a collection of beings


My melancholy is the most faithful sweetheart I have had.
- Søren Kierkegaard


Through her, in a rush of musk   
and saffron, beauty falls   
into disarray.
Ibn Al-Arabi, excerpt of ‘Tigris Song’


…But the truth is I am terribly weak. And I crave the balm of beautiful and soft things.
- Anaïs Nin, Linotte: The Early Diary Of Anaïs Nin (1914-1920)


I want to do with you
what spring does with
the cherry trees.

- Pablo Neruda


quidquid calcaverit hic, rosa fiat.

“Wherever he or she treads, may there be roses.”

Persius (34 - 62 AD), Satire 2.38



She was musical and apple-sweet.

- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita


I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed, 
And sung me moon-struck,
Kissed me quite insane.

- Sylvia Plath

Things take us hard, no question.How do you make it, all the way
from here to morning? I touch
you, made of such nerve
and flare and pride and swallowed tears.
- Adrienne Rich, from Collected Early Poems: 1950-1970
I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.
- Aleksandr Pushkin, from ‘Eugene Onegin’


(noun) A rare word, originated from France, sillage is described as a trail or essence left behind, particularly from the lingering smell of perfume in the air.
A red poppy, touched by the ice of tears.
- Czeslaw Milosz, from New and Collected Poems (1931-2001); “Earth,”
She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.
— Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park 


سأصير يوماً طائراً ،
One day, I will be a bird,
وأَسُلُّ من عَدَمي وجودي .
and will snatch my being out of my nothingness.
كُلَّما احتَرقَ الجناحانِ اقتربتُ من الحقيقةِ ، وانبعثتُ من الرمادِ .
The more my wings burn, the more I near my truth and arise from the ashes.
— Darwish - دَرويش
—night’s white jasmines burst open like sudden
smiles my passion swirls higher than their twirling
— Andal, excerpt of Cintura Compote : In the Grove of my Lord (tr. by Priya Sarukkai Chabria)
The silver-white of sugar cookies, pearl necklaces, angel wings.
— Ruby, by Francesca Lia Block
I die in your mother’s religion. باموت في دين أمك
— Egyptian expression; and it’s really one of the most endearing ways to tell someone you love them.


The wars did not change the gardens of my Granada. One day I’ll pass its moons
and brush my desire against a lemon tree… 
- Mahmoud Darwish
I want
my heart back
I want to feel everything again —
That’s what
the sun meant: it meant
scorched —
— Louise Glück, from Blue Rotunda
If the Olive Trees knew the hands that planted them,
Their Oil would become
– Mahmoud Darwish 
They asked: How would you like your death? 
Blue, like stars pouring from a window. Would you like more wine?
- Mahmoud Darwish
the air in my hand
was laced with orange blossom
— Laila Halaby, from ‘Handfuls of Wind’
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
— Pablo Picasso 
Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits
— ― Ntozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo


God circled her.
Fire. Time. Fire.
Choose, said God.
— Anne Carson, God’s Woman from Glass, Irony & God. 
I have faith in nights.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from You, Darkness 
نه باران، نه ګلونه
No rain,
no roses.
— Pashto Landay 
The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.
— Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Dorian Gray