OpinionWeekend

Weekend Words: Melt

Claude Monet, “Road to Louveciennes, Melting Snow, Sunset” (1869–70), oil on canvas, 40 x 54 cm, private collection (image via Web Gallery of Art)

Scientists believe an Antarctic ice sheet larger in size than Mexico is likely to melt before the end of the century, raising sea levels by 12 feet.

We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt.

—Sir Walter Scott

What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

—Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

O! that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

—John Donne, “A Valediction: forbidding mourning”

The heathen make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved: but God hath shewed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.

—Psalm 46:5

Hollywood money isn’t money. It’s congealed snow, melts in your hand and there you are.

—Dorothy Parker, quoted in Malcolm Cowley Writers at Work

There is a cheap literature that speaks to us of the need of escape. It is true that when we travel we are in search of distance. But distance is not to be found. It melts away. And escape has never led anywhere.

—Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Since the 1960s, we have seen the failure of the melting pot ideology. This ideology suggested that different historical, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds could be subordinated to a larger ideology or social amalgam which is America. This concept obviously did not work, because paradoxically America encourages a politics of contestation.

—Edward Said

Canada has never been a melting pot; more like a tossed salad.

—Arnold Edinborough

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.

—Robert Frost, “Figure a Poem Makes”

A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

—Hank Williams, “Cold, Cold Heart”

Ahhhhhh!!! You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done. I’m melting, melting. Ohhh! What a world, what a world.

—Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz

A great deal of my mail comes from fans of the ‘Oz’ picture — fans of all ages. The scholarly, the curious, the disbelievers write and ask how? why? when? what for? did you fly? melt? scream? cackle? appear? disappear? produce? sky-write? deal with monkeys? etc., etc., etc.

—Margaret Hamilton

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear.

—George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”

Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

—Gustave Flaubert

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