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Helen Bevington

  • Books, books, BOOKS kept / Insanely breeding. / De Quincey wept, / And went on reading.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "De Quincey Wept," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • I can accept the world, the plan / Allotted to the race of man. / But Margaret Fuller's brag was worse. / She could accept the universe. / Carlyle said, 'By Gad, she'd better!' / And so did everyone who met her.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "Margaret Fuller in Chelsea," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • How happy are the bellicose. / I love opposers who oppose / Extremely and rebuke with ease / The certitudes, the verities.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "The Bellicose," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • One gender to walk the wide world in / Is the feminine, / A plight that — softly to a friend — / I can recommend.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "To Susan at Birth," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • August is the mute month, / In a doze, / Leaf-laden and lackluster, / Comatose ...

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "August Is the Mute Month," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • Words are anybody's / Equitable things, / ... / All within the public domain.

    • Helen Bevington,
    • "Words Are Anybody's," Nineteen Million Elephants ()
  • ... poetry ... shows with a sudden intense clarity what is already there.

  • ... nobody alive or dead deserves to be called a poetess.

  • 'Marriage is a great improver,' / Wrote Miss Jane Austen, who was moved / By the connubial bliss about her / To stay forever unimproved.

  • I have learned this strange thing, too, about travel: one may return to a place and, quite unexpectedly, meet oneself still lingering there from the last time.

  • [She] swore it was a male [but] cats, like angels, can change their sex at will. When they live with me, they choose a gayer, female phase of existence. So it turned out with this kitten. It tired of being male and in a few months produced a litter of five.

  • The poor South. Already guilty of slavery, it became guilty of cigarettes.

  • I had a perfect confidence, still unshaken, in books. If you read enough you would reach the point of no return. You would cross over and arrive on the safe side. There you would drink the strong waters and become addicted, perhaps demented — but a Reader.

  • ... I was convinced you can't go home again. Now I know better. Nothing is more untrue. I know you go back over and over again, seeking the self you left behind.

  • ... signs of mice were in the kitchen. Sometimes they dropped in for warmth and charity.

  • I don't feel like a survivor. I feel left behind.

  • For all I know, Eden still exists on this planet. If so, Hawaii is a place to look.

  • ... I always return to Paris, taking my selves along — past self, customary self, the self I never had.

  • ... being asked to decide between your passion for work and your passion for children was like being asked by your doctor whether you preferred him to remove your brain or your heart.

Helen Bevington, U.S. poet

(1906 - 2001)

Full name: Helen Smith Bevington.