Anguish Quotes

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Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!
George Carlin
Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.
James Baldwin
Don’t leave me,” he whispers. “Oh, for crying out loud—no! I am not going to go!” I shout and it’s cathartic. There, I’ve said it. I am not leaving. “Really?” His eyes widen. “What can I do to make you understand I will not run? What can I say?” He gazes at me, revealing his fear and anguish again. He swallows. “There is one thing you can do.” “What?” I snap. “Marry me,” he whispers.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.
Vladimir Nabokov
How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?
Orhan Pamuk (Snow)
Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him--he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The tears I feel today I'll wait to shed tomorrow. Though I'll not sleep this night Nor find surcease from sorrow. My eyes must keep their sight: I dare not be tear-blinded. I must be free to talk Not choked with grief, clear-minded. My mouth cannot betray The anguish that I know. Yes, I'll keep my tears til later: But my grief will never go.
Anne McCaffrey (Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2))
What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music.... And people flock around the poet and say: 'Sing again soon' - that is, 'May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or)
The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
Virginia Woolf
We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?’ Dumbledore sighed, looking down into Snape’s ferocious, anguished face. ‘If you insist …
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken. Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway. It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because I don't know how to say it - a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart. Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach, may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance. Don't LEAVE me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll have gone so far I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
Pablo Neruda
This is the kind of Friend You are - Without making me realize My soul's anguished history, You slip into my house at night, And while I am sleeping, You silently carry off All my suffering and sordid past In Your beautiful Hands.
null
Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.
Eugène Ionesco
If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.
Elie Wiesel
He runs his finger tips along my cheek, caressing my face. “Hush. I’m right here.” He looks at me with deep anguish in his eyes. Like there’s so much he wants to tell me but feels it’s too late now. I want to stroke his face and tell him that it will be okay. That everything will be all right. And I wish so badly that it would be.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
...You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
I want someone to sit beside after the day's pursuit and all its anguish, after its listening, and its waitings, and its suspicions. After quarrelling and reconciliation I need privacy - to be alone with you, to set this hubbub in order. For I am as neat as a cat in my habits.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter everyday. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
They learned no compassion from their own anguish. Thus their suffering was wasted.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Do you want me?” he whispered. It was a simple but loaded question. The answer, like it could remove all anguish from the past few weeks, stood out in my head. “Yes.
M.R. Noble (Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes)
The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
Well, I have lost you; and I lost you fairly; In my own way, and with my full consent. Say what you will, kings in a tumbrel rarely Went to their deaths more proud than this one went. Some nights of apprehension and hot weeping I will confess; but that's permitted me; Day dried my eyes; I was not one for keeping Rubbed in a cage a wing that would be free. If I had loved you less or played you slyly I might have held you for a summer more, But at the cost of words I value highly, And no such summer as the one before. Should I outlive this anguish, and men do, I shall have only good to say of you.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
One fire burns out another's burning, One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Why am I so drawn to you?" He muttered, almost to himself. "Why is it so hard to let go? I thought... at first... it was Ariella, that you remind me of so much. But it's not." Though he didn't smile, his eyes lightened a shade. "You're far more stubborn than she ever was." I sniffed. "That's like the pot calling the kettle black," I whispered, and a faint, tiny grin finally crossed his face, before his expression clouded and he lowered his head, touching his forehead to mine. "What do you want of me, Meghan?" he asked, a low thread of anguish flickering below the surface. Tears blurred my vision, all the fear and heartache of the past few days rising to the surface. "Just you," I whispered. "I just want you." -Ash and Meghan
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2))
Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.
James Joyce (Dubliners)
But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.
Patrick Henry
She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living or dying. After so many years running from fear, fleeing crazily, uselessly, she was finally coming to a halt. At the same time she seemed to be recovering her roots, and the sap rose anew in her body, which was no longer trembling. Pressing her whole belly against the parapet, leaning toward the wheeling sky, she was only waiting for her pounding heart to settle down, and for the silence to form in her. The last constellations of stars fell in bunches a little lower on the horizon of the desert, and stood motionless. Then, with an unbearable sweetness, the waters of the night began to fill her, submerging the cold, rising gradually to the center of her being, and overflowing wave upon wave to her moaning mouth. A moment later, the whole sky stretched out above her as she lay with her back against the cold earth.
Albert Camus
Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
Madeleine L'Engle
Dogs, lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.
Dean Koontz (The Darkest Evening of the Year)
The anguish I always feel when she's in pain wells up in my chest and threatens to register on my face.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
It tore my heart out, because I heard his voice. The wolves sang slowly behind him, bittersweet harmony, but all I heard was Sam. His howl trembled, rose, fell in anguish. I listened for a long time. I prayed for them to stop, to leave me alone, but at the same time I was desperately afraid they would. Long after the other voices had dropped away, Sam kept howling, very soft and slow. When he finally fell silent, the night felt dead.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Oh, Cathy! Oh, my life! how can I bear it?" was the first sentence he uttered, in a tone that did not seek to disguise his despair. And now he stared at her so earnestly that I thought the very intensity of his gaze would bring tears into his eyes; but they burned with anguish: they did not melt.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
No anguish I have had to bear on your account has been too heavy a price to pay for the new life into which I have entered in loving you.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
The soul knows no greater anguish than to take a breath that begins with love and ends with grief.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
Edgar Allan Poe (Berenice)
The secret self knows the anguish of our attachments and assures us that letting go of what we think we must have to be happy is the same as letting go of our unhappiness.
Guy Finley
Love. It's so close to hate, it's almost indistinguishable. But this is how it was for the two of them. Love and hate. Life and death. Joy and anguish.
Melissa de la Cruz (Revelations (Blue Bloods, #3))
Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day; or the agonies which are have their origins in ecstasies which might have been.
Edgar Allan Poe
We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.
J.B. Priestley (An Inspector Calls)
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.
Miguel de Unamuno
Why are we worn out? Why do we, who start out so passionate, brave, noble, believing, become totally bankrupt by the age of thirty or thirty-five? Why is it that one is extinguished by consumption, another puts a bullet in his head, a third seeks oblivion in vodka, cards, a fourth, in order to stifle fear and anguish, cynically tramples underfoot the portrait of his pure, beautiful youth? Why is it that, once fallen, we do not try to rise, and, having lost one thing, we do not seek another? Why?
Anton Chekhov (The Complete Short Novels)
Mental anguish always results from the avoidance of legitimate suffering.
Stefan Molyneux
... true faith never comes without anguish.
R.L. LaFevers (Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1))
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”. As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”. As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”. As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
Charlie Chaplin
When we suffer anguish we return to early childhood because that is the period in which we first learnt to suffer the experience of total loss. It was more than that. It was the period in which we suffered more total losses than in all the rest of our life put together.
John Berger
One pain is lessened by another’s anguish. ... Take thou some new infection to thy eye, And the rank poison of the old will die.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Fate. As a child, that word was often my only companion. It whispered to me from dark corners during lonely nights. It was the song of the birds in spring and the call of the wind through bare branches on a cold winter afternoon. Fate. Both my anguish and my solace. My escort and my cage.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
Death anxiety is the mother of all religions, which, in one way or another, attempt to temper the anguish of our finitude.
