Favorite Passages from Literature

“What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when

you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four,

and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you

expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like

yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten.

And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.”

~Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (from Wendy Gorton, teacher, tech coordinator)

“But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after - oh, that's love by a different name.  She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep.  If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away.  So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams.  Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks.  She's the one you can't put down.”

~Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible (from Pernille Ripp)

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'”

~Jack Kerouac, On The Road (from Jabiz Raisdana)

Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.

~Jack London, Call of the Wild (from Karen McMillan)

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.

~Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (from Shruti Tewari)


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Canadian Army

(from  @soltauheller on twitter, British Columbia, Canada)