What is literature but the expression of moods by the vehicle of symbol and incident? And are there not moods which need heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland for their expression, no less than this dilapidated earth? Nay, are there not moods which shall find no expression unless there be men who dare to mix heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland together, or even to set the heads of beasts to the bodies of men, or to thrust the souls of men into the heart of rocks? Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet.” (A Teller of Tales)
Already the people murmur that I am your enemybecause they say that in verse I give the world your me.They lie, Julia de Burgos. They lie, Julia de Burgos.Who rises in my verses is not your voice. It is my voicebecause you are the dressing and the essence is me;and the most profound abyss is spread between us.You are the cold doll of social lies,and me, the virile starburst of the human truth.You, honey of courtesan hypocrisies; not me;in all my poems I undress my heart.You are like your world, selfish; not mewho gambles everything betting on what I am.You are only the ponderous lady very lady;not me; I am life, strength, woman.You belong to your husband, your master; not me;I belong to nobody, or all, because to all, to allI give myself in my clean feeling and in my thought.You curl your hair and paint yourself; not me;the wind curls my hair, the sun paints me.You are a housewife, resigned, submissive,tied to the prejudices of men; not me;unbridled, I am a runaway Rocinantesnorting horizons of God's justice.You in yourself have no say; everyone governs you;your husband, your parents, your family,the priest, the dressmaker, the theatre, the dance hall,the auto, the fine furnishings, the feast, champagne,heaven and hell, and the social, "what will they say."Not in me, in me only my heart governs,only my thought; who governs in me is me.You, flower of aristocracy; and me, flower of the people.You in you have everything and you owe it to everyone,while me, my nothing I owe to nobody.You nailed to the static ancestral dividend,and me, a one in the numerical social divider,we are the duel to death who fatally approaches.When the multitudes run riotingleaving behind ashes of burned injustices,and with the torch of the seven virtues,the multitudes run after the seven sins, against you and against everything unjust and inhuman,I will be in their midst with the torch in my hand.
In a word, literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. The things I have learned and the things I have been taught seem of ridiculously little importance compared with their "large loves and heavenly charities.
We owe all to Jesus crucified. What is your life, my brethren, but the cross? Whence comes the bread of your soul but from the cross? What is your joy but the cross? What is your delight, what is your heaven, but the Blessed One, once crucified for you, who ever liveth to make intercession for you? Cling to the cross, then, put both arms around it! Hold to the Crucified, and never let Him go. Come afresh to the cross at this moment, and rest there now and for ever! Then, with the power of God resting upon you, go forth and preach the cross! Tell out the story of the bleeding Lamb. Repeat the wondrous tale, and nothing else. Never mind how you do it, only proclaim that Jesus died for sinner.The cross held up by a babe’s hands is just as powerful as if a giant held it up. The power lies in the word itself, or rather in the Holy Spirit who works by it and with it. O glorious Christ, when I have had a vision of Thy cross, I have seen it at first like a common gibbet, and Thou wast hanging on it like a felon; but, as I have looked, I have seen it begin to rise, and tower aloft till it has reached the highest heaven, and by its mighty power has lifted up myriads to the throne of God. I have seen its arms extend and expand until they have embraced all the earth. I have seen the foot of it go down deep as our helpless miseries are; and what a vision I have had of Thy magnificence, O Thou crucified One! Brethren, believe in the power of the cross for the conversion of those around you. Do not say of any man that he cannot be saved. The blood of Jesus is omnipotent. Do not say of any district that it is too sunken, or of any class of men that they are too far gone: the word of the cross reclaims the lost. Believe it to be the power of God, and you shall find it so.Believe in Christ crucified, and preach boldly in His name, and you shall see great and gladsome things. Do not doubt the ultimate triumph of Christianity. Do not let a mistrust flit across your soul. The cross must conquer; it must blossom with a crown, a crown commensurate with the person of the Crucified, and the bitterness of His agony. His reward shall parallel His sorrows. Trust in God, and lift your banner high, and now with psalms and songs advance to battle, for the Lord of hosts is with us, the Son of the Highest leads our van. Onward, with blast of silver trumpet and shout of those that seize the spoil. Let no man’s heart fail him! Christ hath died! Atonement is complete! God is satisfied! Peace is proclaimed! Heaven glitters with proofs of mercy already bestowed upon ten thousand times ten thousand! Hell is trembling, heaven adoring, earth waiting. Advance, ye saints, to certain victory! You shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb.
Here's what I mean by the miracle of language. When you're falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader's heart and a writer's, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death ... And here's the magic. You're different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book.