This is the opening chapter of the book that kicked off the modern environmental movement. Carson asks us to imagine a community where the crops don't grow because of weather and poisoned soil, where animals can't be raised for food because they're born with genetic defects, where it becomes difficult just to dwell on a spot because of mass flooding. Carson says these are all things communities have experienced in some way or another but not altogether, and yet that might very well be our future.
Alice Munro, "Privilege," in The Beggar Maid
Rose recalls pre-WWII, in Hanratty, Ontario, when she was a grade-school girl. Rose liked school, was a fair student, but was a place where there was plenty violence among the kids. One thing that stands out for Rose is her admiration for this trio of cool girls in the school, especially one named Cora who was a couple grades older than Rose. One day, Rose steals a bag of candy for Cora, to somehow get in with the older kids. Cora and the older kids don't think anything of it, or rather they think it's odd. Cora returns the candy to the store.
William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 44," in The Norton Shakespeare
The poet says if his physical self could move as did his thoughts, then he would be right beside his beloved, but since that's not the case, he can't do anything but cry about it.