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Love itself became the object of her love.Jonathan Safran Foercount sadnessesmore quotes
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I created a font to encode genomic sequence on the wayfinding signs in my DNA on 10th public art project. Download the font it and make your own creations.
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
1,709 quotes and all is well.

1 · Daily quotation server

In the late 90’s I started (a good decade for starts) a daily quotation server project at www.quoteserver.ca. The domain is now defunct—some pages are partially viewable at the Way Back Machine.

Below is the list of quotes I had collected by the end of the life of the project. Most are about love—duh—and a few are jolly jests from funny trenches. You know, that place where mustard gas makes your eyes water.

The quotes weren’t scraped from quote archives—each is meaningful and hand-picked.

2 · Good times, bad times

Each one of my webpages has a quote rotation on the top right. These are particularly special, picked often during times when I am feeling overwhelmed—in a good or bad way. Here, they are all listed

Give me a number of games.

Drive, driven. Gave, given.

can you hear the rain?

Without an after or a when.
—Papercut feat. Maiken Sundby

sway, sway, sway

What do the trees know.

drift deeper into the sound

Embrace me, surround me as the rush comes.

crawl somewhere better

In your hiding, you're alone. Kept your treasures with my bones.
—Coeur de Pirate

safe at last

Safe, fallen down this way, I want to be just what I am.
—Cocteau Twins

let it go

I'm not real and I deny I won't heal unless I cry.
—Cocteau Twins

aim high

And she looks like the moon. So close and yet, so far.
—Future Islands

don't rehearse

And whatever I do will become forever what I've done.
—Wislawa Szymborska

be apart

Sun is on my face ...a beautiful day without you.

count sadnesses

Love itself became the object of her love.
—Jonathan Safran Foer

get nowhere

Here we are now at the middle of the fourth large part of this talk.
—Pepe Deluxe

choose four words

Twenty — minutes — maybe — more.

Mad about you, orchestrally.

Feel the vibe, feel the terror, feel the pain

break flowers

Thoughts rearrange, familiar now strange.
—Holly Golightly & The Greenhornes

try to figure it out

This love's a nameless dream.
—Cocteau Twins

get lost in questions

Where am I supposed to go? Where was I supposed to know?
—Violet Indiana

burn something

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash
—Leonard Cohen

find a way to love

This love loves love. It's a strange love, strange love.
—Liz Fraser

go there

listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go.
—e.e. cummings

get cranky

Lips that taste of tears, they say, are the best for kissing.
—Dorothy Parker

think & dance

Tango is a sad thought that is danced.
—Enrique Santos Discépolo

3 · Purpose of quotations

If Geoffrey O’Brien’s statement

"Quotes are the furniture of my life."

in the NYT article We Are What We Quote applies, then too many people are living in empty spaces.

In fact, thinking back to the last time I heard someone quote something takes my mind too far back. Far too far. But it was a good one—my esteemed colleague Robin Coope reminded me of this Leonard Cohen gem, from the song Anthem.

"There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in."

4 · Other attempts at herding words and lines

If you enjoy words, I invite you to peruse words I have tried to coin and my writing.

5 · The quotation archive

The archive contains 1,709 quotes. From Dorothy Parker to Pinky and Brain, you're sure to find something special.

There are quote collections about love, heart, desire, life, death, god, mind, science.

Feeling lucky? Read 10 random quotes. Well, will you, punk?

