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Date: 1900

"My mind felt like a measure with the feet marked on it, and no matter what I thought of that night, it had to be measured with the same rule.”

— Flora MacDonald Denison (1867-1921)

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Date: 1912

"He sat very stiff for a while in deep but meaningless thought. His mind felt like a feather -- a puff of smoke -- drifting dust. An impish wind was blowing it, and would not allow it to settle."

— William Goodridge Roberts (1877-1953)

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Date: 1949-1952, 1953

"Hard, hard work, excavating and digging, mining, moling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable t...

— Bellow, Saul (1915-2005)

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Date: 1984

"Amid those visits and conversations a book to be called 'The Pound Era' first began to shimmer hazily in my mind."

— Kenner, Hugh (1923-2003)

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Date: 1989

"Like trees similar in their gross physical profile, brains can be similar in their gross functional profiles while being highly idiosyncratic in the myriad details of their fine-grained arborization."

— Churchland, Paul (b. 1942)

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Date: 1995

Emily Brontë's soul "goes skimming the deep keel like a storm petrel, / out of sight."

— Carson, Anne (b. 1951)

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Date: 1995

"Gradually I understood that these were naked glimpses of my soul."

— Carson, Anne (b. 1951)

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Date: 1995

"Soul is the place, / stretched like a surface of millstone grit between body and mind, / where such necessity grinds itself out"

— Carson, Anne (b. 1951)

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Date: 1995

"I came / again and again, each time accumulating lucidity, // until at last I was floating high up near the ceiling looking down / on the two souls clasped there on the bed /with their mortal boundaries // visible around them like lines on a map."

— Carson, Anne (b. 1951)

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Date: 1995

"Mornings when I meditated / I was presented with a nude glimpse of my lone soul, / not the complex mysteries of love and hate."

— Carson, Anne (b. 1951)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.