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Boris Pasternak

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Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle, cracked ice crunching in pails, the night that numbs the leaf, the duel of two nightingales, the sweet pea that has run wild, Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.
LIFE magazine (13 June 1960)

Boris Pasternak

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The cypress stood up like a church
That night we felt our love would hold,
And saintly moonlight seemed to search
And wash the whole world clean as gold;
The olives crystallized the vales'
Broad slopes until the hills grew strong:
The fireflies and the nightingales
Throbbed each to either, flame and song.
The nightingales, the nightingales.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In time of the crises of the spirit, we are aware of all of need, our need for each other and our need for ourselves. We call up our fullness; we turn, and act. We begin to be aware of correspondences, of the acknowledgement in us of necessity, and of the lands.
And poetry, among all this — where is there a place for poetry?
If poetry as it comes to us through action were all we had, it would be very much. For the dense and crucial moments, spoken under the stress of realization, full-bodied and compelling in their imagery, arrive with music, with our many kinds of theatre, and in the great prose. If we had these only, we would be open to the same influences, however diluted and applied. For these ways in which poetry reaches past the barriers set up by our culture, reaching toward those who refuse it in essential presence, are various, many-meaning, and certainly — in this period — more acceptable. They stand in the same relation to poetry as applied science to pure science.

Muriel Rukeyser

Let’s all pull together and make these United States the grandest place in this whole country. I see a vision. A glorious vision. A united people, marching forward shoulder to shoulder, giving their all for the common good, working while I whistle.

Gracie Allen

where is the halo
that should glow 'round your face
and where are the wings that
should grow from your shoulder blades?

Natalie Merchant

Many mellow Cydonian suckets
Sweet apples, anthosmial, divine,
From the ruby-rimmed beryline buckets
Star-gemmed, lily-shaped, hyaline;
Like the sweet golden goblet found growing
On the wild emerald cucumber-tree,
Rich, brilliant, like chrysophrase glowing
Was my beautiful Rosalie Lee.

Thomas Holley Chivers
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