We have to become as simple and as wordless as the growing corn or the falling rain. We must just be. — Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork. (Picador; unknown edition, November 15, 1996) Advertisements
Where to start? Everything cracks and shakes. The air trembles with similes. No one word’s better than another; the earth moans with metaphors, and the shays hitched to shimmering flocks of birds all heaving together fly apart, racing against the day’s favorites. — Osip Mandelstam, from “He Who Finds a Horseshoe,” trans. Clarence Brown and… Continue reading Osip Mandelstam
I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others — The only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. — Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated. (Houghton… Continue reading Jonathan Safran Foer
It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty. — Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated (Houghton Mifflin, 2002)
I carry Sorrow, a grey bird, sluggish, in my chest. — Osip Mandelstam, from “Light Sheds it’s Meager Ray,” The Selected Poems. (NYRB Classics; 1st edition, August 31, 2004) Originally published 1972.
The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope. —Walter Benjamin
They tell me I am going to die. Why don’t I seem to care? My cup is full. Let it spill — Robert Friend, “My Cup,” Dancing with a Tiger: Poems 1941-1998. (Menard Press August 5, 2008) Originally published September 15th 2003.