"All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What! all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?...
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me."
Another quote at the opening of this second Sexton volume (1962), read:
...the books we need are the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation - a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.
- from a letter of Franz Kafka to Oskar Pollak