Irvin D. Yalom
And the baby?" The words are anguished, breathless. "The baby's fine, Mr. Grey." "Oh, thank God." The words are litany... a prayer, "Oh, thank God.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
...my soul bleeding tears of anguish
Katie MacAlister (Even Vampires Get the Blues (Dark Ones #4))
Friendship needs no words - it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.
Dag Hammarskjöld
She'd expected some backlash; it happened every time she shared her strength. But she hadn't anticipated so much raw anguish from Nico di Angelo… If this was only a portion of Nico’s pain… how could he bear it?
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency... God's sorrow lies in our refusal to approach Him when we sinned and failed.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
She is furious with herself for her own stupidity. Opening herself up like this, voluntarily, to a lifetime of worry and anguish. It was madness. Sheer lunacy. A spectacularly foolish and baseless faith, against enormous odds, that a world you do not control will not take from you the one thing you cannot bear to lose. Faith that the world will not destroy you.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
Don't leave me alone! A cry in the night, Of anguish heart-stiking, Of soul-killing fright. Live for my living Or else I must die Don't leave me alone. A world heard that cry.
Anne McCaffrey (Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2))
You don't even like me, remember?" That's what I try to say. What actually comes out of my mouth is closer to a baby's first attempt at babbling. "Shh." He runs his fingertips along my cheek, caressing my face. "Hush. I'm right here." He looks at me with deep anguish in his eyes. Like there's so much he wants to tell me but feel it's too late now. I want to stroke his face and tell him that it will be okay. That everything will be all right. And I wish so badly that it would be.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
Maybe they see something in him, see something in his face, in his features. Maybe they see what I see from this disjointed, foggy perspective. The desperation in his expression, the anguish carved into his features, the way he looks at me, like he might die if I do. And I can't help but think this is an interesting parting gift from the world.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
The transformative power of love is not fully embraced in our society because we often wrongly believe that torment and anguish are our ‘natural’ condition.
bell hooks
nothing proving or sick or partial. Nothing false,nothing difficult or easy or small or colossal. Nothing ordinary or extraordinary,nothing emptied or filled,real or unreal;nothing feeble and known or clumsy and guessed. Everywhere tints childrening, innocent spontaneous,true. Nowhere possibly what flesh and impossibly such a garden,but actually flowers which breasts are among the very mouths of light. Nothing believed or doubted; brain over heart, surface:nowhere hating or to fear;shadow, mind without soul. Only how measureless cool flames of making;only each other building always distinct selves of mutual entirely opening;only alive. Never the murdered finalities of wherewhen and yesno,impotent nongames of wrongright and rightwrong;never to gain or pause,never the soft adventure of undoom,greedy anguishes and cringing ecstasies of inexistence; never to rest and never to have:only to grow. Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.
E.E. Cummings
There's release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there's nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at last, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
You think I don't know how stories get written- how this story will be written?" Rhys put his hands on his chest, his face more open, more anguished than I'd seen it. "I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end. He is the golden prince- the hero who will get to keep you as his reward for not dying of stupidity and arrogance.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.
Richard Lederer (Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language)
In struggling against anguish one never produces serenity; the struggle against anguish only produces new forms of anguish.
Simone Weil
Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us . . . But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture's being drained by laughter?
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
She was a ghost in a strange house that overnight had become immense and solitary and through which she wandered without purpose, asking herself in anguish which one of them was deader: the man who had died or the woman he had left behind.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain; Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, How could I seek the empty world again?
Emily Brontë (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell)
It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying. One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
Magnus exhaled - for a moment he no longer felt ill, or afraid of dying, or even angry or bitter. Relief washed over him, as profound as sorrow, and he reached up to brush the cheek of the boy leaning over him with the back of his bruised knuckles. Alec’s eyes were huge and blue and full of anguish. “Oh, my Alec,” he said. “You’ve been so sad. I didn’t know.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
At the first kiss I felt something melt inside me that hurt in an exquisite way. All my longings, all my dreams and sweet anguish, All the secrets that slept deep within me came awake, Everything was transformed and enchanted, everything made sense.
Hermann Hesse
What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.
Dag Hammarskjöld
What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.
Søren Kierkegaard
This world’s anguish is no different from the love we insist on holding back.
Aberjhani (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
The only thing he could do to stay alive was not to allow himself the anguish of that memory. He erased it from his mind, although from time to time in the years that were left to him he would feel it revive, with no warning and for no reason, like the sudden pang of an old scar.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Keep your relationships brief. Don’t let them in. Once they’re inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
There was no one to be seen so she gave in freely to her sobs as she made her way home, pressed her arms against her stomach; the pain lodged in there like an ill-tempered foetus. Let a person in and he hurts you. There was a reason why she kept her relationships brief. Don't let them in. Once they're inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
Love is more than simply being open to experiencing the anguish of another person's suffering. It is the willingness to live with the helpless knowing that we can do nothing to save the other from his pain. (23)
Sheldon B. Kopp (If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy Patients)
Have you ever stopped to ponder the amount of blood spilt, the volume of tears shed, the degree of pain and anguish endured, the number of noble men and women lost in battle so that we as individuals might have a say in governing our country?  Honor the lives sacrificed for your freedoms. Vote.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them - and then they leap. I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
...our souls may be consumed by shadows, but that doesn't mean we have to behave as monsters.
Emm Cole (The Short Life of Sparrows)
But a sort of rupture-in anguish-leaves us at the limit of tears: in such a case we lose ourselves, we forget ourselves and communicate with an elusive beyond.
Georges Bataille
Is it true, O Christ in heaven, that the highest suffer the most? That the strongest wander furthest and most hopelessly are lost? That the mark of rank in nature is capacity for pain? That the anguish of the singer makes the sweetness of the strain?
John Milton
What, I ask, drives me to disorder? How can I diagnose myself? All I feel, most immediately, is the most anguished need for physical love and mental companionship -
Susan Sontag (Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963)
He turned away; he threw himself on his face on the sofa. 'Oh, Jane! my hope - my love - my life!' broke in anguish from his lips.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne.
William Styron
My principle anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Last Temptation of Christ)
No death, no doom, no anguish can arouse the surpassing despair which flows from a loss of identity. - Through the Gates of the Silver Key
H.P. Lovecraft (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)
pg.9 "In my heart there's a peaceful anguish, and my calm is made of resignation.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
She was moved by a kind of commiseration... a pity for that colorless existence which never uplifted its possessor beyond the region of blind contentment, in which no moment of anguish ever visited her soul, in which she would never have the taste of life's delirium.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Boredom is an instrument of social control. Power is the power to impose boredom, to command stasis, to combine this stasis with anguish. The real tedium, deep tedium, is seasoned with terror and with death.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
It was the song of the birds in spring and the call of the wind through bare branches on a cold winter afternoon. Fate. Both my anguish and my solace. My escort and my cage.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
The thought of her gave me such a continual anguish that I could no more forget her than an aching tooth. It was involuntary, hopeless, compulsive. For years she had been the first thing I remembered when I woke up, the last thing that drifted through my mind as I went to sleep, and during the day she came to me obtrusively, obsessively, always with a painful shock.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.