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight.
Make me a child again just for to-night.
Elizabeth Chase Akers
Rock Me to Sleep
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Better Ressurrection
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall — the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Better Ressurrection
Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow: —
Stripp’d bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Daughter of Eve
For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
De Profundis
Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart’s core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Dream Land
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Goblin Market
Come back to me, who wait and watch for you:
Or come not yet, for it is over then,
And long it is before you come again,
So far between my pleasures are and few.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, i
Howbeit, to meet you grows almost a pang
Because the pang of parting comes so soon;
My hope hangs waning, waxing, like a moon
Between the heavenly days on which we meet:
Ah me, but where are now the songs I sang
When life was sweet because you call’d them sweet?
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, i
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seem’d to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand — Did one but know!
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, ii
Thus only in a dream we are at one,
Thus only in a dream we give and take
The faith that maketh rich who take or give;
If thus to sleep is sweeter than to wake,
To die were surely sweeter than to live,
Though there be nothing new beneath the sun.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, iii
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By sharp and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
Ambrose Bierce
Take not God’s name in vain: select a time when it will have effect.
Ambrose Bierce
Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.
William Blake
The Clod and the Pebble
Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.
William Blake
The Clod and the Pebble
Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away
In statue-like repose.
James Aldrich
A Death Bed
But when the sun in all his state
Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through Glory’s morning gate,
And walked in Paradise.
James Aldrich
A Death Bed
Those golden palaces, those gorgeous halls,
With furniture superfluously fair;
Those stately courts, those sky encount’ring walls
Evanish all like vapours in the air.
Sir William Alexander
The Tragedy of Darius, IV iii
Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth.
Plausible impossibilities should be preferred to unconvincing possibilities.
Shall any gazer see with mortal eyes,
Or any seeker know by mortal mind?
Veil after veil will lift — but there must be
Veil upon veil behind.
Sir Edwin Arnold
The Light of Asia, VIII
What is Truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
Francis Bacon
Of Truth
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant perhaps the one is as painful as the other.
Francis Bacon
Of Death
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Francis Bacon
Of Studies
Now the day is over,
The night is drawing nigh,
Shadows in the evening
Steal across the sky.
Sabine Baring-Gould
Now the day is over
You can fool some of the people all of the time,
and all of the people some of the time;
but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
Phineas Taylor Barnum
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.
James Beattie
The Hermit
If there were dreams to sell
What would you buy?
Some cost a passing-bell
Some a light sigh.
Thomas Lovell Beddoes
Woman would be more charming if one could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.
Ambrose Bierce
Piping down valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child.
William Blake
Songs of Innocence
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.
William Blake
Love’s Secret
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Mock on, mock on, ’tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
William Blake
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire
To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
Little fly, thy summer’s play
My careless hand hath brushed away.
Am not I a fly like thee,
Or art not thou a man like me.
For I dance, and drink, and sing
Till some blind hand doth brush my wing.
If that is life, and strength, and breath
And the word of thought is death
Then am I a happy fly?
If I live, or if I die.
William Blake
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
But the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
Francis Bourdillon
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies,
When love is done.
Francis Bourdillon
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
Baron Charles Synge Christopher Bowen
Sichel, Sands of Time
So sweet love seemed that April morn.
When first we kissed beside the thorn,
So strangely sweet, it was not strange
We thought that love could never change.
Robert Seymour Bridges
So Sweet Love Seemed
But I can tell—let truth be told—
That love will change in growing old;
Though day by day is nought to see,
So delicate his motions be.
Robert Seymour Bridges
So Sweet Love Seemed
My delight and thy delight
Walking, like two angels white,
In the gardens of the night.
Robert Seymour Bridges
My Delight and thy Delight
When first we met we did not guess
That Love would prove so hard a master.
Robert Seymour Bridges
No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubles sphere;
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And Faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
Emily Jane Bronte
Last Lines
Thought earth and man were gone,
And stars and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.
Emily Jane Bronte
Last Lines
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this alone I know full well,
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.
Thomas Brown
Sleep is a death, O make me try
By sleeping, what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Sir Thomas Browne
Religio Medici, part II
’Yes,’ I answered you last night;
’No,’ this morning, sir, I say.
Colours seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Lady’s "Yes"
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breath and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese
I love thee with the love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese
Good, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
Robert Browning
La Saisiaz
I never saw a Purple Cow
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
