Favorite collections ...

  1. A Fairy Song                                                                                     
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
William Shakespeare

2. Ode To A Nightingale
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,---
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:---do I wake or sleep? 
John Keats 

3. The Cloud 
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,           
    From the seas and the streams;        
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid         
    In their noonday dreams.      
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken                    
    The sweet buds every one,   
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,  
    As she dances about the sun.           
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,          
    And whiten the green plains under,            
And then again I dissolve it in rain,        
    And laugh as I pass in thunder.  
I am the daughter of earth and water,   
    And the nursling of the sky;  
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;                 
    I change, but I cannot die.    
For after the rain when with never a stain,         
    The pavilion of heaven is bare,         
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,
    Build up the blue dome of air,                    
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,      
    And out of the caverns of rain,         
Like a child from the womb, 
like a ghost from the tomb,      
   I arise and unbuild it again.       

4. Saddest Poem
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."
The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.
To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.
What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.
That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.
As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.
The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.
I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.
Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.
Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.
Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

Pablo Neruda      

5. Clenched Soul
We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.
I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.
Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.
I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.
Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?
The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.
Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Pablo Neruda

6. I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,
because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Pablo Neruda                                                                

7. Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
Maya Angelou                                                                

8. "Now and again thousands of memories 
converge, harmonize, 
arrange themselves around a central idea 
in a coherent form, 
and I write a story." 
Katherine Anne Porter   

9. "The beginning and end 
of all literary activity
is the reproduction of the world
that surrounds me 
by means of the world that is in me,
all things being grasped, related,
moulded and constructed
in a personal form
and an original manner."

          10. "Writing, like life itself,
is a voyage of discovery. 
The adventure is a metaphysical one; 
it is a way of approaching life indirectly, 
of acquiring a total 
rather than a partial view of the universe. 
The writer lives
between the upper and lower worlds: 
he takes the path 
in order eventually to become that path himself." 

                                                Henry Miller   

Sharing a few books and authors that you may enjoy ----------                             
List of Books:

A Bend in the river - V.S. Naipaul 
A Himalayan Love Story - Namita Gokhale
Black Arrow - Robert Louis Stevenson
Black Diaspora - Ronald Segal
Earth - Emile Zola
Fiesta - Ernest Hemingway
Hungry Stones - Rabindra Nath Tagore
India-From Midnight to the Millennium - Shashi Tharoor
Song of Solomon, Beloved - Toni Morrison
The palace of illusion - Chitra Divakaruni
A thousand splendid suns - Khaled Hosseini
Bearings - Karthika Nair
The inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
2 States - Chetan Bhagat

