Laudizen King Banner gathered along the way
long road home Signposts and Junctions      

The Quotes: Other Voices, Other Thoughts

Thunderstorm Junction

Thunderstorm Junction
White Mountains, New Hampshire

The Quotes: Other Voices, Other Thoughts

My Favorite Quotations from Literature, Poetry, Politics, Science, and the Arts

(Started December 2007)

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

But tonight, the lion of contentment has placed a warm heavy paw on my chest. -Billy Collins, poet (1941-)

As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth. -Boris Pasternak, writer (1890-1960) 

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does the truth become error because nobody will see it. -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason. -Henry Fielding, author (1707-1754)

One cannot conceive of grander burial than that which mighty mountains bend, crack and shatter to make. Or a nobler tomb than the great upper basin of Denali. -Hudson Stuck, archdeacon, climber (1865-1920)

In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue. -Ethan Allen, revolutionary (1738-1789)

I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)

A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

What do we have in common with the rosebud, which trembles because a drop of dew lies on it? -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

I scrub the long floorboards in the kitchen, repeating the motions of other women who have lived in this house. And when I find a long gray hair floating in the pail, I feel my life added to theirs. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein, scientist (1879-1955)

I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia. -Woody Allen, actor, writer, director (1935-)

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

I try to take care and be gentle to them. Words and eggs must be handled with care. Once broken they are impossible things to repair. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. -Henry Miller, writer (1891-1980)

Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off! -Henry Miller, writer (1891-1980)

I had become, with the approach of night, once more aware of loneliness and time - those two companions without whom no journey can yield us anything. -Lawrence Durell, writer, poet (1912-1990)

Before they're plumbers or writers or taxi drivers or unemployed or journalists, before everything else, men are men. Whether heterosexual or homosexual. The only difference is that some of them remind you of it as soon as you meet them, and others wait for a little while. -Marguerite Duras, writer (1914-1996)

The woman is the home. That's where she used to be, and that's where she still is. You might ask me, What if a man tries to be part of the home - will the woman let him? I answer yes. Because then he becomes one of the children. -Marguerite Duras, writer (1914-1996)

Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. -Cormac McCarthy, writer (1933-)

Whose hand soever lanced their tender hearts, thy head, all indirectly, gave direction: no doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, to revel in the entrails of my lambs. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

He prayeth best who loveth best, all things both great and small. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, writer, poet (1772-1834)

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. -Oscar Wilde, writer, poet (1854-1900)

Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night? -Jack Kerouac, writer, poet (1922-1969)

Mankind is like dogs, not gods - as long as you don't get mad they'll bite you - but stay mad and you'll never be bitten. Dogs don't respect humility and sorrow. -Jack Kerouac, writer, poet (1922-1969)

The sky hides the night behind it, and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above. -Paul Bowles, writer, composer (1910-1999)

I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police. -Keith Richards, musician, songwriter (1943-)

The Stones in a club is still the ultimate rush. -Keith Richards, musician, songwriter (1943-)

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell. -William Tecumseh Sherman, soldier (1820-1891)

I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and had read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. -Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

Some keep the Sabbath going to church, I keep it staying at home, with a bobolink for a chorister, and an orchard for a dome. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

These things happen. . .the soul's bliss and suffering are bound together like the grasses. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. –Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)

Kiss me and you will see how important I am. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)

But what is Hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it. -HL Mencken, writer, critic, journalist (1880-1956)

A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married. -HL Mencken, writer, critic, journalist (1880-1956)

One must pay dearly for immortality: one has to die several times while still alive. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

“They are Man's,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” Charles Dickens, writer (1812-1870)

Now is the winter of our discontent. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith. -Miguel de Unamuno, writer (1864-1936)

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

For money you can have everything it is said. No that is not true. You Can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That Cannot be had for money. -Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924)

You can live a lifetime and at the end, know more about other people than you know about yourself. -Beryl Markham, writer, pilot (1902-1986)

Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Need is not quite belief. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)
A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there's less of you. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period. –Nicholas Sparks, author (1965- )

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. -Alexis de Tocqueville, statesman and historian (1805-1859)

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -HL Mencken, writer, critic, journalist (1880-1956)  

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable? -Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (1928-)

Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

The disappointed one speaks. I searched for great human beings; I always found only the apes of their ideals. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

The formula of my happiness: a yes, a no, a straight line, a goal. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

The Mencken Creed
I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty.

