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My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good. My errors will point to thinking men the various roads, and will teach them the great art of treading on the brink of the precipice without falling into it. It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless.

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T.S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

[...] Read more

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Byron

Canto the Fourth

I
Nothing so difficult as a beginning
In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning
The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend,
Like Lucifer when hurl'd from heaven for sinning;
Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend,
Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far,
Till our own weakness shows us what we are.

II
But Time, which brings all beings to their level,
And sharp Adversity, will teach at last
Man, -- and, as we would hope, -- perhaps the devil,
That neither of their intellects are vast:
While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,
We know not this -- the blood flows on too fast;
But as the torrent widens towards the ocean,
We ponder deeply on each past emotion.

[...] Read more

poem by from Don Juan (1824)Report problemRelated quotes
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Marin Sorescu

The Scribe

I'm being visited more and more seldom
By respiration.
I can't breathe anymore -so I can't write therefore, I live no more.

And here I ask:
The portion of my air I did not breathe
(Since I was gone before the deadline)
Is it worth anything?
At least it could be given to the poor
(If this were possible)
But this is such an absurd parsimony
Of Nothingness.

And further on:
The thoughts I left unwritten
By whom will they be finished? Since grains of sand are not alike
How could a new pen different from mine
Resume the thread exactly from the point I ceased?

And I had just discovered

[...] Read more

poem by , translated by Catalina IliescuReport problemRelated quotes
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Prayer Changes

Somebody just look back over your life and
See where he brought you from
How many of you know?
Prayer changes (I heard that)
Prayer changes (I believe that)
Prayer changes (I know that)
Prayer changes things
Prayer changes (I heard that)
Prayer changes (I believe that)
Prayer changes (I know that)
Prayer changes things
Now I was in a real bad abusive relationship
Knowing that that was no way for me to live
A young girl like me, raised up in a good family
Way too young to endure such misery
And every night I cry myself to sleep from all the pain
And the more I prayed for sunny days it seemed to rain
(He'd hit me) at any given time
(He'd hit me) no reason at all
(He'd hit me) so, so hard

[...] Read more

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Rudyard Kipling

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

[...] Read more

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Richard Brautigan

Coffee

Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee
affords. I once read something about coffee. The thing said that coffee is good for you;
it stimulates all the organs.
I thought at first this was a strange way to put it, and not altogether pleasant, but
as time goes by I have found out that it makes sense in its own limited way. I'll tell you
what I mean.
Yesterday morning I went over to see a girl. I like her. Whatever we had going for us
is gone now. She does not care for me. I blew it and wish I hadn't.
I rang the door bell and waited on the stairs. I could hear her moving around upstairs.
The way she moved I could tell that she was getting up. I had awakened her.
Then she came down the stairs. I could feel her approach in my stomach. Every step she
took stirred my feelings and lead indirectly to her opening the door. She saw me and it
did not please her.
Once upon a time it pleased her very much, last week. I wonder where it went,
pretending to be naive.
"I feel strange now," she said. "I don't want to talk."
"I want a cup of coffee," I said, because it was the last thing in the world
that I wanted. I said it in such a way that it sounded as if I were reading her a telegram
from somebody else, a person who really wanted a cup of coffee, who cared about nothing
else.

[...] Read more

poem by from Revenge of the Lawn (1971)Report problemRelated quotes
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The Tune of The Wild Geese’s Tomb

Among the earthly mortals, I ask: what is Love
That engages couples through life and death?
This flying pair, traveling from south to north,
Had old wings, which survived several summers and winters.
Staying paired is happy,
But to severe, bitter: a trap in itself where devoted lovers
Still long to be trapped. He must have had a thought:
For whom shall I trail a forlorn shadow flying over
Ten thousand miles of gray clouds
And mountains of night snow?
On this road by Fen River, the old pipes, and drums
Are gone. Only bleak smoke and vast woods are left.
Vain to evoke the ancient ghosts. The Mountain Spirit
Also, wails in vain. Heaven envies the geese,
Not believing they’ll return to dust like orioles
And swallows. There they’ll remain, for a thousand
Autumns, awaiting the poets of later generations
Who is coming, rhapsodizing and quaffing
Just for a view of the wild geese’s tomb.

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The Edge

I was blowing in the wind
And I can see the sun setting on the hill
Its almost gone and then hills are greener than Ive ever seen
And this feels too real to me
Just to know the change
Now dont let me leave this moment
Hold me in this place
Where everything is clearer than of all before
And everything makes sense
When you say
Stand on the edge
And dont be afraid to fall
Take a breath and tell me what you see
And you say
Stand on the edge
And dont be afraid to fall
Take a breathe and tell me what you see
As we sat down by the water
In my mind I felt a gentle breeze blew soft against my face
And we talked for hours

[...] Read more

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.

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