List of authors:
Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and What is the What. He is the founder of McSweeney's independent publishing house and the 826 Valencia writing lab, which has since expanded to 826 National, writing workshops for teens around the U.S.
Margaret Atwood
Known for sharp social commentary delivered via science fiction or speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.
Salman Rushdie
Born in Bombay in 1947, Salman Rushdie is the author of numerous novels, including 'Midnight's Children,' 'The Satanic Verses,' 'The Moor's Last Sigh,' and 'The Enchantress of Florence.' His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for 'Midnight's Children' and the Whitbread Prize for 'The Satanic Verses.'
Edward Abbey
Edward Abbey has been long revered as a leading writer of nature and ecology who Frequently challenged the system that destroys the wild he thrusts himself and his readers into. Among his work is 'Desert Solitaire,' a memoir of the time Abbey spent as a park ranger and fire lookout at Arches national Monument, and 'The Monkey Wrench Gang,' Abbey's famous novel about a gang of rebellious eco-warriors.
T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle is known for his humor and his biting satire. Over the course of his career as a novelist, he has shown a propensity for writing about famous and fascinating American eccentrics such as sexual-behavior scientist Alfred Kinsey in 'The Inner Circle' (2004), cereal inventor John Harvey Kellogg in 'The Road to Wellville,' and most recently, Frank Lloyd Wright in 'The Women.'
J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling (born Joanne Rowling on July 31, 1965) is the famous author of the Harry Potter series, which has sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world. She was estimated to be a billionare by Forbes magazine in 2004.
John Updike
John Updike wrote and published over 60 books, including novels and collections of short stories, poetry, and essays. Throughout his career, he won nearly every literary award available. [i]The Early Stories 1953-1975[/i], a large anthology of the author's short stories published in 2003, won him the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and in 2006 he was awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story. John Updike died of lung cancer in January 2009. He was 76
Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three spiritual memoirs and the modern classic bestseller, 'The Secret Life of Bees,' the coming-of-age spiritual story of a fourteen-year-old girl in the South in 1964 and her black housekeeper.
Stephen King
Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co. accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 40 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers.
Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy's fiction parallels his movement from the Southeast to the West--the first four novels being set in Tennessee, the last three in the Southwest and Mexico. The Orchard Keeper (1965) won the Faulkner Award for a first novel; it was followed by Outer Dark (1968), Child of God (1973), Suttree (1979), Blood Meridian (1985), and All the Pretty Horses, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award for fiction in 1992.
John Irving
John Winslow Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. He is the author of nine novels, among them The Hotel New Hampshire, The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Son of the Circus, and The Fourth Hand. Mr. Irving is married and has three sons. He lives in Toronto and in southern Vermont.
Christopher Moore
Christopher Moore is the author of Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, and Fluke. His fiction is compelling and hilarious.
Mark Helprin
Mark Helprin is the author of A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Refiner's Fire, A Soldier of the Great War, Ellis Island and Other Stories, Winter's Tale and Memoir from an Antproof Case. He has been honored with the Jewish Book Award and the Prix de Rome for his works. He lives in upstate New York.
Saul Bellow
raised for his vision, his ear for detail, his humor, and the masterful artistry of his prose, Saul Bellow was born of Russian Jewish parents in Lachine, Quebec in 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and anthropology, and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin.
Gabriel García Márquez
García Márquez is often considered the most famous of writers of magic realism. He got his start as a reporter for the Colombian daily El Espectador, and later worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York City. His most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has sold more than ten million copies.
Amy Tan
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which has been adapted as Sagwa, a PBS series for children. Tan was also the co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club, and her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Tom Robbins
Tom Robbins, maverick author of Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, Still Life with Woodpecker, and Villa Incognito. He is one of those rare writers who approach rock-star status, attracting SRO crowds at his personal appearances in Europe and Australia as well as in the United States. He lives primarily in the Seattle area.
Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh is the author of six previous works of fiction, most recently Glue. He lives in London. Trainspotting, his first book, reached the last ten for the Booker Prize and was made into a major film. He has also written the screenplay for the film of The Acid House.
Alice Walker
Recognized as one of the leading voices among black American women writers, Alice Walker has produced an acclaimed and varied body of work, including poetry, novels, short stories, essays, and criticism. Her writings portray the struggle of black people throughout history, and are praised for their insightful and riveting portraits of black life, in particular the experiences of black women in a sexist and racist society.
Richard Russo
Richard Russo lives in coastal Maine with his wife and their two daughters. He has written five novles: Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody’s Fool, Straight Man and Empire Falls, and a collection of short stories, The Whore's Child. He won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for Empire Falls.
Anne Rice
Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University and is the author of twenty-one novels. Her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the bestselling novels of all time. It was in Interview with the Vampire that Rice first introduced her vampire, the Vampire Lestat, to the world.
Mario Puzo
The publication of The Godfather in March 1969 catapulted Mario Puzo into the front ranks of American authors. Reviewers hailed the book as "a staggering triumph" (Saturday Review), "big, turbulent, highly entertaining" (Newsweek), "remarkable" (Look), and "a voyeur's dream, a skillful fantasy of violent personal power" (New York Times). Winning readers by the millions, it stayed at or near the top of the New York Times bestseller lists for sixty-nine weeks.
Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
Ben Okri
Ben Okri is a Nigerian writer resident in London. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Booker Prize, and the Paris Review Aga Khan prize for fiction. He is visiting writer-in-residence at Trinity College, Cambridge. His books include Flowers and Shadows, The Landscapes Within, Stars of the New Curfew, An African Elegy, The Famished Road, and Songs of Enchantment.
V.S. Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. He has published more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, and a collection of letters, Between Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature."
Bharati Mukherjee
Mukherjee's earlier works, such as the The Tiger's Daughter and parts of Days and Nights in Calcutta, are her attempts to find her identity in her Indian heritage. The second phase of her writing, works such as Wife, the short stories in Darkness, an essay entitled "An Invisible Woman," and The Sorrow and the Terror, a joint effort with her husband. Her latest works include The Holder of the World, published in 1993, and Leave It to Me, published in 1997.
Harper Lee
Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, where she attended local schools and the University of Alabama. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, three honarary degrees, and many other literary awards for her one novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver's nine published books include novels, collections of short stories, poetry, essays, and an oral history. Her novel, The Poisonwood Bible, remained on bestseller lists for more than a year and won literary awards at home and abroad. Her latest book is a novel: Prodigal Summer. Her work has also appeared in numerous literary anthologies and periodicals.
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and grew up in Oregon. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, his first novel, was published in 1962. His second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, followed in 1964. His other books include Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, Caverns (with O. U. Levon), The Further Inquiry, Sailor Song, and Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs). Ken Kesey died on November 10, 2001.
Vikram Seth
Next on the list should be Vikram Seth who produced some magnificent works like The Golden Gate, A Suitable Boy, An Equal Music, and Two Lives. His first book is written in verse form and chronicles the lives of young professionals in San Francisco. But the work that propelled him into the limelight was his second book, A Suitable Boy, which was based in a post-independent India.
Arundhati Roy
If Rushdie’s work liberated Indian writing from the colonial straitjacket, Arundhati’s Roy’s book, The God of Small Things, radically changed perceptions about Indian authors with her commercial success. She won the Booker prize and remained on the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a long time. With her also started the trend of large advances, hitherto unheard of among Indian writers.
Rohinton Mistry
The other authors who should be included in the list are: Rohinton Mistry, V.S. Naipaul, Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri, Shashi Tharoor, and Upamanyu Chatterjee. Mistry’s books shed light on the issues affecting the Parsi community in India. Although the novels are long and at times depressing, the beauty of the books lies in their lyrical prose. Some of his better known works include Such a Long Journey, Family Matters, and A Fine Balance.
V.S Naipaul
One of the most enduring figures in the field and a nobel laureate, V.S. Naipaul, is of Indian origin although he was born in Trinidad. His prolific writing career includes works such as A House for Mr. Biswas, India: A Wounded Civilization, An Area of Darkness, India: A Million Mutinies Now, and A Bend in the River. Naipaul is another writer who has courted controversy for a long time. His often scathing commentaries on developing countries like India or the Caribbean and his critical assessment of Muslim fundamentalism on non-Arab countries have been subjected to harsh criticism.
Amitav Ghosh
Another respected name that should feature on a list of the top ten contemporary Indian writers is Amitav Ghosh, who has won many accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Prix Medicis Etrangere of France. Although less prone to controversy, he is responsible for producing some of the most lyrical and insightful works on the effect of colonialism on the native people. His books include The Circle of Reason, The Glass Palace, The Calcutta Chromosome, and The Hungry Tide.
Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri, a recent entrant into the world of Indian writers, tackles the much-debated topic of cultural identity of Indians in a far off land. Lahiri took the literary world by storm when her debut book, The Interpreter of Maladies, won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in 2000. The Namesake, her first novel, is an ambitious attempt to chart the lives of a family of immigrants through the eyes of a young boy. Both her books have received brickbats as well as accolades but she deserves a mention for tackling a subject long ignored by other Indian writers.
Letters in November
by Sylvia Path