Frank Gelett Burgess
The Purple Cow
Ah, yes, I wrote the ’Purple Cow’—
I’m sorry, now, I wrote it!
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it!
Frank Gelett Burgess
Cinq Ans Apres
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
Nicholas Murray Butler
Life is one long process of getting tired.
Samuel Butler
Note Books
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years.
George Gordon Byron
When we two parted
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?—
with silence and tears.
George Gordon Byron
When we two parted
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
George Gordon Byron
She Walks in Beauty
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone.
George Gordon Byron
On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year
As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged faced.
Joseph Campbell
The Old Woman
What is Hope? A smiling rainbow
Children follow through the wet;
Tis not here, still yonder, yonder:
Never urchin found it yet.
Thomas Carlyle
Cui Bono
What is Man? A foolish baby,
Vainly strives, and fights, and frets;
Demanding all, deserving nothing;
One small grave is what he gets.
Thomas Carlyle
Cui Bono
The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
To talk of many things;
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.
Lewis Carroll
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Days and moments quickly flying
Blend the living with the dead;
Soon shall you and I be lying
Each within our narrow bed.
Edward Caswall
Silent enim leges inter arma.
[For laws are dumb in the midst of arms.]
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Pro Milone
Salus populi suprema est lex.
[The good of the people is the highest law.]
Marcus Tullius Cicero
De Legibus
Cedant arma togae, concedant laurea laudi.
[Let arms give place to the civic gown,
and the laurel-wreath to praise.]
Marcus Tullius Cicero
De Officiis
Here sparrows build upon the trees,
And stockdove hides her nest;
The leaves are winnowed by the breeze
Into a calmer rest:
The blackcap’s song was very sweet,
That used the rose to kiss;
It made the Paradise complete:
My early home was this.
John Clare
My Early Home
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner
He preyeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery
Charles Caleb Colton
Lacon, No 217
Thou art a liar of the first magnitude.
William Congreve
Love for Love, II. v.
Love in her sunny eyes doth basking play;
Love walk the pleasant mazes of her hair;
Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there:
In all her outward parts Love’s always seen;
But oh! he never went within.
Abraham Cowley
The Change
But what is a woman?—only one of Nature’s agreeable blunders.
Hannah Cowley
Who’s the Dupe? II. ii.
Books cannot always please, however good;
Minds are not ever craving for their food.
George Crabbe
The Borough, letter xxiv. Schools, 402
Nessun maggior dolore,
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.
[No greater sorrow than to recall in our misery
a time when we were happy.]
Alighieri Dante
Comedy, Inferno, v. 121
Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walk the night in her silver shoon.
Walter John de la Mare
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
Augustus de Morgan
A budget of Paradoxes
History is philosophy derived from examples.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Ars Rhetorica
Listen to the water-mill;
Through the livelong day,
How the clicking of its wheel
Wears the hours away!
Sarah Doudney
The Lesson of the Water-Mill
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood.
John Dryden
Alexander’s Feast, 77
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Alva Edison
Newspaper interview
Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot
Scenes of Clerical Life. Mr. Gilfil’s Love Story, vii.
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
T.S. Eliot
The Hollow Men
The rule of the road is a paradox quite,
Both in riding and driving along;
If you keep to the left, you are sure to be right,
If you keep to the right you are wrong.
Henry Erskine
The Rule of the Road
The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy solder is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands;
Eugene Field
Little Boy Blue
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
Eugene Field
Little Boy Blue
I came like Water, and like Wind I go.
Edward Fitzgerald
Mon centre cede, ma droite recule, situation excellente. J’attaque!
Ferdinand Foch
Message to Joffere, First Battle of the Marne, Sept. 1914
C’est plus qu’un crime; c’est une faute.
Joseph Fouch
Of the murder of the Duc d’Enghien by Napoleon in 1804
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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
The Road Not Taken
Now to the banquet we press;
Now for the eggs and the ham;
Now for the mustard and cress,
Now for the strawberry jam!
W.S. Gilbert
The Sorcerer
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
Echoes, iv. In Memoriam R.T.H.Bruce, 1846-99
I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn.
Thomas Hood
I remember, I remember
I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Where close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.
Thomas Hood
I remember
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
[Seize the day, counting as little as possible on tomorrow.]
Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Odes, I. xi. 8
"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly:
"’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there."
Mary Howitt
The Spider and the Fly
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats
Ode on a Grecian Urn, 5.
I give the all—I can no more,
Tho’poor the offering be;
My heart and lute are all the store
That I can bring to thee.
John Philip Kemble
Lodoiska, III. i.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Joyce Kilmer
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Arrow and the Song
Why are her eyes so bright, so bright,
Why do her lips control
The kisses of a summer night
When I would love her soul?
Richard Barham Middleton
Any Lover, Any Lass
There’s a Friend for little children
Above the bright blue sky,
A Friend who never changes,
Whose love can never die.
Albert Midlane
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
A Few Figs from Thistles, First Fig
Then awake!—the heavens look bright, my dear,
This never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days,
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!
Thomas Moore
Irish Melodies. The Young May Moon
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thomas Moore
National Airs. Oft in the Stilly Night
I know a little garden close
