“A man gains a drop of blood per day from eating.Each night, he gets up to slash himselfAcross the face and wrist.He must be bitten by ten thousand mosquitoes.He sucks and he sucks.Where would all that blood go otherwise?Once a month, a woman drops a teacup on the floor,A fine teacup with bones inside it.Vietnamese and Germans now speak the same language.
-from Linh Dinh’s “Conversation Table” which is published in All Around What Empties Out
“Her lips began to scorch,
That juice was wormwood to her tongue,
She loathed the feast:
Writhing as one possessed she leaped and sung,
Rent all her robe, and wrung
Her hands in lamentable haste,
And beat her breast.
Her locks streamed like the torch
Borne by a racer at full speed,
Or like the mane of horses in their flight,
Or like an eagle when she stems the light
Straight toward the sun,
Or like a caged things freed ,
Or like a flying flag when armies run”.
-From Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
illustration by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
This is another favorite of mine, that I am always pleased to find anthologized within lit. class textbooks. I love the way Rossetti’s style flows in a way that we commonly see in child-like poetry, but that the content is rather hard-hitting as well. I highly recommend reading this in full, rather than just this quote or excerpt.
“To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour”.
-William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
I came across this one, this morning in one of my new textbooks, and I have to say it really made me smile. The fact that Blake is anthologized is no big surprise to me, because now he’s someone that commonly pops up in literature classes. I smile, because this is a favorite poem of mine. Such a favorite in fact, that part of it is a permanent part of my body. I love the sense of duality (lightness and darkness) within all of his poetry. Auguries of Innocence really captures this quality in his poetry. It’s definitely a poem that is high on my recommendation list (should I start one of these? I think yes!).
How could I not share it? This is still of the literary variety, right?
My tattoo was done by the lovely Amber Vail, at Studio 66 in Porterville, CA.