Robert Southey
My life has become a dismal sigh fettered by pangs of grief and anguished weeping.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Ah! The anguish, the vile rage, the despair Of not being able to express With a shout, an extreme and bitter shout, The bleeding of my heart.
Fernando Pessoa (A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems)
to feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current (of affairs) not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings - of bird beings - of star beings - of microbe beings - of fountain beings toward ourselves
Frida Kahlo (The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait)
In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
Every pain, addiction, anguish, longing, depression, anger or fear is an orphaned part of us seeking joy, some disowned shadow wanting to return to the light and home of ourselves.
Jacob Nordby
For an instant, at least, they seemed one and the same, as though all anguish exists in the same deep well, no matter what loss or misfortune leads us to it. We might be at odds, hate each other, and desired each others destruction, but in our despair, we are lost in the same darkness, breathing the same air as we choke on our grief.
Laini Taylor (Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2))
The chaos of the mind cannot constitute a reply to the providence of the universe. All it can be is an awakening in the night, where all that can be heard is anguished poetry let loose.
Georges Bataille (Literature and Evil)
She lived for others, her heart tuned to their anguish and their needs.
Dean Koontz (From the Corner of His Eye)
For this was the round of love: fear which leads on desire, tenderness and fury, and that brutal anguish which triumphantly follows pleasure.
Françoise Sagan (Bonjour tristesse)
God! how is it that we fail to recognize that the mask of pleasure, stripped of all hypocrisy, is that of anguish?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart.
Pablo Neruda (The Poetry of Pablo Neruda)
i am a little church(no great cathedral) far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities --i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest, i am not sorry when sun and rain make april my life is the life of the reaper and the sower; my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving (finding and losing and laughing and crying)children whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness around me surges a miracle of unceasing birth and glory and death and resurrection: over my sleeping self float flaming symbols of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains i am a little church(far from the frantic world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature --i do not worry if longer nights grow longest; i am not sorry when silence becomes singing winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to merciful Him Whose only now is forever: standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence (welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)
E.E. Cummings
I dread no more the first white in my hair, Or even age itself, the easy shoe, The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair: Time, doing this to me, may alter too My anguish, into something I can bear
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
Bertrand Russell
If it is true that there is no greater sorrow than to remember a happy time in a state of misery, it is just as true that calling up a moment of anguish in a tranquil mood, seated quietly at one's desk, is a source of profound satisfaction.
Primo Levi (The Periodic Table)
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies.
William Faulkner
You were dancing with Yuki and I looked at you. And you turned away and held her closer. Why did you do that? If you didn't want to hurt me, then why?" He looked away, as though he'd been slapped, but he didn't look guilty. He looked pained. "I closed my eyes," he said, his voice so low and strangled she could hardly hear him. "What?" she asked, not understanding. "Tamani held up a hand and Laurel realized he hadn't finished-he was having trouble speaking at all. "I closed my eyes," he repeated after a few shallow breaths, "and imagined she was you."He looked at her, his face open, his eyes honest, his voice a song of anguish.
Aprilynne Pike (Illusions (Wings, #3))
We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men. Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)
Only those who still have hope can benefit from tears. When they finish, they feel better. But to those without hope, whose anguish is basic and permanent, no good comes from crying. Nothing changes for them. They usually know this, but still can’t help crying.
Nathanael West (The Day of the Locust)
O my son Absalom,' Bean said softly, knowing for the first time the kind of anguish that could tear such words from a man’s mouth. 'my son, my son Absalom. Would God I could die for thee, O Absalom, my son. My sons!
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1))
And I ran after that voice through the streets so as not to lose sight of the splendid wreath of bodies gliding over the city, and I realized with anguish in my heart that they were flying like birds and I was falling like a stone, that they had wings and I would never have any.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
... What do you want, Ash?" "Your head," Ash answered softly. "On a pike. But what I want doesn't matter this time." He pointed his sword at me. "I've come for her." I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He's here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium. "Over my dead body." Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin. "This was part of the plan." The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. "I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest." For a moment, a shadow of anguish flitted across his face, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were cold and glittered with malice. "Prepare yourself." "Stay back, princess," Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pullet out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. "This might get a little rough." "Puck, no." I clutched at his sleeve. "Don't fight him. Someone could die." "Duels to the death tend to end that way." Puck grinned, but it was a savage thing, grim and frightening. "But I'm touched that you care. One moment, princeling," he called to Ash, who inclined his head. Taking my wrist, Puck steered me behind the fountain and bent close, his breath warm on my face. "I have to do this, princess," he said firmly. "Ash won't let us go without a fight, and this has been coming for a long time now." For a moment, a shadow of regret flickered across his face, but then it was gone. "So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?" I hesitated, wondering why now, of all times, he would ask for a kiss. He certainly didn't think of me in that way... did he?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
The brain is an incredible multitasker. At the same time that it’s piercing itself with superheated needles of anguish, it’s ruthlessly making plans, contingencies, plotting out a future, giving zero fucks whether it’ll ever see it. On the day I die, it’ll be calculating what to have for dinner as it bombards itself with pain signals from my amputated legs or my clocked-out heart.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
That is when time stands still - when you watch the one you love, walk away.
Mallika Nawal (I'm a Woman & I'm on SALE (I'm a Woman, #1))
The — the prophecy . . . the prediction . . . Trelawney . . .” “Ah, yes. How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard! That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman. It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you, surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
What do you want of me, Meghan?" he asked, a low thread of anguish flickering below the surface. Tears blurred my vision, all the fear and heartache of the past few days rising to the surface. "Just you" I whispered. "I just want you". He closed his eyes. "I can´t do that
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2))
But whichever form it took it brought with it, in those moments of bitter anguish, such a desperate surge of hope that it was almost untouchable, and flitted away like a golden butterfly into the bright blue sky - beautiful, unreachable and completely transistent.
