What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What's the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?
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A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love.
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Seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting. It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armor themselves against wonder.
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In dreams the truth is learned that all good works are done in the absence of a caress.
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The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred in the psychic landscape.
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Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.
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What is most original in a man's nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing for their systems except that they be unique. If Hitler had been born in Nazi Germany he wouldn't have been content to enjoy the atmosphere.
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There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
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Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.
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The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
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To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation's sweetest dreams of itself.
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Raise a million filters and the rain will not be clean, until the longing for it be refined in deep confession. And still we hear, If only this nation had a soul, or, Let us change the way we trade, or, Let us be proud of our region.
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Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.
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I have nothing against the Queen of England. Even in my heart I never resented her for not being Jackie Kennedy. She is, to my mind, a very gallant lady, victimized by whoever it is who designs the tops of her uniforms.
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I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face.
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The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it's overturned the order of the soul...
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Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity. In what we call art, it's one of the most desirable characteristics of a piece of work.
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Cohen, Leonard

No biography at present.

17 quotations