Circe’s Grief

April 14, 2020

In the end, I made myself
Known to your wife as
A god would, in her own house, in
Ithaca, a voice
Without a body: she
Paused in her weaving, her head turning
First to the right, then left
Though it was hopeless of course
To trace that sound to any
Objective source: I doubt
She will return to her loom
With what she knows now. When
You see her again, tell her
This is how a god says goodbye:
If I am in her head forever
I am in your life forever.

Louise Glück

If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence, and oppression that howls daily about our ears.

Stephen Fry
Paperweight

no reliable rules

April 14, 2020

To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable rules: there is only the general principle that concrete words are better than abstract ones, and that the shortest way of saying anything is always the best… Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.

George Orwell
The English People (In ‘As I Please’)

I did not want to see it

April 14, 2020

If I went out to the passage now, I would, perhaps, see it for myself — see what shape, whose form, what nature of thing this was. But I did not want to see it, and less still did I want it to touch me. I had made it more horrible, making it invisible, by turning on the lights.

Dorothy Macardle
The Uninvited

‘Forests have secrets,’ he said gently. ‘It’s practically what they’re for. To hide things. To separate one from another.’

Catherynne M. Valente
Deathless