Tabitha Suzuma (A Note of Madness (Flynn Laukonen, #1))
I’m going to tell you something once and then whether you die is strictly up to you," Westley said, lying pleasantly on the bed. "What I’m going to tell you is this: drop your sword, and if you do, then I will leave with this baggage here"—he glanced at Buttercup—"and you will be tied up but not fatally, and will be free to go about your business. And if you choose to fight, well, then, we will not both leave alive." You are only alive now because you said 'to the pain.' I want that phrase explained." My pleasure. To the pain means this: if we duel and you win, death for me. If we duel and I win, life for you. But life on my terms. The first thing you lose will be your feet. Below the ankle. You will have stumps available to use within six months. Then your hands, at the wrists. They heal somewhat quicker. Five months is a fair average. Next your nose. No smell of dawn for you. Followed by your tongue. Deeply cut away. Not even a stump left. And then your left eye—" And then my right eye, and then my ears, and shall we get on with it?" the Prince said. Wrong!" Westley’s voice rang across the room. "Your ears you keep, so that every shriek of every child shall be yours to cherish—every babe that weeps in fear at your approach, every woman that cries 'Dear God, what is that thing?' will reverberate forever with your perfect ears. That is what 'to the pain' means. It means that I leave you in anguish, in humiliation, in freakish misery until you can stand it no more; so there you have it, pig, there you know, you miserable vomitous mass, and I say this now, and live or die, it’s up to you: Drop your sword!" The sword crashed to the floor.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
(...) nearly all the great things that exist owe their existence to a defiant despite: it is despite grief and anguish, despite poverty, loneliness, bodily weakness, vice and passion and a thousand inhibitions, that they have come into being at all.
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice)
I have discovered in my long life that there are many words and phrases which have more power than any spell of magick. The most well-known of these is, of course, I love you. But by far the most deadly is, if only. For these two words can strip a man's strength, his courage and his confidence. They become the father of regret and anguish and pain.
David Gemmell (Morningstar)
It seems that a profound, impartial, and absolutely just opinion of our fellow-creatures is utterly unknown. Either we are men, or we are women. Either we are cold, or we are sentimental. Either we are young, or growing old. In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows. And why, if this -- and much more than this is true -- why are we yet surprised in the window corner by a sudden vision that the young man in the chair is of all things in the world the most real, the most solid, the best known to us--why indeed? For the moment after we know nothing about him. Such is the manner of our seeing. Such the conditions of our love.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph. —ELIE WIESEL from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
Does the open wound in another's breast soften the pain of the gaping wound in our own? Or does the blood which is welling from another man's side staunch that which is pouring from our own? Does the general anguish of our fellow creatures lessen our own private and particular anguish? No, no, each suffers on his own account, each struggles with his own grief, each sheds his own tears.
Alexandre Dumas (The Man in the Iron Mask (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.4))
You are going, Jane?" "I am going, sir." "You are leaving me?" "Yes." "You will not come? You will not be my comforter, my rescuer? My deep love, my wild woe, my frantic prayer, are all nothing to you?" What unutterable pathos was in his voice! How hard was it to reiterate firmly, "I am going!" "Jane!" "Mr. Rochester." "Withdraw then, I consent; but remember, you leave me here in anguish. Go up to your own room, think over all I have said, and, Jane, cast a glance on my sufferings; think of me." He turned away, he threw himself on his face on the sofa. "Oh, Jane! my hope, my love, my life!" broke in anguish from his lips. Then came a deep, strong sob.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
My hopes were all dead --- struck with a subtle doom, such as, in one night, fell on all the first-born in the land of Egypt. I looked on my cherished wishes, yesterday so blooming and glowing; they lay stark, chill, livid corpses that could never revive. I looked at my love: that feeling which had been my master's --- which he had created; it shivered in my heart, like a suffering child in a cold cradle; sickness and anguish had seized it; it could not seek Mr Rochester's arms --- it could not derive warmth from his breast. Oh, never more could it turn to him; for faith was blighted -- confidence destroyed!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
He had only felt agony when she was not there, and assumed that that was love. We suffer for love because love is worth it, his father has told him once: James had thought that meant that to love was to endure anguish. He had not realised his father had meant there should be joy to balance the pain.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2))
Look at this!" he shouted "look at it! what has that one-woman force of chaos done to these spells?" Sophie and Michael whirled round and looked at Howl. His hair was wet, but, apart from that, neither of them could see that it looked any different. "If you mean me-" Sophie began. "I do mean you! Look!" Howl shrieked. He sat down with a thump on the three-legged stool and jabbed at his wet head with his fingers. "Look. Survey. Inspect. My hair is ruined! I look like a pan of bacon and eggs!" Michael and Sophie bent nervously over Howl's head. it seemed the usual flaxen color right down to the roots. The only difference might have been a slight, very slight, trace of red. Sophie found that agreeable. It reminded her a little of the color her own hair should have been. "I think it's nice," she said. "Nice!" screamed Howl. "You would! You did it on purpose. You couldn't rest until you made me miserable too. Look at it! It's ginger! I shall have to hide until it's grown out!" He spread his arms out passionately. "Dispair!" he yelled. "Anguish! Horror!
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father. “Abba,” He cried, “Papa,” or from the lips of a younger child, “Daddy.” This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night—together.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Love never comes with a brochure of rules and regulations, a prospectus with guides of what is acceptable and what is abominable. It’s a standard to follow your heart, and that’s what I did and if doing that hurt you, then I’m sorry… sorry for coming in your life and wasting your time, for causing you an anguish so great that you could not bear the sight of me. Today, I am proud to stand up and honour myself and proclaim to the world… yes, I loved someone more than myself. I loved someone truly, madly, deeply!
Faraaz Kazi (Truly, Madly, Deeply)
I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel
When a person is evoked for who she is, not who she is not, the most often result will be the inner healing of her heart through the touch of affirmation. Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguish gift of yourself, a love that forgives seven times seven, that keeps no record of wrong. This is the criterion, sole norm, the standard of discipleship in the New Israel of God.
Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)
Sorrow, terror, anguish, despair itself are often the chosen expressions of an approximation to the highest good. Our sympathy in tragic fiction depends on this principle; tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain. This is the source also of the melancholy which is inseparable from the sweetest melody. The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (A Defence of Poetry and Other Essays)
He had never thought of himself as much of a praying man, but as he sat in the car in the growing darkness and the minutes passed, he knew what it was to pray. It was to will goodness out of evil, hope out of despair, life out of death. It was to will dreams into existence and spectres into reality. It was to will an end to anguish and a beginning to joy.
Elizabeth George (A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1))
The Buddha's original teaching is essentially a matter of four points -- the Four Noble Truths: 1. Anguish is everywhere. 2. We desire permanent existence of ourselves and for our loved ones, and we desire to prove ourselves independent of others and superior to them. These desires conflict with the way things are: nothing abides, and everything and everyone depends upon everything and everyone else. This conflict causes our anguish, and we project this anguish on those we meet. 3. Release from anguish comes with the personal acknowledgment and resolve: we are here together very briefly, so let us accept reality fully and take care of one another while we can. 4. This acknowledgement and resolve are realized by following the Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, and Right Meditation. Here "Right" means "correct" or "accurate" -- in keeping with the reality of impermanence and interdependence.
