reading Simone Weil

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Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Generation of '27 · Passage · Poetry · Spanish Culture · Spanish Literature

Pedro Salinas

I don’t want you to leave,heartache, the last formof loving. I feel myselflive when you hurt menot in yourself, or here, but further:in the earth, in the yearyou come from,in my love for herand everything it meant.In that sunkenreality which deniesitself and insiststhat it never existed,that it was only a pretextof mine for living.If you… Continue reading Pedro Salinas

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Archibald MacLeish

There always was a relationship between poet and place. Placeless poetry, existing in the non-geography of ideas, is a modern invention and not a very fortunate one. — Archibald MacLeish, epigraph for A New Geography of Poets, ed. Edward Field, Gerald Locklin, and Charles Stetler (The University of Arkansas Press, 1992)

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Richard Jackson

In the pine woods […] north of herestarlight never touches the ground.Somewhere in there the cuckoo will begin to sing.I don’t think there is a moment we havethat is not taking place somewhere else,or a love that doesn’t lead us, sometimesdeftly, further from ourselves. — Richard Jackson, from “Worlds Apart,” The Heart as Framed: New… Continue reading Richard Jackson

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Haruki Murakami

The most he could do was create a place where his heart–devoid now of any depth or weight–could be tethered, to keep from wandering aimlessly. — Haruki Murakami, from “Kino,” Men Without Women: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017)

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Leonard Cohen

When I have not rage or sorrow, and you depart from me, then I am most afraid. When the belly is full, and the mind has its sayings, then I fear for my soul; I rush to you as a child at night breaks into its parents’ room. Do not forget me in my satisfaction.… Continue reading Leonard Cohen

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Eamon Grennan

Imagine being opened like a fish: the worldin front of your gaze a final timeand then nothing, namelessness, just lightslamming into broken rock, livessilting together, lives in a heap,the lurching harmony of things taking over—as if we were creatures of hope after all. — Eamon Grennan, from “Love Bites,” Relations: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf… Continue reading Eamon Grennan

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John Steinbeck

Time interval is a strange and contradictory matter in the mind. It would be reasonable to suppose that a routine time or an eventless time would seem interminable. It should be so, but it is not. It is the dull eventless times that have no duration whatever. A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy,… Continue reading John Steinbeck

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