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Elinor Wylie

  • Avoid the reeking herd, / Shun the polluted flock, / Live like that stoic bird, / The eagle of the rock.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "The Eagle and the Mole," Nets to Catch the Wind ()
  • I was, being human, born alone; / I am, being woman, hard beset; / I live by squeezing from a stone / The little nourishment I get. / In masks outrageous and austere / The years go by in single file; / But none has merited my fear, / And none has quite escaped my smile.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Let No Charitable Hope," Nets to Catch the Wind ()
  • The months between the cherries and the peaches / Are brimming cornucopias which spill / Fruits red and purple ...

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Wild Peaches," Nets to Catch the Wind ()
  • I have never cared very deeply about the actual taste of my work. Let its essential odor satisfy my mind and senses, and I am content. I rarely judge by the grosser test of actual gustation ... in cooking, to create a masterpiece for the nose alone — that is exquisite, that is Art!

  • An old earthen pipe like myself is dry and thirsty and so a most voracious drinker of life at its source; I'm no more to be split by the vital stream than if I were stone or steel.

  • His hunger was a pungent sauce which made possible a very fair play of knife and fork ...

  • You're a pretty one to talk about language now; you could be took up anywhere and jailed for most of the verbs you uses in an hour.

  • Moonstruck, sunstruck, starstruck, and struck by the blue lightning of his glance ...

  • ... I am better able to imagine hell than heaven; it is my Puritan inheritance, I suppose.

  • He was dizzy with conflict; he had two souls, and not to save them both could he have disentangled the soul of light from the soul of shadow.

  • The worst and best are both inclined / To snap like vixens at the truth; / But, O, beware the middle mind / That purrs and never shows a tooth!

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Nonsense Rhyme," Angels and Earthly Creatures ()
  • A pinch of fair, a pinch of foul. / And bad and good makes best of all; / Beware the moderated soul / That climbs no fractional inch to fall.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Nonsense Rhyme," Angels and Earthly Creatures ()
  • I love smooth words, like gold-enameled fish / Which circle slowly with a silken swish ...

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Pretty Words," in William Rose Benét, ed., Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie ()
  • Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds, / Come to my hand, and playful if I wish ...

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Pretty Words," in William Rose Benét, ed., Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie ()
  • ... honeyed words like bees, / Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "Pretty Words," in William Rose Benét, ed., Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie ()
  • If any have a stone to throw / It is not I, ever or now.

    • Elinor Wylie,
    • "The Pebble," in William Rose Benét, ed., Collected Poems of Elinor Wylie ()

Elinor Wylie, U.S. poet, novelist

(1885 - 1928)

Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie Benét