Robert Aitken (The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice)
We have turned doctors into gods and worship their deity by offering up our bodies and our souls - not to mention our worldly goods. And yet paradoxically, they are the most vulnerable of human beings. Their suicide rate is eight times the national average. Their percentage of drug addiction is one hundred times higher And because they are painfully aware that they cannot live up to our expectations, their anguish is unquantifiably intense. They have aptly been called 'wounded healers.' " ~ Barney Livingston, M.D. (Doctors, 1989)
Erich Segal
The Wind Will Carry Us In my night, so brief, alas The wind is about to meet the leaves. My night so brief is filled with devastating anguish Hark! Do you hear the whisper of the shadows? This happiness feels foreign to me. I am accustomed to despair. Hark! Do you hear the whisper of the shadows? There, in the night, something is happening The moon is red and anxious. And, clinging to this roof That could collapse at any moment, The clouds, like a crowd of mourning women, Await the birth of the rain. One second, and then nothing. Behind this window, The night trembles And the earth stops spinning. Behind this window, a stranger Worries about me and you. You in your greenery, Lay your hands – those burning memories – On my loving hands. And entrust your lips, replete with life's warmth, To the touch of my loving lips The wind will carry us! The wind will carry us!
Forugh Farrokhzad
Life has moments that feel as if the sun has blackened to tar and the entire world turned to ice.  It feels as if Hades and his vile demons have risen from the depths of Tartarus solely for the purpose of banding to personally torture you, and that their genuine intent of mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish is tearing you to shreds.  Your heart weighs as heavily as leaden legs which you would drag yourself forward with if not for the quicksand that pulls you down inch by inch, paralyzing your will and threatening oblivion.  And all the while fire and brimstone pour from the sky, pelting only you.   Truly, that is what it feels like. But that feeling is a trial that won't last forever.  Never give up.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come- not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. And this results in a striking experience- one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devistation would by lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting. His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
You don’t get to leave me. Do you understand?” Cupping my face, he wrenched me backward and kissed me hard. His voice was fierce. His eyes were fiercer. They burned into mine, angry and anguished and afraid. “You don’t get to do this alone. If you retreat into your mind—into your magic—I’ll follow you, Lou.” He shook me slightly, tears glistening in those frightened eyes. “I’ll follow you into that darkness, and I’ll bring you back. Do you hear me? Where you go, I will go.
Shelby Mahurin (Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2))
They have not forgotten the Mysteries,' she said, ‘they have found them too difficult. They want a God who will care for them, who will not demand that they struggle for enlightenment, but who will accept them just as they are, with all their sins, and take away their sins with repentance. It is not so, it will never be so, but perhaps it is the only way the unenlightened can bear to think of their Gods.' Lancelot smiled bitterly. ‘Perhaps a religion which demands that every man must work though lifetime after lifetime for his own salvation is too much for mankind. They want not to wait for God's justice but to see it now. And that is the lure which this new breed of priests has promised them.' Morgaine knew that he spoke truth, and bowed her head in anguish. ‘And since their view of a God is what shapes their reality, so it shall be–the Goddess was real while mankind still paid homage to her, and created her form for themselves. Now they will make for themselves the kind of God they think they want–the kind of God they deserve, perhaps.' Well, so it must be, for as man saw reality, so it became.
Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1))
We are sometimes dragged into a pit of unhappiness by someone else’s opinion that we do not look happy.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Love hath so long possess'd me for his own And made his lordship so familiar That he, who at first irk'd me, is now grown Unto my heart as its best secrets are. And thus, when he in such sore wise doth mar My life that all its strength seems gone from it. Mine inmost being then feels thoroughly quit Of anguish, and all evil keeps afar. Love also gathers to such power in me That my sighs speak, each one a grievous thing. Always soliciting My Gabriel's salutation piteously. Whenever he beholds me, it is so, Who is more sweet than any words can show.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
I cry even harder, thinking of how it could have been, of how I thought it would be. For the first time, I want to give up, to die, because suddenly everything is too much and there is no solution in sight.
B.A. Paris (Behind Closed Doors)
The trouble with a secret life is that it is very frequently a secret from the person who lives it and not at all a secret for the people he encounters. He encounters, because he must encounter, those people who see his secrecy before they see anything else, and who drag these secrets out of him; sometimes with the intention of using them against him, sometimes with more benevolent intent; but, whatever the intent, the moment is awful and the accumulating revelation is an unspeakable anguish. The aim of the dreamer, after all, is merely to go on dreaming and not to be molested by the world. His dreams are his protection against the world. But the aims of life are antithetical to those of the dreamer, and the teeth of the world are sharp.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human— looks out of the heart burning with purity— for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love —cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy —must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye— yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Don't cry for someone who would love smiling when your tears are flowing.
Michael Bassey Johnson
How strange, Royce thought, that, after emerging victorious from more than a hundred real battles, the greatest moment of triumph he had ever known had come to him on a mock battlefield where he'd stood alone, unhorsed, and defeated. This morning, his life had seemed as bleak as death. Tonight, he held joy in his arms. Someone or something—fate or fortune or Jenny's God—had looked down upon him this morning and seen his anguish. And, for some reason, Jenny had been given back to him. Closing his eyes, Royce brushed a kiss against her smooth forehead. Thank you, he thought. And in his heart, he could have sworn he heard a voice answer, You're welcome.
Judith McNaught (A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1))
Now you are walking in Paris all alone in the crowd As herds of bellowing buses drive by Love's anguish tightens your throat As if you were never to be loved again If you lived in the old days you would enter a monastery You are ashamed when you discover yourself reciting a prayer You make fun of yourself and like the fire of Hell your laughter crackles The sparks of your laugh gild the depths of your life It's a painting hanging in a dark museum And sometimes you go and look at it close up
Guillaume Apollinaire (Zone)
The poet must always, in every instance, have the vibrant word... that by it's trenchancy can so wound my soul that it whimpers.... One must know and recognize not merely the direct but the secret power of the word; one must be able to give one's writing unexpected effects. It must have a hectic, anguished vehemence, so that it rushes past like a gust of air, and it must have a latent, roistering tenderness so that it creeps and steals one's mind; it must be able to ring out like a sea-shanty in a tremendous hour, in the time of the tempest, and it must be able to sigh like one who, in tearful mood, sobs in his inmost heart.
Knut Hamsun
Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now. She will never suffer more in this world. She is gone after a hard, short conflict...Yes there is no Emily in time or on earth now. Yesterday we put her poor, wasted, mortal frame quietly under the chancel pavement. We are very calm at present. Why shoud we be otherwise? The anguish of seeing her suffer is over; the spectacle of the pains of death is gone by; the funeral day is past. We feel she is at peace. No need now to trouble for the hard frost and the keen wind. Emily does not feel them.
Charlotte Brontë
For all the pain you suffered, my mama. For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama. For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you. For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other’s throats. For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend. For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created this painting—an observant Jew working on a crucifixion because there was no aesthetic mold in his own religious tradition into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish and torment.