Love, the world
Suddenly turns, turns color. The streetlight
Splits through the rat's tail
Pods of the laburnum at nine in the morning.
It is the Arctic,
This little black
Circle, with its tawn silk grasses - babies hair.
There is a green in the air,
Soft, delectable.
It cushions me lovingly.
I am flushed and warm.
I think I may be enormous,
I am so stupidly happy,
My Wellingtons
Squelching and squelching through the beautiful red.
This is my property.
Two times a day
I pace it, sniffing
The barbarous holly with its viridian
Scallops, pure iron,
And the wall of the odd corpses.
I love them.
I love them like history.
The apples are golden,
Imagine it ----
My seventy trees
Holding their gold-ruddy balls
In a thick gray death-soup,
Their million
Gold leaves metal and breathless.
O love, O celibate.
Nobody but me
Walks the waist high wet.
The irreplaceable
Golds bleed and deepen, the mouths of Thermopylae.


"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we
 not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"
* Hamlet, I:5

I made a far journey
Earth's fair cities to view,
but like to love's city
City none I knew

At the first I knew not
That city's worth,
And turned in my folly
A wanderer on earth.

From so sweet a country
I must needs pass,
And like to cattle
Grazed on every grass.

As Moses' people
I would liefer eat
Garlic, than manna
And celestial meat.

What voice in this world
to my ear has come
Save the voice of love
Was a tapped drum.

Yet for that drum-tap
From the world of All
Into this perishing
Land I did fall.

That world a lone spirit
Like a snake I crept
Without foot or wing.

The wine that was laughter
And grace to sip
Like a rose I tasted
Without throat or lip.

'Spirit, go a journey,'
Love's voice said:
'Lo, a home of travail
I have made.'

Much, much I cried:
'I will not go';
Yea, and rent my raiment
And made great woe.

Even as now I shrink
To be gone from here,
Even so thence
To part I did fear.

'Spirit, go thy way,'
Love called again,
'And I shall be ever nigh thee
As they neck's vein.'

Much did love enchant me
And made much guile;
Love's guile and enchantment
Capture me the while.

In ignorance and folly
When my wings I spread,
From palace unto prison
I was swiftly sped.

Now I would tell
How thither thou mayst come;
But ah, my pen is broke
And I am dumb.


The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.

From Essential Rumi

Suddenly the drunken sweetheart appeared out of my door.
She drank a cup of ruby wine and sat by my side.
Seeing and holding the lockets of her hair
My face became all eyes, and my eyes all hands.

From Thief of Sleep

Some Kiss We Want
There is some kiss we want with 
our whole lives, the touch of 

spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language- door and

open the love window. The moon
won't use the door, only the window.
From Soul of Rumi