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy dawn to dewy night,
And have one with me wandering.
William Morris
The Life and Death of Jason, IV. 577.
Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
Drink with me, and drink as I.
William Oldys
Busy, Curious, Thirsty Fly
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
Edgar Allan Poe
A Dream Within a Dream
Take thy beak from out my heart, and
take my form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
Alexander Pope
Ode on Solitude
Where’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade:
Where’er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Alexander Pope
Pastorals. Summer, 73.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
Alexander Pope
Essay on Man, Epistle i. 267.
I’m on the sea! I’m on the sea!
I am where I would ever be,
With the blue above and the blue below,
And silence whereso’er I go.
Bryan Waller Procter
The Sea
Tirez le rideau, la farce est jouee.
Francois Rabelais
Traditional deathbed saying
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,
And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.
Sir Walter Raleigh
The Pilgrimage
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bend with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Birthday
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A Birthday
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then, moves on.
Carl Sandburg
Like the dew on the mountain,
Like the foam on the river,
Like bubble on the fountain
Thou art gone, and for ever!
Walter Scott
The Lady of the Lake, iii. 16. Coronach.
My salad days,
When I was green in judgement, cold in blood,
To say as I said then!
William Shakespeare
Anthony and Cleopatra, I.vi.73
Doubt the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, II.ii.116
How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, III. i. 111
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
William Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 184
Therefore Jew, though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
William Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 184
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly.
William Shakespeare
Macbeth, I. vii. 1.
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on the other.
William Shakespeare
Macbeth, I. vii. 25.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
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
Macbeth, V. i. 19.
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
I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Indian Serenade
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Love’s Philosophy
I am the daughter of the earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Cloud
I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden,
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burden thine.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I Fear Thy Kisses
And Sleep shall obey me,
And visit thee never,
And the Curse shall be on thee
For ever and ever.
Robert Southey
The Curse of Kehama, II. 14.
Noir comme le diable,
Chaud comme l’enfer,
Pur comme un ange,
Doux comme l’amour.
[Black like the devil,
Hot like hell,
Pure like an angel,
Soft like love.]
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord
Recipe for coffee
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Alfred Tennyson
Charge of the Light Brigade
Theirs is not make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Alfred Tennyson
The Charge of the Light Brigade
But what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.
Alfred Tennyson
In Memoriam, liv.
O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee.
Francis Thompson
The Kingdom of God
A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
Isaac Watts
Psalm, xc.
I am not arguing with you—I am telling you.
James A. McNeill Whistler
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 51.
She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight.
William Wordsworth
She was a Phantom of Delight
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees.
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
William Wordsworth
I wandered Lonely as a Cloud
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Thread softly, because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats
He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
What we gave, we have;
What we spent, we had;
What we left, we lost.
Epitaph on the Earl of Devon
First it rained, and then it snew,
Then it friz, and then it thew
And then it friz again.
Weather Rhyme
It does not need that a poem should be long,
Every word was once a poem.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
William Shakespeare
Sleep—Death without dying—living, but not life.
Edwin Arnold
If my dear, you seek to slumber
Count of stars an endless number;
If you still continue wakeful,
Count the drops that make a lakeful;
Then if vigilance yet above you
Hover, count the times I love you;
And if slumber still repel you
Count the times I do not tell you.
Franklin P. Holans
Death is sometimes a punishment, sometimes a gift;
To many it has come as a favor.
The prince who kept the world in awe,
The judge whose dictate fix’d the law;
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Are levelled; death confounds ’em all.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me,
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
Emily Dickinson
Tomorrow is a satire of today,
And it shows its weakness
Nothing begins, and nothing ends
That is not paid with moan;
For we are born in other’s pain,
And perish in our own.
Francis Thompson
Only two things are infinite, the universe and
human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein
We are here on earth to do good to others.
What the others are here for, I don’t know.
W.H. Auden
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell
I hate people. People make me pro-nuclear.
Margaret Smith
I turned down a date once because I was looking
for someone a little closer to the top of the
food chain.
Judy Tenuta
I don’t mind sleeping on an empty stomach provided it isn’t my own.
Philip J. Simborg
The mirror over my bed reads: Objects appear larger than they are.
Gary Shandling
The three stages of a man’s life:
1. He believes in Santa Claus;
2. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus;
3. He is Santa Claus.
There are three reasons why lawyers are replacing rats as laboratory research animals. One is that they’re plentiful, another is that lab assistants don’t get attached to them, and the third is that there are some things rats just won’t do.
The upper crust is a bunch of crumbs held together by dough.
Joseph A. Thomas
If it tastes good, it’s trying to kill you.
Roy Qualley
I smell a rat. Did you bake it or fry it?
