Quotation by Doris Lessing

She was watching, fearfully, the effect on herself of the poetry of suffering; the words "no man's land," "star shells," "Boche," touched off in her images like those of poetry; no man's land was the black and wasted desert between the living forces; star shells exploded in coloured lights, like fireworks, across her brain, drenched in reminiscence; Boche was fearful and gigantic, nothing human, a night figure; the tripping word "Gallipoli" was like a heroic dance. She was afraid because of the power of these words, which affected her so strongly, who had nothing to do with what they stood for.
Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Martha Quest, in Martha Quest, ch. 2, p. 25, Simon and Schuster (1952).
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