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: The government cut the electricity. Sylvia
: Why? Professor Thomas
: To build national character!
: I'm sorry... Sylvia
: What for? Ted
: I don't know yet...
: I am thinking of taking a lover. Al Alvarez
: Who? Sylvia
: [Sylvia stares at Al, half-smiling
: Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
[from her poetry
[on the phone to the BBC
: Don't take such tone of voice with me!
[about the cows on the river bank
: How do you think they prefer Milton or Chaucer? Ted
: Chaucer obviously!
: You probably just think I'm some ghastly American bitch, don't you? Professor Thomas
: God no, I thought you were Canadian.
: Sometimes I feel like I'm not... solid. I'm hollow. There's nothing behind my eyes. I'm a negative of a person. It's as if I never - -I never thought anything. I never wrote anything. I never felt anything.
: [to Ted, after making love
] We're not even two people. Even before we met, we were just these two halves, walking around with big gaping holes in the shape like the other person. And when we found each other we were finally whole. And then it was as if we couldn't stand being happy so we ripped ourselves in half again.
: Sometimes I dream the tree, and the tree is my life. One branch is the man I shall marry, and the leaves my children. Another branch is my future as a writer, and each leaf is a poem. Another branch is a good academic career. But as I sit there trying to choose, the leaves bring to turn brown and blow away, until the tree is absolutely bare.
: A fucking good poem is a weapon. It's... and not like a "pop", it's a bomb. A bloody big bomb! Sylvia
: That's why they make children learn them in school. They don't want them messing about with them on their own. I mean, just imagine if a sonnet went off accidentally. Boom.