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Franz Kafka

If we were on the right road, having to leave it would mean endless despair. But we are on a road that only leads to a second one and then to a third one and so forth. And the real highway will not be sighted for a long, long time, perhaps never. So we drift… Continue reading Franz Kafka

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Wu Men

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. —Wu Men, from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry. Translated by Stephen Mitchell (Harper and Row, 1989)

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József Tornai

  I’ll write my arm out in stars, my legs in blood-boltered ash trees, so that words           may be transmogrified into all my organs                               one after another                               but then                       I’ll pull the pen from my hand,            and dip it into the river’s icy form, just as burning, molten meteors                         … Continue reading József Tornai

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Eugenio Montale

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

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