Long after you’ve forgotten someone’s voice, you can still remember the sound of their happiness or their sadness. You can feel it in your body.

— Anne Michaels

The most mind-blowing Anne Michaels quotes that are little-known but priceless

Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.

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No one is born just once. If you're lucky, you'll emerge again in someone's arms; or unlucky, wake when the long tail of terror brushes the inside of your skull.

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Important lessons: look carefully; record what you see. Find a way to make beauty necessary; find a way to make necessity beautiful.

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When you put a tremendous amount of love into your work, as in any relationship, you can't know - you can only hope - that what you're offering will in some way be received. You shape your love to artistic demands, to the rigors of your genre. But still, it's a labor of love, and it's the nature of love that you must give it freely.

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The shadow-past is shaped by everything that never happened.

Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst. A biography of longing. It steers us like magnetism, a spirit torque. This is how one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes. By love that closes its mouth before calling a name.

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I'm naive enough to think that love is always good no matter how long ago, no matter the circumstances.

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The best teacher lodges an intent not in the mind but in the heart.

5

It is not a person’s depth you must discover, but their ascent.

Find their path from depth to ascent.

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When you are alone - at sea, in the polar dark - an absence can keep you alive.

The one you love maintains your mind. But when she's merely across the city, this is an absence that eats you to the bone.

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But sometimes the world disrobes, slips its dress off a shoulder, stops time for a beat. If we look up at that moment, it's not due to any ability of ours to pierce the darkness, it's the world's brief bestowal. The catastrophe of grace.

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Once I was lost in a forest. I was so afraid. My blood pounded in my chest and I knew my heart's strength would soon be exhausted. I saved myself without thinking. I grasped the two syllables closest to me, and replaced my heartbeat with your name.

3

The shadow past is shaped by everything that never happened.

Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst.

3

About Anne Michaels

Quotes 33 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday April 15, 1958

Reading a poem in translation is like kissing a woman through a veil.

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There's a moment when love makes you believe in death for the first time.

You recognize the one whose loss, even contemplated, you'll carry forever, like a sleeping child. All grief, anyone's grief...is the weight of a sleeping child.

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Any given moment - no matter how casual, how ordinary - is poised, full of gaping life.

2

To share a hiding place, physical or psychological, is as intimate as love.

1

Even as a child, even as my blood-past was drained from me, I understood that if I were strong enough to accept it, I was being offered a second history.

0

Now we're like planets, holding to each other from a great distance.

[...] Now we're hundreds of miles apart, our short arms keep us lonely, no one hears what's in my head. [...] It's March, even the birds don't know what to do with themselves.

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Like other ghosts, she whispers; not for me to join her, but so that, when I'm close enough, she can push me back into the world.

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History is the gradual instant

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Though the contradictions of war seem sudden and simultaneous, history stalks before it strikes. Something tolerated soon becomes something good.

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History and memory share events; that is, they share time and space. Every moment is two moments.

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If love wants you; if you've been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills; with feathers and scales; with warm blood and cold.

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The dead leave us starving with mouths full of love.” from “Memoriam

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The truth doesn't care what we think of it.

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Some stones are so heavy only silence helps you carry them!

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Trees for example, carry the memory of rainfal.

In their rings we read ancient weather - storms, sunlight and temperatures, the growing seasons of centuries. A forest shares a history which each tree remembers even after it has been felled.

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When a man dies, his secrets bond like crystals, like frost on a window.

His last breath obscures the glass.

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I see that I must give what I most need.

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...when we say we're looking for a spiritual adviser, we're really looking for someone to tell us what to do with our bodies. Decisions of the flesh. We forget to learn from pleasure as well as pain.

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Hold a book in your hand and you're a pilgrim at the gates of a new city.

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I wanted a line in a poem to be the hollow ney of the dervish orchestra whose plaintive wail is a call to God. But all I achieved was awkward shrieking. Not even the pure shriek of a reed in the rain.

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