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Archive for the ‘Major Authors’ Category

In visions of the dark night

   I have dreamed of joy departed –

But a waking dream of life and light

   Hath left me broken-hearted.

 

Ah!  what is not a dream by day

   To him whose eyes are cast

On things around him with a ray

   Turned back upon the past?

 

That holy dream – that holy dream,

   While all the world were chiding,

Hath cheered me as a lovely beam

   A lonely spirit guiding.

 

What though that light, thro’ storm and night,

   So trembled from afar –

What could there be more purely bright

   In Truth’s day star?

 

~ Edgar Allan Poe, born on this day in 1809

 

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

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Winter dawn is the color of metal,

The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.

 

                             ~ Sylvia Plath

 

“The Frosty Morning” by Nikolay Dubovskoy, 1894

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I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. 

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. 

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

 

~ From The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, born on this day in 1932

 

Fir0002

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There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station.  He lives in the ground.  He’s a basement guy.  You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in.  You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you.  Do you think this is fair?  I think it’s fair.  He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist (what I get out of mine is mostly surly grunts, unless he’s on duty), but he’s got the inspiration.  It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the midnight oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic.  There’s stuff in there that can change your life.

 

~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

Ensio Ilmonen

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If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful.  I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting.  I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans.  I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.

 

~ Ray Bradbury, born on this day in 1920

 

“Am Morgen” (“In the Morning”) by A Rötting, 1840

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It was the kind of scene in which Lily had often pictured herself as taking the principal part, and on this occasion the fact that she was once more merely a casual spectator, instead of the mystically veiled figure occupying the centre of attention, strengthened her resolve to assume the latter part before the year was over.  The fact that her immediate anxieties were relieved did not blind her to a possibility of their recurrence; it merely gave her enough buoyancy to rise once more above her doubts and feel a renewed faith in her beauty, her power, and her general fitness to attract a brilliant destiny.  It could not be that one conscious of such aptitudes for mastery and enjoyment was doomed to a perpetuity of failure; and her mistakes looked easily reparable in the light of her restored self-confidence.

 

~ From The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

 

“Edith Wharton” by Edward Harrison May, 1870

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Little poppies, little hell flames,

Do you do no harm?

 

You flicker. I cannot touch you.

I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns.

 

And it exhausts me to watch you

Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth.

 

A mouth just bloodied.

Little bloody skirts!

 

There are fumes that I cannot touch.

Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?

 

If I could bleed, or sleep!—

If my mouth could marry a hurt like that!

 

Or your liquors seep to me, in this glass capsule,

Dulling and stilling.

 

But colorless. Colorless.

 

~ Sylvia Plath, from Collected Poems (HarperCollins, 1992)

 

“Oriental Poppies” by Laura Muntz Lyall (1860-1930)

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