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Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) American lyrical poet
“The Look,” Love Songs (1918)
Added on 12-Feb-24 | Last updated 12-Feb-24
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The kiss can be a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

mistinguette the kiss can be a comma a question mark or an exclamation point wist.info quote

mistinguett (entertainer)
Mistinguett (1873-1956) French actress singer, dancer [b. Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois]
In Theatre Arts (1955-12)
Added on 5-Feb-24 | Last updated 5-Feb-24
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BENJY: The kiss. There are all sorts of kisses, lad, from the sticky confection to the kiss of death. Of them all, the kiss of an actress is the most unnerving. How can we tell if she means it or if she’s just practicing?

Ruth Gordon
Ruth Gordon (1896-1985) American actress, screenwriter, playwright
The Leading Lady, Act 2 (1948)
Added on 29-Jan-24 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
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LUCY: When young at the Bar you first taught me to score,
And bid me be free of my Lips, and no more;
I was kiss’d by the Parson, the Squire, and the Sot,
When the Guest was departed, the Kiss was forgot.
But his Kiss was so sweet, and so closely he prest,
That I languish’d and pin’d till I granted the rest.

John Gay
John Gay (1685-1732) English poet and playwright
The Beggar’s Opera, Act 3, sc. 1, Air 40 (1728)
Added on 22-Jan-24 | Last updated 22-Jan-24
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The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
Notebook E “Epigrams, Wisecracks and Jokes,” § 436 (1932-1940)

Originally collected in Edmund Wilson, ed., The Crack-Up (1945), then in the unexpurgated Matthew Bruccoli, ed., Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1978).
Added on 8-Jan-24 | Last updated 8-Jan-24
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A kiss, when all is said, what is it?
An oath sworn nearer by; a promise made
With greater certainty; a vow which seeks
To make itself more binding; a rosy dot
Placed on the ‘I’ in loving; ’tis a secret
Told to the mouth instead of to the ear;
A moment of the infinite, which makes
A sound like to the humming of bees’s wings;
A greeting like the sweet breath of a flower;
A way to feel the heart beat for a space,
And taste the soul a moment on the lips.

[Un baiser, mais à tout prendre, qu’est-ce?
Un serment fait d’un peu plus près, une promesse
Plus précise, un aveu qui veut se confirmer,
Un point rose qu’on met sur l’i du verbe aimer;
C’est un secret qui prend la bouche pour oreille,
Un instant d’infini qui fait un bruit d’abeille,
Une communion ayant un goût de fleur,
Une façon d’un peu se respirer le cœur,
Et d’un peu se goûter, au bord des lèvres, l’âme!]

Edmond Rostand
Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) French playwright
Cyrano de Bergerac, Act 3, sc. 10 [Cyrano to Roxane] (1897) [tr. Kingsbury (1898)]

Scene 9 in many translations. (Source (French)). Alternate translations:

After all, what is a kiss?
An oath that's given closer than before;
A promise more precise; the sealing of
Confessions that till then were barely breathed;
A ruby O to spell the verb: I love!
A secret that's confided to a mouth
And not to ears; a precious moment of
Infinity that buzzes like a bee;
Communion with the fragrance flowers have;
A gentle way for heart to breathe a heart,
For soul from fervid lips to drink a soul!
[tr. Reynauld (1898)]

A kiss! When all is said, what is a kiss? An oath of allegiance taken in closer proximity, a promise more precise, a seal on a confession, a rose-red dot upon the letter i in loving; a secret which elects the mouth for ear; an instant of eternity murmuring like a bee; balmy communion with a flavor of flowers; a fashion of inhaling each other’s heart, and of tasting, on the brink of the lips, each other’s soul!
[tr. Hall (1898)]

A kiss, when all is said, -- what is it?
An oath that's ratified, -- a sealèd promise,
A heart's avowal claiming confirmation, --
A rose-dot on the "i" of "adoration," --
A secret that to month, not ear, is whispered, --
Brush of a bee's wing, that makes time eternal, --
Communion perfumed like the spring's wildflowers, --
The heart's relieving in the heart's outbreathing,
When to the lips the soul's flood rises, brimming!
[tr. Thomas / Guillemard (1898)]