I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.

I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech.

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.

I believe in the reality of progress.
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.
-HL Mencken, writer, critic, journalist (1880-1956)

The violence and obscenity are left unadulterated, as manifestation of the mystery and pain which ever accompanies the act of creation. –Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. –Anais Nin, writer (1903-1977)

O rose, who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet,
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubblewheat,--
Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee. –Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet (1806-1861)  

In war, truth is the first casualty. -Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (525BC-456BC)

Sea of stretch'd ground-swells,
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths,
Sea of the brine of life and of unshovell'd yet always-ready graves,
Howler and scooper of storms, capricious and dainty sea,
I am integral with you, I too am of one phase and of all phases.
-Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)
I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)
I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)
Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. –Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)

Dwell in possibility. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)
Celebrity is the chastisement of merit and the punishment of talent. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish. -Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (525BC-456BC)

There's just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.  -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. -J.R.R.Tolkien, writer (1892-1973)

Everything up there was spooky, and it would have been that way even if there had been no war. You were in a place where you didn’t belong, where things were glimpsed for which you would have to pay and where things went un-glimpsed for which you would also have to pay, a place where they didn’t play with the mystery but killed you straight off for trespassing. The towns had names that laid a quick, chilly touch on your bones: Kontum, Dak Mak Lop, Dak Roman Peng, Poli Klang, Buon Blech, Pleiku, Pleime, Plei Vi Drin. Just moving through those towns or being based somewhere above them spaced you out, and every time I’d have that vision of myself lying dead somewhere, it was always up there, in the Highlands. –Michael Herr, writer (1940-)

One strange feeling, which I remember clearly, was a powerful link with the slain, particularly those that had fallen within the past hour or two. There was so much death around that life seemed almost indecent. Some men’s uniforms were soaked with gobs of blood. The ground was sodden with it. I killed, too. –William Manchester, historian, biographer (1922-2004)

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze. -Thomas Carlyle, historian and essayist (1795-1881)

“You dont have to worry. Nobody else is coming.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I’m in charge of who is coming and who is not.” -Cormac McCarthy, writer (1933-)
I have no enemies. I dont permit such a thing. -Cormac McCarthy, writer (1933-)

I remember when Daddy retired Momma told him: I said for better or for worse but I didn’t say nothin about lunch. -Cormac McCarthy, writer (1933-)

People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die. –Hugh Hector Munro, writer (1870-1916)

What did the Caspian see?. –Hugh Hector Munro, writer (1870-1916)

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. –M Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author (1936-2005)

The louder he talks of honour, the faster we count our spoons. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice? -Lillian Hellman, playwright (1905-1984)

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. -Steven Wright, comedian (1955-)

Having been unable to strengthen justice, we have justified strength. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

Men are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don't make it of wood, you must make it of words. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (1809-1894)

And your very flesh shall be a great poem. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words? -Henry Miller, writer (1891-1980)

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. -Henry Miller, writer (1891-1980)

He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

I was almost persuaded to be a Christian. I thought I never again could be thoughtless and worldly. But I soon forgot my morning prayer or else it was irksome to me. One by one my old habits returned and I cared less for religion than ever. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

The world allured me & in an unguarded moment I listened to her siren voice. From that moment I seemed to lose interest in heavenly things. Friends reasoned with me & told me of the danger I was in. I felt my danger & was alarmed, but I had rambled too far to return & ever since my heart has been growing harder. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves. –Mary Shelley, writer (1797-1851)

First our pleasures die
and then our hopes, and then our fears
and when these are dead, the debt is due dust claims dust
and we die too. –Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (1792-1822)

Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dialer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is the hour of your thoughts. –Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)
A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies. –Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)
There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds. –Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)

Survivors would have us believe in a brilliance
here, some bolt of truth forking across the water,
an ultimate Light before all the lights go out,
dawning on you with all its megalithic tonnage.
But if something does flash before your eyes
as you go under, it will probably be a fish,

a quick blur of curved silver darting away,
having nothing to do with your life or your death.
The tide will take you, or the lake will accept it all
as you sink toward the weedy disarray of the bottom,
leaving behind what you have already forgotten,
the surface, now overrun with the high travel of clouds. -Billy Collins, poet (1941-)

