Spring Quotables (and a Poem)

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Spring Quotables

Margaret Atwood

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Ernest Hemingway

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
― Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast
Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden
Leo Tolstoy

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 
― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina
E.E. Cummings

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”
― E.E. Cummings

Spring Quotables

Drowning in Life

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Langston Hughes

“I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.”

― Langston Hughes

Ted Hughes

“Nobody wanted your dance,
Nobody wanted your strange glitter, your floundering
Drowning life and your effort to save yourself,
Treading water, dancing the dark turmoil,
Looking for something to give.”
― Ted HughesBirthday Letters

Drowning In Life

Railroads, Trains, People

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Blaise Cendrars

“Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?’WorriesForget your worries

All the stations full of cracks tilted along the way

The telegraph wires they hang from

The grimacing poles that gesticulate and strangle them

The world stretches lengthens and folds in like an accordion tormented by a sadistic hand

In the cracks of the sky the locomotives in anger

Flee

And in the holes,

The whirling wheels the mouths the voices

And the dogs of misfortune that bark at our heels

The demons are unleashed

Iron rails

Everything is off-key

The broun-roun-roun of the wheels

Shocks

Bounces

We are a storm under a deaf man’s skull…

‘Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?’

Hell yes, you’re getting on my nerves you know very well we’re far away

Overheated madness bellows in the locomotive

Plague, cholera rise up like burning embers on our way

We disappear in the war sucked into a tunnel

Hunger, the whore, clings to the stampeding clouds

And drops battle dung in piles of stinking corpses

Do like her, do your job

‘Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?

” ― Blaise CendrarsProse of the Trans-Siberian and of the Little Jeanne de France

Suicide by train is also popular in many developed countries. Without ready access to firearms, suicidal people often turn to trains. —Der Spiegel, July 27, 2011

 

Once it happens you can’t remember
how you started out: innocent,
barreling into the tunnel,
shooting out at each station
like a dolphin out of a dim green pool.
Pneumatic doors inhale open, puff shut,
lock with a solid thump.

Up and down the line, fifty times a day,
it’s a long slow song. You
feel the rumble as much as hear it.
In your dim green trance
the words retain wonder:
Vorsicht, Türe werden geschloßen.
Caution, the doors are closing.

Then the first time:
someone decides darkness will answer,
hides out in the tunnel,
steps out in front of the train
like he knows where he’s going,
steps out at you, dying at you,
knowing you can’t stop in time.

Now each time the doors close,
they seal you in. You are a human bullet
shot into the tunnels, hoping no one
will block the light far ahead,
each station one minute’s reprieve.”
― Karen Greenbaum-Maya

“Trains tap into some deep American collective memory.”

― Dana FrankLocal Girl Makes History: Exploring Northern California’s Kitsch Monuments

Ogden Nash

“At least when I get on the Boston train I have a good chance of landing in the South Station
And not in that part of the daily press which is reserved for victims of aviation.”
― Ogden NashHard Lines

Trains

Six Feet Under

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Anthony Thwaite

“THE BARROWIn this high field strewn with stones

I walk by a green mound,

Its edges sheared by the plough.

Crumbs of animal bone

Lie smashed and scattered round

Under the clover leaves

And slivers of flint seem to grow

Like white leaves among green.

In the wind, the chestnut heaves

Where a man’s grave has been.

Whatever the barrow held
Once, has been taken away:
A hollow of nettles and dock
Lies at the centre, filled
With rain from a sky so grey
It reflects nothing at all.
I poke in the crumbled rock
For something they left behind
But after that funeral
There is nothing at all to find.

On the map in front of me
The gothic letters pick out
Dozens of tombs like this,
Breached, plundered, left empty,
No fragments littered about
Of a dead and buried race
In the margins of histories.
No fragments: these splintered bones
Construct no human face,
These stones are simply stones.

In museums their urns lie
Behind glass, and their shaped flints
Are labelled like butterflies.
All that they did was die,
And all that has happened since
Means nothing to this place.
Above long clouds, the skies
Turn to a brilliant red
And show in the water’s face
One living, and not these dead.”

— Anthony Thwaite, from The Owl In The Tree”

 

Six Feet Under