And what is a kiss, when all is done?
A promise given under seal -- a vow
Taken before the shrine of memory --
A signature acknowledged -- a rosy dot
Over the i of Loving -- a secret whispered
To listening lips apart -- a moment made
Immortal, with a rush of wings unseen --
A sacrament of blossoms, a new song
Sung by two hearts to an old simple tune --
The ring of one horizon around two souls
Together, all alone!
[tr. Hooker (1923)]

What is a kiss that you should fear it?
It is the instant when the body and spirit
meet, and in some divine alembic stirred
merge their two virtues in a lovelier third.
It is the interchange of sun and rose,
whose gold in heaven to earth its fragrance owes;
time, as it darkly passes over, lit
with the brief radiance of the infinite.
It is God's shadow silencing the heart.
[tr. Wolfe (1941)]

Shall we define a kiss? The sacrament of a vow,
The lightly stamped seal of a promise, the endorsement of
A promissory note on the bank of love,
The very O of love in the expectant lips,
Eternity in the instant the bee sips,
The music of the spheres on the lark’s wing,
A flower-tasting eucharist, a ring
Forged of two rings, red alchemized to gold.
[tr. Burgess (1971)]

After all, what is a kiss? A vow made at closer range, a more precise promise, a confession that contains its own proof, a seal placed on a pact that has already been signed; it’s a secret told to the mouth rather than to the ear, a fleeting moment filled with the hush of eternity, a communion that has the fragrance of a flower, a way of living by the beat of another heart, and tasting another soul on one’s lips!
[tr. Bair (1972)]

A kiss, what is it, after all?
The simple witness to a lover's will,
The seal that makes a promise ratified,
The longing-to-be-home half-gratified,
An unheard secret whispered to the mouth,
Coming upon the heart like the sweet south.
A claim, a gift, nature's communion-cup --
[tr. Fry (1975)]

And then, what is a kiss when all is said and done?
The seal fixed upon a promise given one to one,
a moment made immortal with a rush of unseen wings,
a new song to an old and simple tune, that one heart sings
to another, and a sacrament of blossoms, too.
[tr. Kornhauser (2003)]

Do you understand the significance of a kiss?
It’s the embowerment of a loved face,
a gift more closely given, a more precise
promise, a token of what is still to come,
the pit and pith, a silent honeycomb,
a secret for the lips, not for the ears,
an infinity of briefly buzzing stars
in the plant-textured, moist interior,
the private eucharist of a crimson flower,
a warm glade where love can tell its truth
and drink the hot soul from the open mouth.
[tr. Mahon (2004)]

A kiss! What is a kiss? A confession
Made from a little closer at hand, a promise
Delivered as soon as it's made,
A secret whispered close, with a mouth to hear it:
Eternity held in a moment that stings like a bee.
Passed like communion, a host with the scent of flowers,
a way to breathe the breath of the heart of another
And with one's lips to sip the beloved one's soul.
[tr. Clark (2005), l. 329ff]

A kiss, when all is said and done -- what is it?
Just the confirmation of an oath, sealing of a promise,
the confirmation of the promise of the heart,
a little pink dot on the "i" of "adoration,"
sharing a secret between mouths, not ears,
the brush of a bee's wing, that makes time eternal,
as mingling that smells like the wildflowers of spring,
relieving the heart by letting it breathe,
letting the lisp rise to drink from the soul!
[BookCaps ed.]

When all is said and done, what is a kiss? It's simply an oath made more certain, a sealed promise, the heart's confirmation of a pact. It's a secret whispered to the mouth instead of the ear, a stolen moment that makes time eternal, a communion perfumed like the spring's wild flowers. A kiss allows for one to live through the beating of another's heart, and to taste the very soul of another on one's lips!

Added on 18-Dec-23 | Last updated 18-Dec-23
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I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) American poet and author
“Mad Girl’s Love Song” (1951)
Added on 3-Jan-19 | Last updated 3-Jan-19
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It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammatist, writer, publisher
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1 (1862)
Added on 27-Dec-13 | Last updated 17-Jan-20
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HARRIS: Forget for this moment the smog and the cars and the restaurant and the skating and remember only this. A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true.

Steve Martin (b. 1945) American comedian, actor, writer, producer, musician
L. A. Story (1991)
Added on 21-Mar-12 | Last updated 15-Jan-24
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