A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words. –Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense. –Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. –Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

It has always seemed absurd to suppose that a god would choose for his companions, during all eternity, the dear souls whose highest and only ambition is to obey. -Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and orator (1833-1899)

The living are soft and yielding; the dead are rigid and stiff. Living plants are flexible and tender; the dead are brittle and dry. -Lao Tzu, philosopher (6th century BCE)

I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. -Rollo May, psychologist (1909-1994)

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. -Gladys Browyn Stern, writer (1890-1973)

Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts. -Madame de Stael, writer (1766-1817)

One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person. -William Feather, author, editor and publisher (1889-1981)

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness. -Louise Erdrich, author (b. 1954)

Night has come; now all fountains speak more loudly. And my soul too is a fountain.
Night has come; only now all the songs of lovers awaken. And my soul too is the song of a lover.
Something unstilled, unstillable is within me; it wants to be voiced. A craving for love is within me; it speaks the language of love.
Light am I; ah, that I were night! But this is my loneliness that I am girt with light. Ah, that I were dark and nocturnal! How I would suck at the breasts of light! -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Moby-Dick (1)
Call me Ishmael.
Reality outran apprehension; Captain Ahab stood upon his quarter-deck.
The warmly cool, clear, ringing, perfumed, overflowing, redundant days, were as crystal goblets of Persian sherbet, heaped up--flaked up, with rose-water snow.
Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.
Anyway there’s something on his mind, as sure as there must be something on a deck when it cracks.
A white whale—did ye mark that, man? Look ye—there’s something special in the wind. Stand by for it, Flask. Ahab has that that’s bloody on his mind.
Oh, Ahab! What shall be grand in thee; it must be plucked at from the skies, and dived for in the deep, and featured in the unbodied air!
“D’ye mark him, Flask?” whispered Stubb; “the chick that’s in him pecks at the shell. ‘Twill soon be out.”
…and he fan-tails like a split jib in a squall.
Hark ye yet again,--the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event--in the living act, the undoubted deed—there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ‘tis enough.
God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby-Dick to his death.
…declaring Moby-Dick not only ubiquitous but immortal (for immortality is but ubiquity in time)…
-Herman Melville, writer (1819-1891)

Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty. -Stephen King, novelist (1947-)
Profits, like sausages... are esteemed most by those who know least about what goes into them. -Alvin Toffler, futurist and author (1928-)
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)
Wisdom is not finally tested in the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892) 
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. –Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)
Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you? -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)  

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; / The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892) 

The Man Without a Country, was an orator no one could silence and no one could answer. -Thomas Starr King, orator, Unitarian minister (1824-1864)

It is strange. I see all the privileges and greatness of the future. It already looks grand, beautiful. Tell them I went lovingly, trustfully, peacefully. -Thomas Starr King, orator, Unitarian minister (1824-1864)

Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that is wrong. They know less, that’s why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

The basic Female body comes with the following accessories: garter belt, panti-girdle, crinoline, camisole, bustle, brassiere, stomacher, chemise, virgin zone, spike heels, nose ring, veil, kid gloves, fishnet stockings, fichu, bandeau, Merry Widow, weepers, chokers, barrettes, bangles, beads, lorgnette, feather boa, basic black, compact, Lycra stretch one-piece with modesty panel, designer peignoir, flannel nightie, lace teddy, bed, head. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

A visit to New Hampshire supplies the most resources to a traveler,
and confers the most benefit on the mind and taste,
when it lifts him above mere appetite for wildness, ruggedness,
and the feeling of mass and precipitous elevation, into a perception
and love of the refined grandeur, the chaste sublimity, the airy majesty
overlaid with tender and polished bloom,
in which the landscape splendor of a noble mountain lies. -Thomas Starr King, orator, Unitarian minister (1824-1864)

The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Words dry and riderless,
The indefatigable hoof-taps.
From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars
Govern a life. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)
I love him to hell and back and heaven and back, and have and do and will. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)