Bill Hoest
Cannibals aren’t vegetarians, they’re humanitarians.
I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals;
I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.
A. Whitney Brown
If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.
Doug Larson
Bach in an hour. Offenbach sooner.
(Sign on music store door)
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
George Bernard Shaw
My karma ran over your dogma.
Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses.
Margared Millar
The trouble with dawn is that it comes too early in the day.
Susam Richman
Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.
Michael Pritchard
Open your mouth only to change feet.
Stanley Ralph Ross
Isn’t Muamar Khadafy the sound a cow makes when sneezing?
Dave Barry
Diplomat: One who thinks twice before saying nothing.
A few men are satisfied even when they get what they deserve.
Men and pins are useless when they lose their heads.
When a man says money can do anything, that settles it: he hasn’t any.
Archeological trip: Bone voyage.
Some folks give pleasure by coming into the room, others by coming out.
We are young only once, after that we need some other excuse.
Keep your feet on the ground and you won’t have far to fall.
Moderate abilities consistently applied can always compete with flashes of genius.
confidence, n: The feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation.
People can be divided into three categories:
—those who make things happen,
—those who watch things happen,
—those who wonder what happened.
Tact: Getting your point across without stabbing someone else.
Great minds discuss theories, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
Egoism is the art of seeing qualities in yourself which others cannot.
Some folks are like blisters; they don’t show up until the work is finished.
Quiet people aren’t the only ones who don’t say much.
Ignorance is prolonged infancy, only deprived of its charm.
Don’t assume importance, and you’ll never lose it.
When you are right you can afford to keep your temper, when you are wrong you can’t afford to lose it.
Mud thrown usually represents ground lost.
"Your vinyl resting place"
(In a window of a water-bed shop)
Never give a man up until he has failed at something he likes.
Some people cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.
Pediatrician: a man with little patience.
The wise carry their knowledge as they do their watches, not for displaying but for their own use.
Rich foods are like destiny. They, too, shape our ends.
Character is much more easily kept than recovered.
Smile: a curve that can set many things straight.
Paradox: medical lingo for two physicians.
Horse sense is what keeps horses from betting on people.
W.C. Fields
Hanging: a suspended sentence.
A man is as big as the things that annoy him.
A pessimist views the world through woes-coloured glasses.
A man who boasts that he is selfmade is a horrible example of unskilled labour.
He who will not answer to the rudder must answer to the rocks.
Economy is too late at the bottom of the purse.
It is often best to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.
Successful acupuncture: a jab well done.
The end of schooling merely marks the beginning of education.
Carpenter’s Sign: You should see what I saw.
Sarcasm: barbed ire.
Conceit may puff a man up, but it will never hold him down.
Modesty is the clothing of talent.
Macho does not prove mucho.
There is no wholly satisfactory substitute for brains, but silence does pretty well.
Where ignorance is bliss ’tis folly to be wise.
Some people know more than they understand.
Each time I begin thinking the world is moving too fast, I go to the post office.
No use of putting your foot down, when you haven’t got a leg to stand on.
Only some of us can learn from other people’s experiences. The rest of us have to be the other people.
The trouble with some people is that they are educated beyond their intelligence.
Profanity is a device that makes ignorance audible.
The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole.
Anybody who sleeps like a baby doesn’t have one.
The time to make friends is before you need them.
People usually get what’s coming to them, unless it’s been mailed.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
It isn’t what we start, it’s what we finish.
Some people grow under responsibility, others merely swell.
Conceit is God’s gift to little men.
Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be done.
adolescent, n: a teenager that acts like a baby when you don’t treat him like an adult.
A word of advice: don’t give it.
Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.
Underwater basketball team: 20,000 leagues under the sea.
Unemployed court jester: Nobody’s fool.
If ignorance isn’t bliss, I don’t know what is.
Only a mediocre writer is always at his best.
A contractor erected a building for optometrists; it became a sight for sore eyes.
Genius has limitations, stupidity is boundless.
A good part of success consists getting along with those whom you can’t get a head of.
Reputation is a bubble which a man bursts when he tries to blow it for himself.
Metal dog leashes were first sold only in chain stores.
An optimist is one who figures that when his shoes wear out he will be back on his feet.
Regret is insight that comes a day too late.
A halo has to fall only a few inches in order to become a noose.
Politicians are like ships—noisiest when lost in a fog.
Gossip: Mouth-to-mouth recitation.
Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.
epitaph, n: a statement that usually lies above about the one who lies beneath.
Is a belly-dancer a waist of energy?
Most of us carry our own stumbling block around with us; we camouflage it with a hat.
Life without a friend is like death without a witness.
Truth may be clear as a bell, but it isn’t always tolled.
If ignorance is bliss, why are there not more happy people?
The fellow who believes in following the crowd always ends up in the rear.
It is what we think we already know that often prevents us from learning.
It’s all right to hold a conversation, but you should let go of it now and then.
Love comes unseen, we only see it go.
"Give me your opinion about being a widow’s second husband."
"Well, it’s better than being the first."
You are young only once, but we can remain immature indefinitely.
The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly.
It is simply indifferent.
Revd. John H. Holmes
A Sensible Man’s View of Religion
Drive defensively: Buy a tank.
Down with imperatives!
If English made any sense, lackadaisical would mean a shortage of flowers
When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults.
B. Aldiss
Science is a cemetery of dead ideas.
