As for me, I used to be a bird with a gentle white womb, someone cut my throat just for laughs, I don’t know. As for me, I used to be a great albatross and whirled over the seas. Someone put an end to my journey, without any charity in the tone of… Continue reading Alda Merini
From nerves veins valves ventricles from tendons cartilage nerves ducts from follicles nerves ribs clavicles … from every pore my soul erupts. — Patrizia Valduga, from “One Hundred Quatrains,” trans. Geoffrey Brock, Poetry (December 2007)
And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own… Continue reading Primo Levi
It never occurred to you to leave any trace of yourself in prose or verse, which was your charm—and then my self-disgust. It was also what terrified me: that you might cast me back into the croaking mire of my playful allusions. — Eugenio Montale, from “Xenia I,” The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. (Ecco;… Continue reading Eugenio Montale
The wind’s carrying off everything I thought I wanted. — Margaret Mazzantini, Don’t Move. (Anchor July 12, 2005)
In that book which is my memory, On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you, Appear the words, “Here begins a new life”. — Dante Alighieri, from Vita Nuova (Oxford University Press, 1999, originally published in 1225)
Perfect behavior is born of complete indifference. Perhaps this is why we always love madly someone who treats us with indifference. ― Cesare Pavese, Il mestiere di vivere: Diario 1935-1950 (Einaudi 2000) Originally published 1952.