The real war will never get in the books. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)
The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it. –Sylvia Plath, poet, writer (1932-1963)

I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

All that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

He is justly serv’d; 
It is a poison temper’d by himself. 
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet: 
Mine and my father’s death come not upon thee, 
Nor thine on me!
Heaven make thee free of it. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Now cracks a noble heart.
Good-night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

I believe that always, or almost always, in all childhood and in all the lives that follow them, the mother represents madness. Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we've ever met. -Marguerite Duras, writer (1914-1996)

It's afterwards you realize that the feeling of happiness you had with a man didn't necessarily prove that you loved him. -Marguerite Duras, writer (1914-1996)

Be here now. –Ram Dass, spiritual teacher, (1931-)

I used to have a sign over my computer that read OLD DOGS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS, but lately I sometimes ask myself how many more new tricks I want to learn. Wouldn’t it be easier just to be outdated? –Ram Dass, spiritual teacher, (1931-)

If you think you're free, there's no escape possible. –Ram Dass, spiritual teacher, (1931-)

Abruptly the poker of memory stirs the ashes of recollection and uncovers a forgotten ember, still smoldering down there, still hot, still glowing, still red as red. –William Manchester, historian, biographer (1922-2004)
I wondered vaguely if this was when it would end, whether I would pull up tonight's darkness like a quilt and be dead and at peace evermore. –William Manchester, historian, biographer (1922-2004)
It would be inaccurate to say that Churchill and I conversed. Like Gladstone speaking to Victoria, he addressed me as though I were a one-man House of Commons. It was superb. –William Manchester, historian, biographer (1922-2004)

We lie back to back. Curtains
lift and fall,
like the chest of someone sleeping.
Wind moves the leaves of the box elder;
they show their light undersides,
turning all at once
like a school of fish.
Suddenly I understand that I am happy.
For months this feeling
has been coming closer, stopping
for short visits, like a timid suitor. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

Forever is composed of nows. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

Dying is a wild night and a new road. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

It is better to be the hammer than the anvil. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own. –Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)

Since when was genius found respectable? –Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet (1806-1861)  

But the child's sob curses deeper in the silence than the strong man in his wrath! –Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet (1806-1861)

A mistress never is nor can be a friend. While you agree, you are lovers; and when it is over, anything but friends. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

Friendship is a sheltering tree. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, writer, poet (1772-1834)
Good and bad men are less than they seem. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, writer, poet (1772-1834)

The next message you need is always right where you are. –Ram Dass, spiritual teacher, (1931-)

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. educator, poet (1807-1882)

For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. educator, poet (1807-1882)

I would only believe in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity, through him all things fall. Not by wrath does one kill but by laughter. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity! -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Aphorisms should be peaks – and those who are addressed, tall and lofty. The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full of gay sarcasm: these go well together. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest", but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (1917-1986)

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. –Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)

One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. –Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)

How should I tell him my fable and the fears,
How bridge the chasm in a casual tone,
Saying, "The house, the stucco one you built,
We lost. Sister married and went from home,
And nothing comes back, it's strange, from where she goes. –Stanley Kunitz, poet (1905-2006)
do you remember
the man you married?
Touch me, remind me who I am. –Stanley Kunitz, poet (1905-2006)

Moby-Dick (2)
I don't know that, my little man; I never yet say him kneel.
And had you watched Ahab's face that night, you would have thought that in him also two different things were warring. While his one live long made lively echoes along the deck, every stroke of his dead limb sounded like a coffin-tap. On life and death this old man walked.
All men live enveloped in the whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.
Nay, keep it thyself,' cried Gabriel to Ahab; 'thou art soon going that way.
But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.
What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish? What is the principle of religious belief in them but Loose-Fish? What to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish? And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?
Oh! my friends, but this is man-killing! Yet this is life. For hardly have we mortals by long toilings extracted from this world's vast bulk its small but valuable sperm; and then, with weary patience, cleansed ourselves from its defilements, and learned to live here in clean tabernacles of the soul; hardly is this done, when- There she blows!- the ghost is spouted up, and away we sail to fight some other world, and go through young life's old routine again.
Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.
There she blows!- there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby-Dick!
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!
-Herman Melville, writer (1819-1891)