Chaim Potok (My Name Is Asher Lev)
Acknowledge that some moments are just plain awful―desperate and gloomy and painful and miserable and nothing at all but anguish. No truthful, cheerful thought in the world will fix it. So let me cry awhile. Don't try to find a sunbeam where a shroud of darkness encloses me. Let me mourn. Then, after the storm, when the tears have run dry and my eyes choose to open, I will look for your rainbow of hope.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
We're the unmended, the untended, cold soldiers of the shoe. We're the neglected, the never resurrected, agonies of the few. We're the once kissed, unmissed and always refused. Because we're the unfinished and feared and we're never pursued. And just that easily, on my behalf, I come around. Because I'm burning. The beast of War feeds only on the meats of War. And now I'm for carnage. Here's how my anguish frees. Destroy everyone of course. Because I'm unwanted and unsafe. And I'll take tears away with torments and rape, killings and fears not even the dead will escape. Encircling the Guilty, Ashamed, Blameless and Enslaved. Absolved. Butchering their prejudice. Patience. Their Value. Because I'm without value. I'm the coming of every holocaust. Turning no lost. Rending tissue, sinew and bone. Excepting no suffering. By me all levees will break. All silos heave. I will walk heavy. And I will walk strange. Because I am too soon. Because without Her, I am only revolutions Of ruin. Because I am too soon. Because without You, I am only revolutions Of ruin. I'm the prophecy prophecies pass. Why need dies at last. How oceans dry. Islands drown. And skies of salt crash to the ground. I turn the powerful. Defy the weak. Only grass grows down abandoned streets. For a greater economy shall follow Us and it will be undone. And a greater autonomy shall follow Us and it too will be undone. And a greater feeling shall follow Love and it too we will blow to dust. For I am longings without trust. The cycloidal haste freedom from Hailey forever wastes. Dust cares for only dust. And time only for Us. Because I am too soon. Because without Her, I am only revolutions Of ruin. Because I am too soon. Because without You, I am only revolutions Of ruin. We are always sixteen...
Mark Z. Danielewski (Only Revolutions)
Her gaze met his, her green eyes glazed and filled with shadows. "I-Iain?" Iain understood those shadows only too well. She was in shock. She had witnessed the full horror of war. Worse, she had killed a man. Like a young soldier after his first battle, she was struggling to cope. 'Twas an anguish no woman should have to bear. His rage broke like the tide against the shore, and before he could think, he pulled her hard against him, held her, stroked her hair. "You foolish, brave woman! Why do you no' obey me?" "What the bloody hell is he doin'?" Connor asked from somewhere behind them. Morgan answered, "I think he's punishin' her." "If he tries this on the men, they'll mutiny.
Pamela Clare (Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers, #1))
This is why a tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome. No, van Gogh was not mad, but his paintings were bursts of Greek fire, atomic bombs, whose angle of vision would have been capable of seriously upsetting the spectral conformity of the bourgeoisie. In comparison with the lucidity of van Gogh, psychiatry is no better than a den of apes who are themselves obsessed and persecuted and who possess nothing to mitigate the most appalling states of anguish and human suffocation but a ridiculous terminology. To a man, this whole gang of pected scoundrels and patented quacks are all erotomaniacs.
Antonin Artaud
He opened his palm and saw that the watch remained. Still there. Still real. Varen looked up at the figure that stood atop the fountain. With a howl of rage, he made it burst apart. He fell to his knees amid the wreckage and floating dust. Crumpling into himself, he released a choking sob, knowing that he, too, belonged to the ruin.
Kelly Creagh (Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2))
We are the centuries... We have your eoliths and your mesoliths and your neoliths. We have your Babylons and your Pompeiis, your Caesars and your chromium-plated (vital-ingredient impregnated) artifacts. We have your bloody hatchets and your Hiroshimas. We march in spite of Hell, we do – Atrophy, Entropy, and Proteus vulgaris, telling bawdy jokes about a farm girl name of Eve and a traveling salesman called Lucifer. We bury your dead and their reputations. We bury you. We are the centuries. Be born then, gasp wind, screech at the surgeon’s slap, seek manhood, taste a little godhood, feel pain, give birth, struggle a little while, succumb: (Dying, leave quietly by the rear exit, please.) Generation, regeneration, again, again, as in a ritual, with blood-stained vestments and nail-torn hands, children of Merlin, chasing a gleam. Children, too, of Eve, forever building Edens – and kicking them apart in berserk fury because somehow it isn’t the same. (AGH! AGH! AGH! – an idiot screams his mindless anguish amid the rubble. But quickly! let it be inundated by the choir, chanting Alleluias at ninety decibels.)
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 21, 1864. Dear Madam,-- I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
I looked at our hands, caked and coated in red, but entwined. The pristine moment when they were clasped like that earlier in the day seemed weeks ago. "Clean." Peter said. "Can I get a water bottle or something to clean his hands?" I scanned the crowd. He drew my attention back to him with a pull of my hand. "No," Peter said. "I'm...clean." I had missed who Peter was until that very moment. I had called him names and treated him callously. I had read every micro expression in a vacuum of how it related to Austin Glass. And in return Peter had cared for my wounds, treated me tenderly and assured me that he was HIV negative while bleeding out in a hallway of strangers. I broke. It wasn't a visible fracture. I didn't sob or explode into anguish. I didn't give in to my vomitus urge that came from the burst of self-loathing. But I shattered nonetheless.
Dani Alexander (Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1))
I didn’t drop my arms when his anguish quieted; I was in no hurry to let him go. It seemed as though my body had been starving for this from the beginning, but I’d never understood before now what would feed the hunger. The mysterious bond of mother and child—so strong on this planet—was not a mystery to me any longer. There was no bond greater than one that required your life for another’s. I’d understood this truth before; what I had not understood was why. Now I knew why a mother would give her life for her child, and this knowledge would forever shape the way I saw the universe.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
In that inevitable, excruciatingly human moment, we are offered a powerful choice. This choice is perhaps one of the most vitally important choices we will ever make, and it determines the course of our lives from that moment forward. The choice is this: Will we interpret this loss as so unjust, unfair, and devastating that we feel punished, angry, forever and fatally wounded-- or, as our heart, torn apart, bleeds its anguish of sheer, wordless grief, will we somehow feel this loss as an opportunity to become more tender, more open, more passionately alive, more grateful for what remains?
Wayne Muller (A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough)
The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers. I could regard them in no other light than a band of successful robbers, who had left their homes, and gone to Africa, and stolen us from our homes, and in a strange land reduced us to slavery. I loathed them as being the meanest as well as the most wicked of men. As I read and contemplated the subject, behold! that very discontentment which Master Hugh had predicted would follow my learning to read had already come, to torment and sting my soul to unutterable anguish. As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. it opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. in moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own. Any thing, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it. It was pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or inanimate. The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It was heard in every sound and seen in every thing. It was ever present to torment me with a sense of my wretched condition. I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
I wish I could describe the feeling of being at sea, the anguish, frustration, and fear, the beauty that accompanies threatening spectacles, the spiritual communion with creatures in whose domain I sail. There is a magnificent intensity in life that comes when we are not in control but are only reacting, living, surviving. I am not a religious man per se. My own cosmology is convoluted and not in line with any particular church or philosphy. But for me, to go to sea is to glimpse the face of God. At sea i am reminded of my insignificance-- of all men's insignificance. It is a wonderful feeling to be so humbled.
Steve Callahan
you make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disorder, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, all disorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought, history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passions and systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something out of it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth. There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust, stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses. what can you do about it, my poor friend?