M. de Unamuno
All men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
Tobacco is a filthy weed,
From the devil does it proceed.
It drains your purse, it burns your clothes,
It makes a chimney of your nose.
I am therefore I think: now that’s putting Descartes before the horse.
The road to wisdom, well, it’s plain and simple to express: err and err and err again, but less and less and less.
Piet Hein
c: 299,793 km/sec. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
All life is a struggle in the dark ... This dread and
darkness of the mind cannot be dispelled by the
sunbeams, the shining shafts of day, but only by
an understanding of the outward form and inner
workings of nature. And now to business,
I will explain ...
On the Nature of the Universe
Begin at the beginning ... then go on till you come to the end then stop.
Lewis Carrol
For wheresoe’er I turn my ravish’d eyes,
Lay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground.
J. Addison
Rhodora! if the sages as thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
William Blake
The Tyger
The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost
Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, simplify.
Henry David Thoreau
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
Ben Jonson
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledges word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Alan Seeger
I Have a Randezvous with Death
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship as weather’d every rack, the prize is sought and won.
Walt Whitman
O Captain! My Captain!
And they wonder, as waiting these long years through,
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there.
Eugene Field
Little Boy Blue
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
Emily Dickinson
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?
Edmund Vance Cooke
How Did You Die?
What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.
John Burroughs
And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
Mary Howitt
The Spider and the Fly
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Day is Done
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Be hald, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are to decline your nectared wine,
But all you must drink life’s gall.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Builders
Politics is for the moment.
An equation is for eternity.
Albert Einstein
[Romeo] Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
[Mercutio] No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so
wide as a church-door; but ’tis enough, ’twill serve.
William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet, Act III, Scene I
The heart of man is made to reconcile contradiction.
David Hume
The head never rules the heart, but
just becomes the partner in crime.
Mignon McLaughlin
The heart is forever inexperienced.
Henry David Thoreau
When a young man complains that a young lady
has no heart, it is a pretty certain sign
that she has his.
George D. Prentice
When the last ding-dong of doom has clanged
and faded from the last worthless rock hanging
tideless in the last red and dying evening, ...
even then there will still be one more sound:
that of his [man’s] puny, inexhaustible voice,
still talking.
William Faulkner
1950 Nobel acceptance speech
Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.
Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.
Bright as Alaska in December.
If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week.
If you give him a penny for this thoughts, you’d get change.
One neuron short of a synapse.
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge,
while others merely gargle.
Takes him 1 and 1/2 hours to watch 60 minutes.
belomancy, n.: The use of arrows to predict the future. The outcome of the Battle of Hastings was decided by belomancy.
acerebral, adj.: Without a brain. It is common knowledge, for example, that all Terriers are acerebral.
I don’t have a license to kill. I have a learner’s permit.
Keep honking while I reload.
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them!
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent and reboot.
Order shall return.
A Haiku computer error message.
ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.
A Haiku computer error message.
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully
A Haiku computer error message.
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
A Haiku computer error message.
The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
A Haiku computer error message.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
A Haiku computer error message.
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
A Haiku computer error message.
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that.
A Haiku computer error message.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
A Haiku computer error message.
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
A Haiku computer error message.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
A Haiku computer error message.
Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.
A Haiku computer error message.
Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: "File not found."
A Haiku computer error message.
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
A Haiku computer error message.
Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.
Jack Kevorkian for White House physician.
Man with one chopstick go hungry.
Life is a fatal, sexually transmitted disease.
And now I am, as one could be
A mindful sanctity of light.
Pen in hand and paper free,
Imagination once more in flight.
Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.
Jerry Seinfeld
People demand freedom of speech to make up for
the freedom of thought which they avoid.
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
The opposite of a correct statement is a
false statement. The opposite of a profound
truth may well be another profound truth.
Niels Bohr
We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough?
Niels Bohr
When I am working on a problem I never think
about beauty. I only think about how to solve
the problem. But when I have finished, if the
solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Buckminster Fuller
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
Albert Einstein
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous
breakdown is the belief that one’s work
is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation.
H.H. Munro
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein
I heard someone tried the monkeys-on-typewriters bit trying for the plays of William Shakespeare, but all they got was the collected works of Francis Bacon.