The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. –Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)

High noon behind the tamarisks, the sun is hot above us-- As at home the Christmas Day is breaking wan, They will drink our healths at dinner, those who tell us how they love us, And forget us till another year be gone! –Rudyard Kipling, author (1865-1936)

I had a brother at Khe Sanh
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They’re still there, he’s all gone. –Bruce Springsteen, musician, songwriter (1949- )

It seems like the less a statesman amounts to the more he adores the flag. -Kin Hubbard, humorist (1868-1930)

Only the madman is absolutely sure. -Robert Anton Wilson, novelist (1932-2007)

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Always there comes an hour when one is weary of one's work and devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart. –Albert Camus, writer, philosopher (1913-1960)

Faith is believing what you know ain't so. -Mark Twain, author, humorist (1835-1910)

What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds. -Eric Hoffer, philosopher, author (1902-1983)

Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
An', taught by time, I tak' it so -- exceptin' always steam,
From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see thy Hand,
O God-- Predestination in the stride o' yon connectin'-rod. - Rudyard Kipling, author (1865-1936)

There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means - either will do - the result in the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

The future is no more uncertain than the present. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892).

Rose bushes don’t like being in pots, they like being in the ground. It’s too confining, they just know. –Laudizen King, writer (1950-)  

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. -Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

The past, the future, majesty, love – if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. -Andre Gide, critic, essayist, novelist (1869-1951)

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome. -Golda Meir, Political leader (1898-1978)

Authority poisons everybody who takes authority on himself. -Golda Meir, Political leader (1898-1978)

So, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

The better days of life were ours; The worst can be but mine: –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

Don't be humble... you're not that great. -Golda Meir, Political leader (1898-1978)

Being seventy is not a sin. -Golda Meir, Political leader (1898-1978)

Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest -John Keats, poet (1795-1821)

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink -John Keats, poet (1795-1821)

Yes, I'm a sack of broken eggs, I always have an unmade bed. Don't you? -M. Jagger-K. Richards, musicians (1943-)

In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Give me women, wine, and snuff -John Keats, poet (1795-1821)

That is no country for old men. -William Butler Yeats, author poet (1865-1939)

But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent. -William Butler Yeats, author poet (1865-1939)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. -William Butler Yeats, author poet (1865-1939)

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? -William Butler Yeats, author poet (1865-1939)

Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless. –Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

dream not that the amorous deep
will yet restore him to the vital air;
Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs at our despair. -Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (1792-1822)

In reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. -Marcel Proust, novelist (1871-1922)

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. -Khalil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. -Richard Dawkins, biologist and author (b. 1941)

The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

We convince by our presence. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

If you want a different life, you gotta start doing and learning different things. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

It stormed all night; now it clears, and a robin burbles from a dripping bush like the neighbor who means well but always says the wrong thing. -Jane Kenyon, poet (1947-1995)

I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is toward individuals. -Jonathan Swift, satirist (1667-1745)

And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

Don't surrender your loneliness
So quickly.
Let it cut more deeply.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can. -Hafez, poet (1315-1390)

The grave my little cottage is,
Where, keeping house for thee,
I make my parlor orderly,
And lay the marble tea. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier, and simpler. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

Be curious, not judgmental. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

I saw thousands of pumpkins last night
come floating in on the tide,
bumping up against the rocks and
rolling up on the beaches;
it must be Halloween in the sea. -Richard Brautigan, writer (1935-1984)

All watched over by machines of loving grace. -Richard Brautigan, writer (1935-1984)

Yes! its true all my visions
have come home to roost at last.
They are all true now and stand
around me like a bouquet of
lost ships and doomed generals.
I gently put them away in a
beautiful and disappearing vase. -Richard Brautigan, writer (1935-1984)

And malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man. -A.E. Housman, poet (1859-1936)
Men rarely (if ever) managed to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. -Robert A. Heinlein, author (1907-1988)
I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. -Diego Rivera, artist (1886-1957)
At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important. -Andrew Wyeth, artist (1917-2009)
Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it? -Pablo Picasso. artist (1881-1973)
Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions. -A.E. Housman, poet (1859-1936)
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth. -Pablo Picasso. artist (1881-1973)
I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso. -Euan Uglow, artist (1932-2000)
Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act. -A.E. Housman, poet (1859-1936)
I have tried to isolate and inspect the great talent that was in Ed Ricketts, that made him so loved and needed and makes him so missed now that he is dead. Certainly he was an interesting and charming man, but there was some other quality that far exceeded these. I have thought that it might be his ability to receive, to receive anything from anyone, to receive gracefully and thankfully, and to make the gift seem very fine. Because of this everyone felt good in giving to Ed--a present, a thought, anything.

