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Date: October 1784

"She grows up, and of course mixes with those who are less interested: strangers will be sincere; she encounters the tongue of the flatterer, he will exaggerate, she finds herself possessed of accomplishments which have been studiously concealed from her, she throws the reins upon the neck of fan...

— Murray, Judith Sargent (1751-1820)

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Date: 1791, 1794

"His visit was not long, but before he went he fixed a scorpion in the heart of Charlotte, whose venom embittered every future hour of her life."

— Rowson, Susanna (1762-1828)

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Date: 1892

"Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all, // And sweetest in the gale is heard."

— Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)

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Date: 1963

"What I didn't say was that each time I picked up a German dictionary or a German book, the very sight of those dense, black, barbed-wire letters made my mind shut like a clam."

— Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963)

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Date: 1963

"I stored the fact that there were real glasses in the corner of my mind the way a squirrel stores a nut."

— Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963)

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Date: 1963

"I tried to think what I had loved knives for, but my mind slipped from the noose of the thought and swung, like a bird, in the center of empty air."

— Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963)

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Date: 1986

"But it was only the heart's / racketing flywheel stuttering I want, I want // until exhaustion, until I was a guest in the yoke / of my body by the last margin of land where the river // mingles with the sea & far off daylight whitens, / a rending & yielding I must kneel before, as // bar...

— Hull, Lynda (1954-1994)

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Date: 1999

"A soul was like a worm in an apple, my mother told me."

— Offill, Jenny (b. 1968)

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Date: 1999

"Just as birds are lifted up into the air by their feathers and can remain wherever they wish, the soul in the body is elevated by thought and spreads its wings everywhere."

— Offill, Jenny (b. 1968)

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Date: 2003

"How to hold it all at once, / except by passion's climb, / its rising tides & breathless, / hawk's-eye view?"

— Spaar, Lisa Russ

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