Bill Hirst
Three o’clock is always too late or too early
for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre
A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his
clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright
The object of war is not to die for your country but
to make the other bastard die for his.
General George Patton
Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can get more with a kind word and a gun
than you can with a kind word alone.
Al Capone
Men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all the other alternatives.
Abba Eban
The artist is nothing without the gift,
but the gift is nothing without work.
Emile Zola
...the fog is rising.
Emily Dickinson
last words
And now, I am dying beyond my means.
Oscar Wilde
sipping champagne on his deathbed
Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
Lazarus Long
Time Enough for Love
He’s probably just hibernating.
Famous last words.
So, you’re a cannibal.
Famous last words.
Why am I standing on a plastic sheet?
Famous last words.
Why is the rest of the Star Trek landing party wearing different colours?
Famous last words.
I wonder where the mother bear is.
Famous last words.
I hope they speak English.
Famous last words.
This doesn’t taste right.
Famous last words.
That’s odd.
Famous last words.
Hey, that’s not a violin!
Famous last words.
How’s he gonna read that magazine rolled up like that?
Famous last words of an insect.
Did you hear thunder? Oh well... hurry up and putt.
Famous last words.
Let’s split up. We’ll cover more ground.
Famous last words.
Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
Popular Mechanics
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
Albert Einstein
My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose.
John Haldane
Never mistake motion for action.
Earnest Hemingway
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; and optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill
Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.
George Bernard Shaw
The primary purpose of the Data statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable Pi can be given that value with a Data statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.
FORTRAN manual for Xerox computers.
Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; people are friends in spots.
George Santayana
The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps.
David Lloyd George
Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change—this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
Bruce Barton
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at.
Oscar Wilde
Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
John F Kennedy
In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take.
Adlai Stevenson
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
Thomas Watson
chairman of IBM, 1943
If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
Will Rogers
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Usually falsely attributed to Charles H. Duell. There is actually no record of anyone ever making this statement.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein
One ought, everyday, to hear a song, read a fine poem, and, if possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
To change one’s life:
1. Start immediately
2. Do it flamboyantly
3. No exceptions
William James
Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Abraham Lincoln
You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Wilson Mizner
Education is an admirable thing, but it’s well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde
I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.
Charles Schultz
Three can keep a secret if two are dead.
Benjamin Franklin
Smile. Tomorrow will be worse.
It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another—It’s one damn thing over and over.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.
Jules Renard
The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
H.G. Wells
The Discovery of the Future
Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music.
Aldous Huxley
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
William Blake
Proverbs of Hell
Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
Orson Rega Card
Things that must be together to work usually can’t be shipped together.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.
Clarence Darrow
Solitude: A good place to visit, but a poor place to stay.
Josh Billings
Henry Wheeler Shaw
Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
Dion Boucicault
London Assurance, II.i
Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quiet staggering.
Arthur C. Clarke
Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson
Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somwhere nearby.
Ruth E Renkel
Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht
I’ve been through many strange confusions,
Splitting myself into too many faces.
Now the mirror’s broken,
I can see the worms behind.
Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The worst day fishing is better than the best day working.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
Old Indian saying.
Love is a word that is constantly heard,
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And Love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But Hating, my boy, is an Art.
Ogden Nash
A mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.
Sir James Dewar
Truth, like the sun, cannot be directly observed.
Of all the gods, Beauty is the most heartless, and the mirror is her sword.
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.
Jean de la Bruyere
Wit is educated insolence.
You can’t be truly rude until you understand good manners.
Rita Mae Brown
Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.
Tact is the ability to tell a man he has an open mind when he has a hole in his head.
Coruscate, coruscate, globule vivific.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star" for logophiles.
Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing.
Clive James
Minus solum, cum quam solus esset.
[I am never less alone than when alone.]
Scipio Africanus
Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.
Phillip K. Dick
Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
Lloyd Alexander
The Prydain Chronicles
Get your mind out of the gutter—it’s blocking my view.
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.
God must love stupid people, He made so many of them.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Cigarette, n.: A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
A rose by any other name still has thorns.
A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Oscar Wilde
