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Timothy Liu

I think of how the mystics readby the light of their own bodies.What a world of darkness that must have beento read by the flaming heartsthat turn into heaps of ash on the altar,how everything in the end is madeequal by the wind. —  Timothy Liu, from “Vox Angelica,” The New Young American Poets (Southern… Continue reading Timothy Liu

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Joy Harjo

I will never forget you. Your nakednesshaunts me in the dawn when I can not distinguish yourflushed brown skin from the burning horizon, or my hands.The smell of chaos lingers in the clothesyou left behind. I hold youthere. —  Joy Harjo, from “Songs from the House of Death, or How to Make It Through to… Continue reading Joy Harjo

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Raymond Carver

I talk to myself like this.Saying the names of things —capstan, hawser, loam, leaf, furnace.Your face, your mouth, your shoulderinconceivable to me now!Where did they go? It’s likeI dreamed them.  The stones we broughthome from the beach lie face upon the windowsill, cooling.Come home. Do you hear?My lungs are thick with the smokeof your absence.… Continue reading Raymond Carver

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Pope John Paul II

I have understood: the tree must be woundedso that the scion should find its own place,understood: the tree must be woundedto let life seep through;understood: I must open myself—(my life’s frontiers shift so thatwhat is not mine becomes mine.And should they not shiftso that mine becomes not mine?) — Pope John Paul II, from “A… Continue reading Pope John Paul II

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Elizabeth Bishop

Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck trying to recite “The boy stood on the burning deck”. Love’s the son        stood stammering elocution        while the poor ship in flames went down.  Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship, even the swimming sailors, who would like a schoolroom platform, too        or an excuse to stay        on deck. And love’s the… Continue reading Elizabeth Bishop

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Anna Kamienska

Tell me what’s the differencebetween hope and waitingbecause my heart doesn’t knowit constantly cuts itself on the glass of waitingit constantly gets lost in the fog of hope — Anna Kamienska, “Difference,” Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska. (Paraclete Press (MA); First Edition edition July 1, 2007) Originally published 2007.

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Dylan Thomas

[The force that through the green fuse drives the flower] The force that through the green fuse drives the flower   Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees   Is my destroyer.And I am dumb to tell the crooked roseMy youth is bent by the same wintry fever. The force that drives the water… Continue reading Dylan Thomas

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Will Durant

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. ― Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers. (Pocket Books; 2nd edition, January 1, 1991)

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Harold Witter Bynner

There is a dear weariness of love…Hand relaxed in hand,Shoulder at rest upon shoulder. And to me that pool of weariness is more wonderfulThan crater, cataract,Maelstrom, earthquake… For it is a double poolIn which lie, silent,The golden fishes of sleep. — Harold Witter Bynner, “Weariness,” Others for 1919: An Anthology of the New Verse. Edited… Continue reading Harold Witter Bynner

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