"She had the febrile gaiety of a being without a past, without a present, yet she existed thus, without memory or history, only because her past was too bleak to think of and her future too terrible to contemplate; she was the broken blossom of the present tense."
— Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
"What is it in us that lives in the past and longs for the future, or lives in the future and longs for the past? And what does it matter when light enters the room where a child sleeps and the waking mother, opening her eyes, wishes more than anything to be unwakened by what she cannot name?"
— Mark Strand, from “No Words Can Describe It”
"And I have stepped into your dream at night,
A stranger there, my body steeped in moonlight.
I watched you tremble, washed in all that silver.
Love, the stars have fallen into the garden
And turned to frost. They have opened like a hand.
— Thomas James, from “Tom O’ Bedlam among the Sunflowers”
"There was always the hunger,
The death of small things
Somewhere in your body"
— Thomas James, from “Two Aunts”
"I wanted to marry an absence."
— Thomas James, from “Longing for Death”
"She herself is a haunted house. She does not possess herself; her ancestors sometimes come and peer out of the windows of her eyes and that is very frightening. She has the mysterious solitude of ambiguous states; she hovers in a no-man’s land between life and death, sleeping and waking."
— Angela Carter, “The Lady of the House of Love” from The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
"Maggie in her brown frock with her eyes reddened and her heavy hair pushed back, looking from the bed where her father lay, to the dull walls of this sad chamber which was the centre of her world, was a creature full of eager, passionate longings for all that was beautiful and glad: thirsty for all knowledge: with an ear straining after dreamy music that died away and would not come near to her: with a blind, unconscious yearning for something that would link together the wonderful impressions of this mysterious life and give her soul a sense of home in it."
— George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
"Solitude was my only consolation - deep, dark, deathlike solitude."
— Mary Shelley , Frankenstein (via feuille-d-automne)
after the murder,
after the burial
Emmett’s mother is a pretty-faced thing;
the tint of pulled taffy.
She sits in a red room,
drinking black coffee.
She kissed her killed boy.
And she is sorry.
Chaos in windy grays
through a red prairie.
— Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till” (via black-poetry)
"Inside a book
I’ve been meaning to
read forever, I
come across you"