• Is there no way out of the mind?
  • If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
  • I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
  • I talk to God but the sky is empty.
  • I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
  • How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.
  • Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both
  • “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
  • Morire / È un’arte, come qualsiasi altra cosa. / Ci riesco particolarmente bene.
  • Non sono un’ombra, anche se un’ombra si diparte da me. Sono una moglie.
  • Esisterà qualche altra strada oltre a quella della mente?
  • V’è un muro bianco, obliquo al cielo, sopra il quale il cielo si ricrea infinito, verde, assolutamente intoccabile. Gli angeli vi nuotano, e le stelle, anche loro indifferenti. Sono il mio medium.
  • “Quando dai a qualcuno tutto il tuo cuore e lui non lo vuole, non puoi riprenderlo indietro. Se ne è andato per sempre”
  • “Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”
  • “Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those -”
  • “I have room in me for love, and for ever so many little lives.”
  • “Perhaps someday I’ll crawl home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.”
  • “If I rest, if I think inward, I go mad.”
  • “Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh.”
  • “. . . why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?”
  • “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
  • “There are a few times when the songs that are written, the poems that are written, the plays that are written, come alive. By accident you fall onto a stage-set put aside for a tragedy for the lesser gods, and you utter words that were in a script written in the leaves and in the grass for some heroic cast.”
  • “A kiss, then. Kisses are given and received. There are kisses given by mothers to their children, by lovers to their sweethearts, by men on the street to their prostitutes. A meeting of the lips. That is all, animal as we are, that is our own particular generic peculiarity.”
  • “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”
  • “After a rain, who knows the unique pink worm by the twist of its elastic segments? Only the guts of the worm know.”
  • “You don’t believe in God, or life-after-death, so you can’t hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises.”
  • “…and because you’re [young], because you’re still vulnerable, because you still don’t have faith in yourself, you talk a little fliply, a little too wisely, just to cover up so you won’t be accused of sentimentality or feminine tactics.”
  • “It is a feeling that no matter what the ideas or conduct of others, there is a unique rightness and beauty to life which can be shared in openness, in wind and sunlight, with a fellow human being who believes in the same basic principles.”
  • “No, in your new and horrible independence you feel the dangerous premonitory ache, arising from little sleep and taut strung nerves, and a feeling that the cards have been stacked high against you this once, and that they are still being heaped up.”
  • “You live night and day in the dark cramped prison you have made for yourself.”
  • “It is sad to be able only to mouth other poets. I want someone to mouth me.”
  • “Can a selfish egocentric jealous and unimaginative female write a damn thing worthwhile?
  • “I have come to the conclusion that I must have a passionate physical relationship with someone – or combat the great sex urge in me with drastic measures. I choose the former answer.”
  • “Hedonism: because of the blind sucking mouthing fingering quest for physical gratification. [Why is it] refined? Because of the desire to stimulate another in return, not being only concerned for self alone, but mostly so.”
  • “August rain: the best of summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
  • “Loving two boys in one day differently for different times. Kissing both, and loving both. Honest, true, yet at least one would become cynical, a little bitter, seeing me with the other. Not understanding how a girl could be honest at one hour with one and at another place later with another. But so it is for her. And so it will be.”
  • “I cannot bear to leave you because you will forget, I will forget, except for perhaps once or twice a brief sharp sear of pain as a word, a laugh, a thought of truth, will cut like a knife at all that will have happened after now, bringing clear and wistful to mind the remembering of these few hours, night and day – and us so young…”
  • “Remember how he trusting looked long and sweetly at you out of the dark at the door with all the wild wind in the dark grasses, and how love was there in his face – making you, miraculously, the dream girl and woman, sister and sweetheart, mother and spiritual mistress. You walked in, laughter, tears welling, confused, mingling in your throat. How can you be so many women to so many people, oh you strange girl?”
  • “Oh, God, what woman does not like to be told how wonderful she is, to see adoration naked in a young beautiful boy’s eyes…[isn’t it wonderful] being young, beautiful and maybe not too damned?”
  • “‘Here there is no worry, no fear of latent sexual fire. It is all a strange platonic passion. Serene, secure, lasting, never to be consumed by itself into ashes.”
  • “I am a conglomerate garbage heap of loose ends – selfish, scared, contemplating devoting the rest of my life to a cause – going naked to send clothes to the needy, escaping to a convent, into hypochondria, into religious mysticism, into the waves…”
  • “…it is so much safer not to feel, not to let the world touch one. But my honest self revolted at this, hated me for doing this.”
  • “To dance along greening leaves into the sexual sunlight.”
  • “But also because you know damn well sex isn’t ever enough for you. You want a brilliant mind that you can stimulate, but that you can also honestly look up to.”
  • “A philosophical attitude: a drinking and living of life to the lees: please don’t let me stop thinking and start blindly frightenedly accepting! I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of non-feelings, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think; to think and live; to live and learn; this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
  • “‘The tragedy of sexual intercourse is the perpetual virginity of the soul.’”
  • “But instead, day after day, there are hard-boiled eggs instead of frog legs for breakfast, and doubts and worries buzz and sting like the evils in Pandora’s Box.”
  • “I retreat and revel in poetry and literature where the reward value is tangible and accepted. I really do not think deeply, really deeply. I want a romantic nonexistent hero.”
  • “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
  • “Would it be too childish of me to say: I want? But I do want: theater, light, color, paintings, wine and wonder.”
  • “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything it is because we are dangerously near wanting nothing.”
  • “I will believe in you and make you invincible on this earth. Yes, I have that power. Most women do, to one degree or another. Yet the vampire is there, too. The old, primal hate. The desire to go around castrating the arrogant ones who become such children at the moment of passion.”
