Great Moments in Literature

“Fiona had written poetry when she was Adam Henry’s age, though she had never presumed to read it aloud, not even to herself. She remembered quatrains daringly unrhymed. There was even one about death by drowning, of sinking deliciously backward among the river weeds, an improbable fantasy inspired by the Millais paintings of Ophelia, before which she’d stood enraptured during a school visit to the Tate. This daring poem in a crumbling notebook, on whose cover were doodles in purple ink of desirable hairstyles.”

—Ian McEwan, The Children Act, 2014

“FOR DAYS — FOR WEEKS — A THOUSAND THINGS TRIED TO TELL ME THE TRUTH! …MY MAILBOX EMPTY OF HIS LOVE NOTES…MY HOME DESERTED BY HIS LAUGHTER…MY TELEPHONE DEAD WITHOUT HIS VOICE BREATHING LIFE INTO IT…”

— unknown, SECRET HEARTS, Vol. 1, No. 67, “Believe Me, Beloved,” 1960