By which I learn to affirm
Truth’s light at strange turns of the mind’s road,
wrong turns that lead
over the border into wonder,
mistaken directions, forgotten signs
all bringing the soul’s travels to a place
of origin, a well
under the lake where the Muse moves.
— Denise Levertov, from “The Illustration - A Footnote”
A blithe, itchy eager state where the poem itself, the story itself is supreme
— Sylvia Plath, from The Unabridged Journals by Sylvia Plath
, edited by Karen V. Kukil
If ever you write an account, Watson, you can make rabbits serve your turn.
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder” in The Return of Sherlock Holmes
“We look forward to getting you back.”
Chuck Palahniuk, from Fight Club
The Cossacks rowed swiftly over the waters in the narrow two-ruddered skiffs, dipping the oars in smooth rhythm, carefully skirting the sandbanks from which frightened birds fluttered, and they remembered their Ataman.
— Nikolai Gogol, from Taras Bulba,
trans. Peter Constantine
But when their infants were fractious and quite beyond control, they would quiet them by telling how, if they didn’t hush them and not fret them, the terrible grey Badger would up and get them. This was a base libel on Badger, who, though he cared little about Society, was rather fond of children; but it never failed to have its full effect.
— Kenneth Grahame, from The Wind in The Willows