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Elizabeth Coatsworth

  • Today I walked on lion-colored hills / with only cypresses for company, / until the sunset caught me, turned the brush to copper, / set the clouds / to one great roof of flame / above the earth, / so that I walked through fire, beneath fire, / and all in beauty.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "On the Hills," Atlas and Beyond ()
  • The body keeps an accurate count of years. / ... / But the bold spirit / pays little heed to time. If it grow weary / it is through sorrow, not through age.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "Body and Spirit," Down Half the World ()
  • Like a tall woman walking across the hayfield, / The rain came slowly, dressed in crystal and the sun ...

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "July Storm," Down Half the World ()
  • Bed is too small to rest my tiredness. / I'll take a hill for pillow, soft with trees. / Now draw the clouds up tight beneath my chin. / God, blow the moon out, please.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "Bed Is Too Small," in Marjorie Barrows, ed., One Thousand Beautiful Things ()
  • People don't feel so quarrelsome in warm weather. They get crotchety in the fall and begin to go to law about things after the first hard frosts.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "Forgotten Island," in Story Parade ()
  • At twilight / we are all / at twilight / we are / at twilight / we are all orphans.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "At Twilight," Down Half the World ()
  • No wonder the tulip is the patron flower of Holland. Looking at it one almost smells fresh paint laid on in generous brilliance: doors, blinds, whole houses, canal boats, pails, farm wagons — all painted in greens, blues, reds, pinks, yellows.

  • During much of my life, I was anxious to be what someone else wanted me to be. Now I have given up that struggle. I am what I am.

  • Governments may change, and opinions, and the very appearance of lands themselves, but the slowest thing to change is religion. What has once been associated with worship becomes holy in itself, and self-perpetuating, always built upon the foundation of mingled awe and attraction which the unknown has for the mind of man.

  • ... there is something dangerous about mirrors. ... What dynamite we handle when we lift a mirror or bend towards one! I seldom do.

  • ... when I dream / I am always ageless.

  • Through the windy night something / is coming up the path / towards the house. / I have always hated to wait for things. / I think I will go / to meet whatever it is.

  • A snow may come as quietly / as cats can walk across a floor. / It hangs its curtains in the air, / and piles its weight against the door.

    • Elizabeth Coatsworth,
    • "January," in The Horn Book Magazine ()

Elizabeth Coatsworth, U.S. writer, poet, Newbery winner

(1893 - 1986)

Full name: Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth.