What departs at death is 19 grams (= 7/8 ounce) of you shedding a soft blue light. What remains behind is various. Within a year of the passing of Emily Dickinson’s dog Carlo (1848-1866) there were 5 other Carlos in Amherst and 2 in novels. Some centuries later workers digging the Athens metro unearthed the grave of a dog, small paws still folded, collar studded witha row of blue beads. Use a distant brush to paint thesethings. Do not redip.

{Anne Carson, “Short Talk on the Withness of the Body”}

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The Hand Photographed 

Photographs have a way of implying that it was a little cold that day, or that we live like pets in the laps of everyone who wanted something else. 

{Cole Swenson, The Book of a Hundred Hands}

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page 122

{Linda Vachon}


But March, forgive me —

And all those hills you left for me to Hue —

There was no Purple suitable —

You took it all with you —

{Emily Dickinson}

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"I stand on the shores of America and make my cry into the dark. Yours is the first voice that has come back to me."

{Joseph Conrad}

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"I’ve read many stories of revenants and apparitions, but my ghosts merely disappear. I never see them. They haunt me by not being there, by the table where no one eats, the empty window that lets the sun in without a shadow."

Keith Waldrop, Light While There is Light (from S.)

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"Was not poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?"

{Virginia Woolf, Orlando}

(via sketchofthepast)

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But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.” We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful pensees; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its marker.

{Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook}

Images, via austinkleon

Take Note | An exploration of note-taking in Harvard University Collections

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