  • “Finishing the next year here, enjoying the pressure of reading, thinking, while at my back is always the mocking tick: A Life is Passing. My Life.”
  • “[I want] a man, the dark-eyed stranger, who eats my food and my body and my love and goes around the world all day and comes back to find solace with me at night.”
  • “When I was physically saddest, crash, the sky falls in and my body betrays.”
  • “I suppose if I gave myself the chance I could be an alcoholic.”
  • “Such violence, and I can see how women lie down for artists.”
  • “‘You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.’”
  • “I love him to hell and back and heaven and back, and have and do and will.”
  • “‘My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair? My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?”‘§
  • “Today, by the way, Miss Burton checked us when we impulsively said suicide was an escape…and she said it was a brave thing — if one could only live corruptly and miserably in this world — to leave it.”
  • “My love is gone and I would be raped. ‘It is night.’”
  • “Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.”
  • “I must be whole and learn to eat days like apples only after making sure as possible no plague therein will give me future indigestion.”
  • “Outside, the roof shingles and chimney pots were misted magic and haunting in a blue wash of moonlight.”
  • “I need Plot: people growing: banging into each other and into circumstances; stewpot citizens: growing and hurting and loving and making the best of various bad jobs.”
  • “The feeling one must get up earlier and earlier to get ahead of the day, which by one o’clock is already determined.”
  • “And waking, with my skin not yet quite on…”
  • “One day, ugly as a frog the mirror blurts it back: thick-pored skin, coarse as a sieve, exuding soft spots of pus, points of dirt, hard kernels of impurity – a coarse grating. No milk-drawn skin. Hair blued with oil-slick, nose crusted with hair and green or brown crusts. Eye-whites yellowed, corners crushed, ears whorl of soft wax. We exude. Spotted bodies. Yet days in a dim or distant light we burn clear of our shackles and stand, burning and speaking like gods.”
  • “Fevered, how I love that one.”
  • “I, chilled, feel his warmth and hairy belly and sweet skin smells haul me over to be held and hugged.”
  • “Simply the fact that I write in here able to hold a pen, proves, I suppose, the ability to go on living.”
  • “I find myself horrified at voicing the American dream of a home and children – my visions of a home, of course, being an artist’s estate, in a perfect privacy of wilderness acres, on the coast of Maine.”
  • “Set dream-seeds. It’s enough to live life, to botch it, without dreaming it double, botches worse. Dream of flying. Of alphabet lands. Clean worlds, dream worlds – “
  • “I got up out of that fading, faded world of guilt and illicit and unconsummated love and missed appointments to a world of ice-bright sun, ice-air and drawing on my mesh, run-spidered stockings, said to myself – this is the real world where clocks can’t skip an hour as you look at them horrorstruck, the great date unkempt.”
  • “Peace, I must tell myself, so it becomes an instinctive sense, peace is interior, radiating outward.”
  • I must learn to lead my own life with him, but not lean on him for every move.”
  • A woman of twenty-five feels the shock her age simply by saying: if I live long as I have already lived, I shall be fifty. The sort of woman who, when it begins to rain and while it rains, can think only of open windows – car windows, second floor windows, everywhere – open windows, and the rain pouring in at a vicious slant, ruining woodwork, wallpaper, books and furniture irreparably.”
  • “I love too much, too wholly, too simply for any cleverness. Use imagination. Write and work to please. No criticism or nagging. Shut eyes to dirty hair, ragged nails. He is genius. I his wife.”
  • “Stop and ask why you wash, why you dress, you go wild – it is as if love, pleasure, opportunity surrounded me and I were blind.”
  • “[I am] a purposeless with woman with dreams of grandeur.”
  • “Life begins to justify itself – bit by bit – slowly I’ll built it.”
  • “I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that.”
  • “He hasn’t even got us a hearth; I haven’t even sewed a button.”
  • “How to develop my independence? Not tell him everything. Hard, seeing him all the time, not leading outer life.”
  • “A question: do I love laziness more than I love the feeling of accomplishing work?…Everyone else seems to be doing valuable work: social work, cancer research, teaching, degree getting, mothering. What can I do?”
  • “I have never found anyone who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I gave.”
  • “I am me, and the rain is lovely on these chimneys.”
  • “Io volerò attraverso la bocca della candela, indenne falena “
  • “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts t????i?o do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”
  • “Everytime you make a choice, you have to sacrifice something.”
  • Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both. – Sylvia Plath
  • I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want.
  • Can a selfish egocentric jealous and unimaginative female write a damn thing worthwhile?
  • Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.
  • What I want back is what I was Before the bed, before the knife, Before the brooch-pin and the salve Fixed me in this parenthesis; Horses fluent in the wind, A place, a time gone out of mind.
  • lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I’m here.
  • What I want back is what I was Before the bed, before the knife, Before the brooch-pin and the salve Fixed me in this parenthesis; Horses fluent in the wind, A place, a time gone out of mind.
  • I am inhabited by a cry. Nightly it flaps out Looking, with its hooks, for something to love. I am terrified by this dark thing That sleeps in me; All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.
  • I do not want a plain box, I want a sarcophagus With tigery stripes, and a face on it Round as the moon, to stare up. I want to be looking at them when they come Picking among the dumb minerals, the roots. I see them already-the pale, star-distance faces. Now they are nothing, they are not even babies. I imagine them without fathers or mothers, like the first gods. They will wonder if I was important.
  • “Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And eat men like air”
  • “What does one woman see in another than a man cannot see? Tenderness”
  • “One soul passes through the other, frail as smoke And utterly ignorant of the way it took.”
  • “For me, poetry is an evasion of the real job of writing prose”
  • “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”
  • “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”
  • I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
  • Widow. The word consumes itself.
  • The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.


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