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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 (1921)

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"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 (1921)

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"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 (1921)

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"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!"

Elinor Wylie, Jennifer Lorn (1923)

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"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."

Elinor Wylie, Jennifer Lorn (1923)

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

Elinor Wylie, The Orphan Angel (1926)

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"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."

Elinor Wylie, The Orphan Angel (1926)

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

Elinor Wylie, The Orphan Angel (1926)

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

Elinor Wylie, The Orphan Angel (1926)

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" 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."

Elinor Wylie, The Orphan Angel (1926)

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"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 (1929)

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"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 (1929)

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"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 (1932)

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"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 (1932)

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"... 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 (1932)

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"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 (1932)

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Elinor Wylie, U.S. poet, novelist
(1885 - 1928)

Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie Benét