"This is what it is to love an artist: The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head there is always something more beautiful."
— Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice
"She doesn’t think she’s worthy to live. But she doesn’t realize, she is life."
— Derek Raymond, He Died with His Eyes Open
"The music seemed to cut into his flesh, leaving a sort of scar of longing never satisfied, almost a wound of feeling."
— Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights
"Flaubert wrote in a letter to Louise Colet that he could never see a cradle without thinking of a grave."
— Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights
"It’s not on paper that you create but in your innards, in the gut and out of living tissue - organic writing I call it. A poem works for me not when it says what I want it to say and not when it evokes what I want it to. It works when the subject I started out with metamorphoses alchemically into a different one, one that has been discovered, or uncovered, by the poem. It works when it surprises me, when it says something I have repressed or pretended not to know. The meaning and worth of my writing is measured by how much I put myself on the line and how much nakedness I achieve."
— Gloria Anzaldúa, ”Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers” (via uber-alles)
"Her life – that was the only chance she had – the short season between two silences."
— Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (via vwvw)
"I chose to be a writer in girlhood because books rescued me. They were the places where I could bring the broken bits and pieces of myself and put them together again, the places where I could dream about alternative realities, possible futures. They let me know firsthand that if the mind was to be the site of resistance, only the imagination could make it so. To imagine, then, was a way to begin the process of transforming reality. All that we cannot imagine will never come into being."
— bell hooks, “Narratives of Struggle” (via redheadbouquet)
"At a certain moment for the person who has lost everything, whether that means a being or a country, language becomes the country. One enters the country of words."
— Hélène Cixous, “From the Scene of the Unconscious to the Scene of History”
"You hold an absence
at your center,
as if it were a life."
"When I wake up just before dawn and hear the throbbing voices of birds as they echo against the silence, I am overpowered by yearning. When I ride in the dark on stark roads through dry, bald hills, I ache with desperate longing. I don’t know what I am longing for, maybe for some place of my own within these images, some place where I fit, instead of being the one human being still awake, the only thing moving across the hills in the arid darkness. Maybe that ache is loneliness. I haven’t found a name for the feeling yet, nor do I know exactly what awakes in me. But instinct warns me that it is too potent for me, that my soul is on the verge of cracking when I feel it that way. I cannot handle the sheer power of those wild emotions by myself. I have to find some way to share them. That is why I write. It’s instinctive. I just have to—because it is awake like lava in my blood, and sustains me."
— Rachel Corrie, Let Me Stand Alone
"She did not wish to remember; it troubled her when people tried to disturb her loneliness; she wished to be alone. She wished for nothing else in the world."
— Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (via flowerville)
"How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me."
— W.H. Auden, from “The More Loving One”
"My feet have felt the sands
Of many nations,
I have drunk the water
Of many springs,
I am old,
Older than the Pyramids,
I am older than the race
That oppresses me,
I will live on…
I will outlive oppression,
I will outlive oppressors."
— John Henrik Clarke, “Determination” (via black-poetry)
"It is sometimes so bitterly cold in the winter that one says, `The cold is too awful for me to care whether summer is coming or not; the harm outdoes the good.’ But with or without our approval, the severe weather does come to an end eventually and one fine morning the wind changes and there is the thaw. When I compare the state of the weather to our state of mind and our circumstances, subject to change and fluctuation like the weather, then I still have some hope that things may get better."
— Vincent van Gogh, from a letter to Theo van Gogh in August 1879
"I return to the story
of the woman caught in the war
& in labour, her thighs tied
together by the enemy
so she could not give birth.
Ancestress: the burning witch,
her mouth covered by leather
to strangle words.
A word after a word
after a word is power."
— Margaret Atwood, from “Spelling”