Perhaps the most overrated virtue in our list of shoddy virtues is that of giving. Giving builds up the ego of the giver, makes him superior and higher and larger than the receiver...It is so easy to give, so exquisitely rewarding. Receiving, on the other hand, if it is well-done, requires a fine balance of self-knowledge and kindness. It requires humility and tact and great understanding of relationships. In receiving, you cannot appear, even to yourself, better or stronger or wiser than the giver, although you must be wiser to do it well.

It requires self-esteem to receive--not self-love but just a pleasant acquaintance and liking for oneself. -John Steinbeck, writer (1902-1968)

We came down the road from Lake Josephus and down the road from Seafoam. We stopped along the way to get a drink of water. There was a small monument in the forest. I walked over to the monument to see what was happening. The glass door of the lookout was partly open and a towel was hanging on the other side.

At the center of the monument was a photograph. It was the classic forest lookout photograph I have seen before, from that America that existed during the 1920s and 30s.

There was a man in the photograph who looked a lot like Charles A. Lindbergh. He had that same Spirit of St. Louis nobility and purpose of expression, except that his North Atlantic was the forests of Idaho. -Richard Brautigan, writer (1935-1984)

One restless dawn, unable to suppress the itch
of wanderlust, with a heavy door left ajar
semi-deliberately, and a new light teasing in
Some piece of immobility will finally quit
suddenly nimble on wooden limbs
as fast as a horse, fleeing the stable. -Yahia Lababidi, poet (1973-)

With enigmatic clarity, Life gives us a different answer each time we ask her the same question. -Yahia Lababidi, poet (1973-)

The thoughts we choose to act upon define us to others, the ones we do not define us to ourselves. -Yahia Lababidi, poet (1973-)

And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth; Four things greater than all things are-- Women and Horses and Power and War. - Rudyard Kipling, author, (1865-1936)

The gull shall whistle in his wake, the blind wave break in fire. He shall fulfill God's utmost will, unknowing His desire, And he shall see old planets pass and alien stars arise, And give the gale his reckless sail in shadow of new skies. Strong lust of gear shall drive him out and hunger arm his hand, To wring his food from a desert nude, his foothold from the sand. -Rudyard Kipling, author, (1865-1936)

To have great poets, there must be great audiences. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.  -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

Ambiguity: the bastard child of creativity and cowardice.Truth can be like a large, bothersome fly – brush it away and it returns buzzing.In life, as in love, graceful leave-taking is the epitome of gratitude. -Yahia Lababidi, poet (1973-)

Pleasure may be snatched from life’s clenched fists, not joy. -Yahia Lababidi, poet (1973-)

I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are. -William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him. -William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. -William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once. -William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

As the old saw says well: every end does not appear together with its beginning. -Herodotus, historian (c.484BC–c.425BC)

Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances. -Herodotus, historian (c.484BC–c.425BC)

How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er,
In states unborn, and accents yet unknown! -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

The beautiful feeling after writing a poem is on the whole better even than after sex, and that's saying a lot. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth, but that you won't notice it when someone else does. -Anton Chekhov, dramatist and writer (1860-1904)

All of life and human relations have become so incomprehensibly complex that, when you think about it, it becomes terrifying and your heart stands still. -Anton Chekhov, dramatist and writer (1860-1904)

We must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Forever, and forever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then this parting was well made. -William Shakespeare, poet, playwright (1564-1616)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out. -Anton Chekhov, dramatist and writer (1860-1904)

If you cry 'forward', you must without fail make plain in what direction to go. -Anton Chekhov, dramatist and writer (1860-1904)

If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry. -Anton Chekhov, dramatist and writer (1860-1904)

