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Anna Akhmatova

Faces appear, are washed away, Dear today and tomorrow far off. Why did I once turn down the corner of this page? Now the book always opens To the same place. And then it’s strange: It’s as if from the moment of farewell, The years have not passed beyond recall. — Anna Akhmatova, from “Imitation… Continue reading Anna Akhmatova

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Wallace Stevens

II I was of three minds, Like a tree In which there are three blackbirds. III The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds. It was a small part of the pantomime. — Wallace Stevens, from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage, 1990)

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Linda Hogan

The pull of all water toward the ocean, the hope that somewhere there is a world undisturbed, that when we enter, it closes behind us as if we were never here. Someplace a source, a place without despair, the beginning. — Linda Hogan, from “Sounding the Depths,” Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, 2008)

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Sam Hamill

Charmed, the storyteller is always surprised by the hard truths of his [or her] own enchanting lies. — Sam Hamill, from “Ars Poetica,” What Will Suffice: Contemporary American Poets on the Art of Poetry, ed. by Christopher Buckley and Christopher Merrill. (Gibbs Smith; 1st edition, August 31, 1995)

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Beckian Fritz Goldberg

Do you imagine at night someone going to bed the very moment you are going to bed? Turning out the light? And isn’t it so quiet you swear the heart is telepathic. Isn’t it– — Beckian Fritz Goldberg, from “Eros in His Striped Shirt,” In the Badlands of Desire (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1993)

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Octavio Paz

… you rise like splendor hardened into an axe, like light that flays, engrossing as the gallows is to the doomed, flexible as whips and thin as a weapon that’s twin to the moon, your sharpened words dig out my chest, depopulate me and leave me empty, one by one you extract my memories …… Continue reading Octavio Paz

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