Living, there is no happiness in that. Living: carrying one’s painful self through the world. But being, being is happiness. Being: Becoming a fountain, a fountain on which the universe falls like warm rain. ― Milan Kundera, Immortality (Gardners Books; 1st edition, July 31, 2000) Originally published January 12th 1990.
Death followed by eternity the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought. ― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. (Grove Press; Reprint edition January 21, 1994) Oribinally published 1966.
That is the secret of poetry. We burn in the woman we adore, we burn in the thought we espouse, we burn in the landscape that moves us. — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. (Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (April 7, 1999)
Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood, when it first occurred to you that you don’t go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one’s memory. And yet I can’t remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We… Continue reading Tom Stoppard
And when a poet dies, deep in the nighta lone black bird wakes up in the thicketand sings for all it’s worth — Miroslav Holub, from “Interferon,” Poems Before and After (Bloodaxe Books, 2006)
Who’s there? A piece of graffiti in spiral lamplightsays “failure makes possible.” Footsteps in reverberatingstutter: this unended search to be satisfied —hour-by-hour circling the périphérique. A sameness of thingsin the same places, the grey tide, the discomfort of sleep. — Louis Armand, from “Léon Paul Fargue,” Blackbox Manifold, Issue 11, (Winter 2013)
Your absence has robbed me of sleep. It’s the one and only shelter that a trapped person has–that nothing without which everything is impossible. — Anna Bolava, from “Setting Free,” B O D Y (20 November 2019)
We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to… Continue reading Tom Stoppard
I can be by myself because I’m never lonely; I’m simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-scarum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me. ― Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude. (Abacus May 27, 1993) Originally published 1976.
For where would we be If love were not stronger than poetry And poetry were not stronger than love? — Miroslav Holub, from “United Flight 1011,” We’ll Never Get Parts Like That Again (Carpe Diem, 2013)