Blaise Cendrars
And then, on September 11, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day and the days that would follow--the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
[W]e must recognize that ethics requires us to risk ourselves precisely at moments of unknowingness, when what forms us diverges from what lies before us, when our willingness to become undone in relation to others constitutes our chance of becoming human. To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance--to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient "I" as a kind of possession. If we speak and try to give an account from this place, we will not be irresponsible, or, if we are, we will surely be forgiven.
Judith Butler (Giving an Account of Oneself)
Today the danger of the pro-life position, which I vigorously support, is that it can be frighteningly selective. The rights of the unborn and the dignity of the age-worn are pieces of the same pro-life fabric. We weep at the unjustified destruction of the unborn. Did we also weep when the evening news reported from Arkansas that a black family had been shotgunned out of a white neighborhood. When we laud life and blast abortionists, our credibility as Christians is questionable. On one hand we proclaim the love and anguish, the pain and joy that goes into fashioning a single child. We proclaim how precious each life is to God and should be to us. On the other hand, when it is the enemy that shrieks to heaven with his flesh in flames, we do not weep, we are not shamed; we call for more
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
--"And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the opppresso, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must--at that moment--become the center of the universe." "Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere." "As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs." ‎" We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation echoed throughout the starless air of Hell; at first these sounds resounding made me weep: tongues confused, a language strained in anguish with cadences of anger, shrill outcries and raucous groans that joined with sounds of hands, raising a whirling storm that turns itself forever through that air of endless black, like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows. And I, in the midst of all this circling horror, began, "Teacher, what are these sounds I hear? What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?" And he to me: "This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them, for fear the damned might glory over them." And I. "Master, what torments do they suffer that force them to lament so bitterly?" He answered: "I will tell you in few words: these wretches have no hope of truly dying, and this blind life they lead is so abject it makes them envy every other fate. The world will not record their having been there; Heaven's mercy and its justice turn from them. Let's not discuss them; look and pass them by...
Dante Alighieri
Look, look,' cried the count, seizing the young man's hands - "look, for on my soul it is curious. Here is a man who had resigned himself to his fate, who was going to the scaffold to die - like a coward, it is true, but he was about to die without resistance. Do you know what gave him strength? - do you know what consoled him? It was, that another partook of his punishment - that another partook of his anguish - that another was to die before him. Lead two sheep to the butcher's, two oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand that his companion will not die; the sheep will bleat for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man - man, who God created in his own image - man, upon whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbour - man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts - what is his first cry when he hears his fellowman is saved? A blasphemy. Honour to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of the creation!
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.
Elie Wiesel (The Gates of the Forest)
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
She could just distinguish his features, as he slept the perfect sleep. In this darkness, she seemed to see him so distinctly. But he was far off, in another world. Ah, she could shriek with torment, he was so far off, and perfected, in another world. She seemed to look at him as at a pebble far away under clear dark water. And here was she, left with all the anguish of consciousness, whilst he was sunk deep into the other element of mindless, remote, living shadow-gleam. He was beautiful, far-off, and perfected. They would never be together. Ah, this awful, inhuman distance which would always be interposed between her and the other being! There was nothing to do but to lie still and endure. She felt an overwhelming tenderness for him, and a dark, under-stirring of jealous hatred, that he should lie so perfect and immune, in an other-world, whilst she was tormented with violent wakefulness, cast out in the outer darkness.
D.H. Lawrence (Women in Love)
In his grave, we praise him for his decency - but when he walked amongst us, we responded with no decency of our own. When he suggested that all men should have a place in the sun - we put a special sanctity on the right of ownership and the privilege of prejudice by maintaining that to deny homes to Negroes was a democratic right. Now we acknowledge his compassion - but we exercised no compassion of our own. When he asked us to understand that men take to the streets out of anguish and hopelessness and a vision of that dream dying, we bought guns and speculated about roving agitators and subversive conspiracies and demanded law and order. We felt anger at the effects, but did little to acknowledge the causes. We extol all the virtues of the man - but we chose not to call them virtues before his death. And now, belatedly, we talk of this man's worth - but the judgement comes late in the day as part of a eulogy when it should have been made a matter of record while he existed as a living force. If we are to lend credence to our mourning, there are acknowledgements that must be made now, albeit belatedly. We must act on the altogether proper assumption that Martin Luther King asked for nothing but that which was his due... He asked only for equality, and it is that which we denied him. [excerpt from a letter to The Los Angeles Times in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; April 8, 1968
Rod Serling
Those who in the name of Faith embrace illusion, kill and are killed. Even the atheist gets God's blessings- Does not boast of his religion; With reverence he lights the lamp of Reason And pays his homage not to scriptures, But to the good in man. The bigot insults his own religion When he slays a man of another faith. Conduct he judges not in the light of Reason; In the temple he raises the blood-stained banner And worships the devil in the name of God. All that is shameful and barbarous through the Ages, Has found a shelter in their temples- Those they turn into prisons; O, I hear the trumpet call of Destruction! Time comes with her great broom Sweeping all refuse away. That which should make man free, They turn into fetters; That which should unite, They turn into sword; That which should bring love From the fountain of the Eternal, They turn into prison And with its waves they flood the world. They try to cross the river In a bark riddled with holes; And yet, in their anguish, whom do they blame? O Lord, breaking false religion, Save the blind! Break! O break The alter that is drowned in blood. Let your thunder strike Into the prison of false religion, And bring to this unhappy land The light of Knowledge.
Rabindranath Tagore
The future of the world no longer disturbs me; I do not try still to calculate, with anguish, how long or how short a time the Roman peace will endure; I leave that to the Gods. Not that I have acquired more confidence in their justice, which is not our justice, or more faith in human wisdom; the contrary is true. Life is atrocious, we know. But precisely because I expect little of the human condition, man's periods of felicity, his partial progress, his efforts to begin over again and to continue, all seem to me like so many prodigies which nearly compensate for monstrous mass of ills and defeats, of indifference and error. Catastrophe and ruin will come; disorder will triumph, but order will too, from time to time. Peace will again establish itself between two periods and there regain the meaning which we have tried to give them. Not all our books will perish, nor our statues, if broken, lie unrepaired; other domes and pediments will rise from our domes and pediments; some few men will think and work and feel as we have done, and I venture to count upon such continuators, placed irregularly throughout the centuries, and upon this kind of intermittent immortality.
Marguerite Yourcenar
Evening Solace The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed;­ The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed. And days may pass in gay confusion, And nights in rosy riot fly, While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion, The memory of the Past may die. But, there are hours of lonely musing, Such as in evening silence come, When, soft as birds their pinions closing, The heart's best feelings gather home. Then in our souls there seems to languish A tender grief that is not woe; And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish, Now cause but some mild tears to flow. And feelings, once as strong as passions, Float softly back-­a faded dream; Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations, The tale of others' sufferings seem. Oh ! when the heart is freshly bleeding, How longs it for that time to be, When, through the mist of years receding, Its woes but live in reverie ! And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer, On evening shade and loneliness; And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer, Feel no untold and strange distress­ Only a deeper impulse given By lonely hour and darkened room, To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven, Seeking a life and world to come.
