Our lives pass from us like the wind, and why Should wise men grieve to know that they must die? The Judas blossom fades, the lovely face Of light is dimmed, and darkness takes its place. ― Abolqasem Ferdowsi, Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. (Penguin Classics; Deluxe edition February 27, 2007)
He who learns must suffer And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget Falls drop by drop upon the heart, And in our own despite, against our will, Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. ― Aeschylus, The Orestei. 458 BCE
The first three hours of night were almost spent The time that every star shines down on us When Love appeared to me so suddenly That I still shudder at the memory. Joyous Love seemed to me, the while he held My heart within his hands, and in his arms My lady lay asleep wrapped… Continue reading Dante Alighieri
Give me a thing that says nothing. The wind, for instance, A wisdom that comes from ten thousand miles to the west. The trees, for instance, stenographers Of every sentence it isn’t able to utter. The grass that assembles them all in its green pages. — Charles Wright, from “26,” Littlefoot: A… Continue reading Charles Wright
When what you write about is what you see, what do you write about when it’s dark? — Charles Wright, from “32,” Littlefoot: A Poem (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007)
The morning is almost silent and cannot declare itself. / Therefore, I say unto it, / you are the never-boring miracle / Of sunlight and scrappy cloud, / The absence of rain when rain is absent, / as it is / This morning, green with its wonderment, — Charles Wright, from “23,” Littlefoot: A Poem… Continue reading Charles Wright
There is no greater sorrow then to recall our times of joy in wretchedness. ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno (The Divine Comedy). (Modern Library, December 9, 2003) Originally 1320.