10 Strange and Wonderful Love Quotes From Literature

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Have you ever stared deeply into your lover’s eyes, so smitten with mushy feelings that words escape you? Have you struggled through a love letter to crystallize your rampant adoration for your lover? Have you ever puked a little into your hand at the word “lover”? Whether you’re a pure romantic or a total cynic, you’ll find something relatable in this list of literature’s best luuurve quotes, from the skeptical to the scintillating, just in time for Valentine’s.

1. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

“She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?”

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2. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“Yes, I was infatuated with you: I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn’t stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren’t having any of those.”

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3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on.
I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”

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4. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

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5. “Unfortunate Coincidence,” a poem by Dorothy Parker

By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Infinite, undying.
Lady make note of this —
One of you is lying.”

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6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can’t do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?”

I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still.

“Because, he said, “I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, – you’d forget me.”

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7. Like Life by Lorrie Moore

“This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grew sarcastic.”

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8. Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner

“Real love isn’t ambivalent. I’d swear that’s a line from my favorite best-selling paperback novel, “In Love with the Night Mysterious”, except I don’t think you’ve ever read it. Well, you ought to, instead of spending the rest of your life, trying to get through “Democracy in America.” It’s about this white woman whose daddy owns a plantation in the Deep South, in the years before the Civil War. And her name is Margaret, and she’s in love with her daddy’s number-one slave, and his name is Thaddeus. And she’s married, but her white slave-owner husband has AIDS: Antebellum Insufficiently-Developed Sex-organs. And so, there’s a lot of hot stuff going down, when Margaret and Thaddeus can catch a spare torrid ten under the cotton-picking moon. And then of course the Yankees come, and they set the slaves free. And the slaves string up old daddy and so on, historical fiction. Somewhere in there I recall, Margaret and Thaddeus find the time to discuss the nature of love. Her face is reflecting the flames of the burning plantation, you know the way white people do, and his black face is dark in the night and she says to him, “Thaddeus, real love isn’t ever ambivalent.”

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9. Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly

“She gave him all the tools he needed to hurt her, and he did the same. Wasn’t that the logic in love?”

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10. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Marie Rilke

“To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation…Love is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world for himself for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.”

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