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Sonnet XVIII, translated by Graham Dunstan:

Kiss me again, kiss, kiss me again;
Give me the tastiest you have to give,
Pay me the lovingest you have to spend:
And I'll return you four, hotter than live
Coals. Oh, are you sad ? There! Ill ease
The pain with ten more kisses, honey-sweet,
And so kiss into happy kiss will melt,
We'll pleasantly enjoy each others' selves.
Then double life will to us both ensue:
You also live in me, as I in you.
So do not chide me for this play on words
Or keep me staid and stay-at-home, but make me
Go on that journey best of all preferred:
When out of myself, my dearest love, you take me.

Sonnet XXIV, translated by Alice Park:

Do not blame me, ladies, if I’ve been moved,
If I have felt a thousand fiery flames,
A thousand wincings, and a thousand pangs,
If I’ve been worn out weeping for my love.

Oh, no! Don’t whisper insults at my name.
If I have erred, my sentence is at hand.
And don’t let fly your barbs. But understand
That love does appear in its own sweet time.

Don’t say it is the god of fire who lights
The match. And don’t be finding fault with fair
Adonis, for your plunge into the bright
And lovely passion. Please take care.

And have a bit more sense than I have had.
Then try, dear ladies, not to be so sad.

Louise Labé (ca. 1525-1566).


Aug. 19th, 2009 02:17 pm
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I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, can't be silent with.

- Mary Anne Shaffer/Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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For the first time I actually felt like I owned my skin, like it was me and I was it.

- Junot Diaz, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
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Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth.

- Archimides
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He gave up his soul to the devil in a mixture of delight and sarcasm which even today I find quite enviable.

- "Darjeeling" in Antipodes by Ignacio Pedilla
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So I walk like I'm on a mission
'Cause that's the way I groove
I got more and more to do
I got less and less to prove
It took me too long to realize
that I don't take good pictures
'Cause I have the kind of beauty
that moves.

- Ani Difranco, "evolve"
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Really, why do we disguise these true things, why do we take the actual events of a life, which I would expect to be transcribed with art but without fabrication, and distort and dilute and obscure them? Why this blurry fiction?

- Dave Eggers, You Shall Know Our Velocity
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Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
My words echo Thus, in your mind.

- T. S. Eliot
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Rhett : Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?
Scarlett : Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.

- Gone with the Wind
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I am trying to imagine that I am someone else,
a grocer, an aerialist,
a young viola player who travels
around the country in a bus full of musicians,

but difficulty lurks at every turn.
I am not really sure what a viola looks like,
plus, I have become so used to being me
that I have become an assistant professor of myself.

By the time I have learned to play
the viola, even badly,
I would be close to death at best.
And I am so happy when I can stay home

and pass the time in a leather armchair,
volumes of Diderot on the shelf above me,
some jazz low on the radio,
slow waves of memory washing over me

and desire passing through me
like the tiny amount of electricity
that flows through the night-light in a bathroom.
So maybe the way to overcome the ego

is to start small, to imagine that I am still me
only I was born in Columbus, Ohio,
and I go to the gym three times a week.
Or, better still, I do not go to the gym at all—

it is up to me after all.
Maybe I stay home and listen to the news.
with an uncooperative look on my face,
a smoker who likes to look out the front window

as I do, or to sit in a leather chair
under a long shelf of French literature,
a fellow who gets tearful
whenever the wind stirs up the leaves,

who gets tearful thinking about his parents
buried under tall drifts of snow
in a large municipal cemetery
somewhere on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio.

- Billy Collins
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For, at shrunken head sales, you have get more than the usual smattering of madmen.


He said this was no illusion, but was the real world. We had died and come to life. I was alive for the first time. I was meant to fly, to be part of the air.

- Tahir Shah, Trail of Feathers
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I feel I am no one, only a shadow
Of a terrifying face I cannot see
And like the icy dark I exist nowhere.

- Fernando Pessoa
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What is it you had meant to say? What had
I said?
          And the snow fell to the same as usual
transfigurational effect, making the world seem
not the world, very briefly, and the whant it
always is again: just the world - changed,
              What happens, I think, is we betrary
ourselves first - out better selves, I'd have siad once -
and the other after, as if that make knowng
what to call it somehow easier, meaning less
      Why give it a name? What makes me
want to?
              There's a bell tower near here
I'd meant to show you, how there's still a music
hearable, despite the bell itself missing - lost,
or stolen, though is it difficult to steal a bell
so large, presumably,
            and a shame to lose one.
I'd meant to show you that.
                                Wind enters and leaves
the tower like a thing that live there - but nobody
live there, no one,
I keep meaning to say.
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Three things cannot be retrieved:
The arrow once spend from the bow
The word spoken in haste
The missed opportunity.

- Ali the Lion, Caliph of Islam
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Postscript, by Seamus Heaney

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In Septemer or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More Thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
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Tell him a person doesn't die when he should but when he can.

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 100 Years of Solitude
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The church is near, but the road is icy; the bar is far away, but I will walk carefully.

- Russian Proverb
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If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.

- Rita Mae Brown
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I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.

- William Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing"
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He knew what he knew: the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.

- Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories

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