From “The Giver” by Lois Lowry:
“Jonas did not want to go back. He didn’t want the memories, didn’t want the honor, didn’t want the wisdom, didn’t want the pain. He wanted his childhood again, his scraped knees and ballgames. He sat in his dwelling alone, watching through the window, seeing the children at play, citizens bicycling home from uneventful days at work, ordinary lives free of anguish because he had been selected, as others before him had, to bear their burden. But the Choice was not his. He returned each day to the Annex room.” (16.1-2)
From “The Fellowship of the Ring” by JRR Tolkien:
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.”
From “Turn The Page” by Casarah Nance:
“All I have are the time touched photos and memories that fade.
My life is full of life now, but the pain festers in the shade.
As time it passes, understanding comes to me with age,
It’s okay to feel, okay to deal, but know when to turn the page.
Writing my journal, one day at a time,
The past is the past, and the memories are mine.
Turning the page, the world is now my stage.”
From “Adulting: How To Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” by Kelly Williams Brown:
“So much in our lives is shaped by weird rolls of the genetic dice, or fate, or God, or however you choose to interpret that particular mystery. Whether someone is short or tall or originally from Canada or gay or Asian or born to rich parents or red headed or whatever- that’s not something they work for.
What makes someone good and valuable is not these traits. It’s the choices they make and the things they do. I’d always rather someone tell me I’m a good writer than that my red hair is pretty, because one of those things is something I work my ass off at, and another is some protein encoding. Both are sweet things to say; one means a lot more to me.
It’s not that you can’t be proud of/pleased by these intrinsic things, but don’t forget that the things you (and others) deserve credit for are the things you have control over.”
Petrarch’s “Gli Occhi Di Ch’ Io Parlai”-Not an excerpt, but the entire sonnet…because I really enjoy it (From ‘The Canzoniere’)
Those eyes, ‘neath which my passionate rapture rose,
The arms, hands, feet, the beauty that erewhile
Could my own soul from its own self beguile,
And in a separate world of dreams enclose,
The hair’s bright tresses, full of golden glows,
And the soft lightning of the angelic smile
That changed this earth to some celestial isle,
Are now but dust, poor dust, that nothing knows.
And yet I live! Myself I grieve and scorn,
Left dark without the light I loved in vain,
Adrift in tempest on a bark forlorn;
Dead is the source of all my amorous stain,
Dry is the channel of my thoughts outworn,
And my sad harp can sound but notes of pain.
Petrarch’s “Voi ch’ascoltate in rime sparse il suono”-Once again, not an excerpt. Petrarch is just that good. (From ‘The Canzoniere’)
You who hear the sound, in scattered rhymes,
of those sighs on which I fed my heart,
in my first vagrant youthfulness,
when I was partly other than I am,
I hope to find pity, and forgiveness,
for all the modes in which I talk and weep,
between vain hope and vain sadness,
in those who understand love through its trials.
Yet I see clearly now I have become
an old tale amongst all these people, so that
it often makes me ashamed of myself;
and shame is the fruit of my vanities,
and remorse, and the clearest knowledge
of how the world’s delight is a brief dream.
From Petrarch’s “Per fare una leggiadra sua vendetta” (From ‘The Canzoniere’)
“My power was constricted in my heart,
making defence there, and in my eyes,
when the mortal blow descended there,
where all other arrows had been blunted.
So, confused by the first assault,
it had no opportunity or strength
to take up arms when they were needed,
or withdraw me shrewdly to the high,
steep hill, out of the torment,
from which it wishes to save me now but cannot.”
From Petrarch’s “lo mi rivolgo indietro a ciascun passo” (From ‘The Canzoniere’)
“I turn back at every step I take
with weary body that has borne great pain,
and take comfort then from your aspect
that makes me go on, saying: Ah me!
Then thinking of the sweet good I leave,
of the long road, and of my brief life,
I halt my steps, dismayed and pale,
and lower my eyes weeping to the ground.
Sometimes a doubt assails me in the midst
of sad tears: how can these limbs
live separated from their spirit?”
From Petrarch’s “Solo et pensoso i piu deserti campi” (From ‘The Canzoniere’)
“I find no other defence to protect me
from other people’s open notice,
since in my aspect, whose joy is quenched,
they see from outside how I flame within.”