Even without wars, life is dangerous. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

In a dream you are never eighty. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. -Anne Sexton, poet (1928-1974)

I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it. -Edgar Allan Poe, writer (1809-1849)

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. -Edgar Allan Poe, writer (1809-1849)

I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. -Edgar Allan Poe, writer (1809-1849)

Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way. -E.L. Doctorow, writer (1931-)

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training wheels
To be laid aside
When you finally live
With veracity
And love. -Hafez, poet (1315-1390)

Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

We are all of us more or less echoes, repeating involuntarily the virtues, the defects, the movements, and the characters of those among whom we live. -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason. -Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of the places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates. -Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as a blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)

He who does not gape after the favor of Princes, as after a thing he cannot do without, is not greatly piqued by the coolness of their reception and countenance, nor by the inconstancy of their affections. He who does not brood over his children or his honors with slavish fondness, will manage to live comfortably after he has lost them. -Michel de Montaigne, writer (1533-1592)

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them... Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will. -Michel de Montaigne, writer (1533-1592)

While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. -Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)  

Nothing endures but personal qualities. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street. -Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others. -Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)

I once was the walrus, now I'm John. -John Lennon, musician (1940-1980)

What's the use coming home to get the blues over what can't be helped. -Eugene O'Neill, playwright (1888-1953)

God, to me, it seems, is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper. R. Buckminster Fuller, engineer (1895-1983)

If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit. -Robert Brault, writer (1938-)

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. -Thomas Jefferson, third US president, architect and author (1743-1826)

Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts. -Leo Rosten, author (1908-1997)

No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other. -Jascha Heifetz, violinist (1901-1987)

In a free country there is much clamor, with little suffering: in a despotic state there is little complaint but much suffering. -Lazare Hippolyte Carnot, statesman (1801-1888)

Eden is that old-fashioned House We dwell in every day Without suspecting our abode Until we drive away. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

The pedigree of honey Does not concern the bee; A clover, anytime, to him Is aristocracy. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr, poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (1809-1894)

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. -Marcus Aurelius, Statesman (121-180)

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. -Marcus Aurelius, Statesman (121-180)

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius, Statesman (121-180)

Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else's religion practiced on us. -John Irving, novelist (b. 1942)

The excesses of our youth are drafts upon our old age, payable with interest, about thirty years after date. -Charles Caleb Colton, author and clergyman (1780-1832)

The first few glasses of beer were a revelation; they flushed my veins with happiness; they washed away all cares and shyness and worries. I remember thinking to myself, If I could have two pints of beer every afternoon, life would be a great happiness. -George Mackay Brown, Poet (1921-1996)

Where I grew up in Brooklyn, nobody committed suicide. Everyone was too unhappy. -Woody Allen, actor, writer, director (1935-)

The last time I was in a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty. -Woody Allen, actor, writer, director (1935-)

To me, Art is a fairly dirty word used by a large number of people hiding behind walls of themselves; I'm afraid I'm a shit and I prefer it that way. that's all right because I play my small game and let alone what should be let alone. -Charles Bukowski, poet, writer (1920-1994)

Style is time's fool. Form is time's student. -Stewart Brand, writer, editor(1938-)

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins. -Rudyard Kipling, author, (1865-1936)

Absence diminishes commonplace passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and kindles fire. -Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld, moralist (1613-1680)

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. -Peter Drucker, consultant, professor, writer (1909-2005)

If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose. -Charles Bukowski, poet, writer (1920-1994)

I want to be alone and work until the day my heads hits the drawing table and I'm dead. Kaput. Everything is over. Everything that I called living is over. I'm very, very much alone. I don't believe in heaven or hell or any of those things. I feel very much like I want to be with my brother and sister again. They're nowhere. I know they're nowhere and they don't exist, but if nowhere means that's where they are, that's where I want to be. -Maurice Sendak, writer, illustrator (1928-)

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist (1918-2008)

If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence. -Charles Bukowski, poet, writer (1920-1994)

Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live. -Charles Bukowski, poet, writer (1920-1994)

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author, aviator (1900-1945)

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist, writer (1817-1862)

All know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know that the ocean merges into the drop. -Kabir, poet (late 15th century)