Coping the quote
6+ quotes from Mistaken Kiss by Kathleen Baldwin

Quotes from Mistaken Kiss

Kathleen Baldwin ·  226 pages

Rating: (1.9K votes)


“For the first time, she felt proud to lay claim to her gender. Perhaps men had life easier. But they would never know this. They would never walk the shadow lands of pain and death to be part of the miracle of life.”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


“was also witty and likable, intelligent”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


“They Sailed Away In A Silver Cup Upon A Grassy Sea”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


“Sing A Song Of Sixpence A Pocketful Of Lies”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


“I’ve watched the seconds pat and nurse Their man; and seen him put to bed; With twenty guineas in his purse, And not an eye within his head. —J.H. Reynolds, The Fancy”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


“Adieu the clang of war’s alarms! To other deeds my soul is strung, And sweeter notes shall now be sung; My harp shall all its powers reveal, To tell the tale my heart must feel; Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim, In songs of bliss and sighs of flame.”
― Kathleen Baldwin, quote from Mistaken Kiss


About the author

Kathleen Baldwin
Born place: in The United States
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“Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell, quote from Wives and Daughters


“I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation.

I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself.

But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down.

Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth.

I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder.
"Begin," I command.
"It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.”
― Pat Conroy, quote from The Lords of Discipline


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