Charlotte Brontë (Poems)
The accounts of rape, wife beating, forced childbearing, medical butchering, sex-motivated murder, forced prostitution, physical mutilation, sadistic psychological abuse, and other commonplaces of female experi ence that are excavated from the past or given by contemporary survivors should leave the heart seared, the mind in anguish, the conscience in upheaval. But they do not. No matter how often these stories are told, with whatever clarity or eloquence, bitterness or sorrow, they might as well have been whispered in wind or written in sand: they disappear, as if they were nothing. The tellers and the stories are ignored or ridiculed, threatened back into silence or destroyed, and the experience of female suffering is buried in cultural invisibility and contempt… the very reality of abuse sustained by women, despite its overwhelming pervasiveness and constancy, is negated. It is negated in the transactions of everyday life, and it is negated in the history books, left out, and it is negated by those who claim to care about suffering but are blind to this suffering. The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings. It is impossible to remember as real the suffering of someone who by definition has no legitimate claim to dignity or freedom, someone who is in fact viewed as some thing, an object or an absence. And if a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Jack Kerouac
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved, when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved are softened away in pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness - who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom, yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! The grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.
Washington Irving
I wish I'd been accepted sooner and better. When I was younger, not being accepted made me enraged, but now, I am not inclined to dismantle my history. If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes--and we become attached to the heroic strain in our personal history. We choose our own lives. It is not simply that we decide on the behaviors that construct our experience; when given our druthers, we elect to be ourselves. Most of us would like to be more successful or more beautiful or wealthier, and most people endure episodes of low self-esteem or even self-hatred. We despair a hundred times a day. But we retain the startling evolutionary imperative for the fact of ourselves, and with that splinter of grandiosity we redeem our flaws. These parents have, by and large, chosen to love their children, and many of them have chosen to value their own lives, even though they carry what much of the world considers an intolerable burden. Children with horizontal identities alter your self painfully; they also illuminate it. They are receptacles for rage and joy-even for salvation. When we love them, we achieve above all else the rapture of privileging what exists over what we have merely imagined. A follower of the Dalai Lama who had been imprisoned by the Chinese for decades was asked if he had ever been afraid in jail, and he said his fear was that he would lose compassion for his captors. Parents often think that they've captured something small and vulnerable, but the parents I've profiled here have been captured, locked up with their children's madness or genius or deformity, and the quest is never to lose compassion. A Buddhist scholar once explained to me that most Westerners mistakenly think that nirvana is what you arrive at when your suffering is over and only an eternity of happiness stretches ahead. But such bliss would always be shadowed by the sorrow of the past and would therefore be imperfect. Nirvana occurs when you not only look forward to rapture, but also gaze back into the times of anguish and find in them the seeds of your joy. You may not have felt that happiness at the time, but in retrospect it is incontrovertible. For some parents of children with horizontal identities, acceptance reaches its apogee when parents conclude that while they supposed that they were pinioned by a great and catastrophic loss of hope, they were in fact falling in love with someone they didn't yet know enough to want. As such parents look back, they see how every stage of loving their child has enriched them in ways they never would have conceived, ways that ar incalculably precious. Rumi said that light enters you at the bandaged place. This book's conundrum is that most of the families described here have ended up grateful for experiences they would have done anything to avoid.
Andrew Solomon (Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity)
I hear You saying to me: "I will give you what you desire. I will lead you into solitude. I will lead you by the way that you cannot possibly understand, because I want it to be the quickest way. "Therefore all the things around you will be armed against you, to deny you, to hurt you, to give you pain, and therefore to reduce you to solitude. "Because of their enmity, you will soon be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you and reject you and you will be alone. "Everything that touches you shall burn you, and you will draw your hand away in pain, until you have withdrawn yourself from all things. Then you will be all alone. "Everything that can be desired will sear you, and brand you with a cautery, and you will fly from it in pain, to be alone. Every created joy will only come to you as pain, and you will die to all joy and be left alone. All the good things that other people love and desire and seek will come to you, but only as murderers to cut you off from the world and its occupations. "You will be praised, and it will be like burning at the stake. You will be loved, and it will murder your heart and drive you into the desert. "You will have gifts, and they will break you with their burden. You will have pleasures of prayer, and they will sicken you and you will fly from them. "And when you have been praised a little and loved a little I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall being to possess the solitude you have so long desired. And your solitude will bear immense fruit in the souls of men you will never see on earth. "Do not ask when it will be or where it will be or how it will be: On a mountain or in a prison, in a desert or in a concentration camp or in a hospital or at Gethsemani. It does not matter. So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you. You will not know until you are in it. "But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and my poverty and I shall lead you into the high places of my joy and you shall die in Me and find all things in My mercy which has created you for this end and brought you from Prades to Bermuda to St. Antonin to Oakham to London to Cambridge to Rome to New York to Columbia to Corpus Christi to St. Bonaventure to the Cistercian Abbey of the poor men who labor in Gethsemani: "That you may become the brother of God and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.
Albert Camus (Exile and the Kingdom)
I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do. I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance-day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him, in silence, analyze the sounds that shall pass through the chambers of his soul, - and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be because "there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow, Around the rocks, and rifted caves; Ye demons of the gulf below! I hear you, in the troubled waves. High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds In night's impenetrable clouds, My solitary watch I keep, And listen, while the turbid deep Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole. Eternal world of waters, hail! Within thy caves my Lover lies; And day and night alike shall fail Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes. Along this wild untrodden coast, Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost; Thro' this unbounded waste of seas, Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze; Mine was the choice, in this terrific form, To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm. Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul, Retain no more their former glow. Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll, I watch the bark, in murmurs low, (While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom) To lure the sailor to his doom; Soft from some pile of frozen snow I pour the syren-song of woe; Like the sad mariner's expiring cry, As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die. Then, while the dark and angry deep Hangs his huge billows high in air ; And the wild wind with awful sweep, Howls in each fitful swell - beware! Firm on the rent and crashing mast, I lend new fury to the blast; I mark each hardy cheek grow pale, And the proud sons of courage fail; Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves, Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves. When Vengeance bears along the wave The spell, which heav'n and earth appals; Alone, by night, in darksome cave, On me the gifted wizard calls. Above the ocean's boiling flood Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood: Low sounds along the waters die, And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky; Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide, While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide. Thrice welcome to my weary sight, Avenging ministers of Wrath! Ye heard, amid the realms of night, The spell that wakes the sleep of death. Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve, Or storms, the polar skies involve; Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck, The raging winds and billows break; On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea, All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency. To aid your toils, to scatter death, Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force, When the keen north-wind's freezing breath Spreads desolation in its course, My soul within this icy sea, Fulfils her fearful destiny. Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait To lead the victims to their fate; With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy, And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.
Anne Bannerman (Poems by Anne Bannerman.)