If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.
Woody Allen
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
Oscar Wilde
The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
Lily Tomlin
Every great thinker is someone else’s moron.
Umberto Eco
When you’re arguing with a fool, make sure he isn’t doing the same thing.
Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
Flannery O’Connor
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.
Wolfgang Pauli
He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.
H.H. Munro
Is this seat free? Yes. But if you sit down, this seat will also be free.
When you’re away, I’m restless, lonely,
Wretched, bored, dejected; only
Here’s the rub, my darling dear,
I feel the same when you’re here.
Samuel Hoffenstein
She wore too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Oscar Wilde
Penguin Plays
I’d call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.
Woody Allen
Common sense is what tells you that the world is flat.
Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell
Is it possible to grow wiser without knowing it? One hopes so. We all hope so.
An empty man is full of himself.
Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.
The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
You long for success? Start at the bottom; dig down.
If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe.
Anything that begins well, ends badly.
Anything that begins badly, ends worse.
Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
Richard Feynman
Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true.
He who wants the rose must respect the thorn.
Most of our so-called reasoning consists of finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.
The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven.
Mark Twain
It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.
Samuel Johnson
Boswell’s Life
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are a few.
Shunryu Suzuki
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
Anais Nin
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Truth never hurts the teller.
Robert Browning
The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
Thomas Carlyle
Slight not what’s near, when aiming at what’s far.
The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.
Elbert Hubbard
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
Oscar Wilde
Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
Friedrich Nietzsche
It is the empty can that makes the most noise—but only if it is kicked.
Let him that would move the world first move himself.
Yield to temptation—it may not pass your way again.
Lazarus Long
in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
The superfluous is very necessary.
Marriage is the death of hope.
Woody Allen
It is impossible to love and be wise.
Francis Bacon
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a women’s birthday but never her age.
Robert Frost
The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
Too clever is dumb.
Ogden Nash
He who laughs, lasts.
Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.
The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Do unto others, then get away fast!
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
Hector Louis Berlioz
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Some lemmings stay behind.
You don’t get to chose how you’re going to die, or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live now.
Joan Baez
Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.
Josh Billings
Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll need them on your way down.
W. Migner
The strength of women is the facade of weakness, the weakness of men is the facade of strength.
It is said that for money you can have everything, but you cannot. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; knowledge, but not wisdom; glitter, but not beauty; fun, but not joy; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; leisure, but not peace. You can have the husk of everything for money, but not the kernel.
Arne Garborg
Every man is a moon; he has one side no one sees.
Mark Twain
The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all.
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Calvin: Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Hobbes: Probably so that we can think twice.
At six o’clock we cleaned our cells,
At seven all was still,
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing
The prison seemed to fill,
For the Lord of Death with icy breath
Had entered in to kill.
Oscar Wilde
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
A conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole cover and die.
Mel Brooks
Procrastination means never having to say you’re sorry.
Never hit a man with glasses; hit him with your fist.
A king’s castle is his home.
Hire a teenager while they still know it all.
What the hell... go and put all your eggs in one basket.
Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.
Chicken Little only has to be right once.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.
Fletcher Knebel
The real world is a special case.
Skydiving, n: Good ’till the last drop.
After all is said and done, usually more is said.
Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
A man who smiles when things go wrong knows whom to blame.
If you can’t walk softly, just use the stick.
Men always want to be a woman’s first love—women like to be a man’s last romance.
Oscar Wilde
Who, being loved, is poor?
Oscar Wilde
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Alfred Tennyson
In Memoriam
Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne caonnait point.
[The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.]
Blaise Pascal
In our age ... men seem more than ever prone to confuse wisdom with knowledge, and knowledge with information, and to try to solve problems of life in terms of engineering.
T.S. Eliot
program, n.: a magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one’s input into error messages; v.: to engage in a pasttime similar to banging one’s head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities.
Real programmers don’t comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.
Three most dangerous things in the world
—programmer with a soldering iron,
—hardware type with a program patch,
—user with an idea.
The best computer is a man, and it’s the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labour.
Warner von Braun
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
Rich Cook
The best way to accelerate a Macintosh is at 9.8 m/s2.
Marcus Dolengo
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
Sydney Harris
Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
Rich Kulawiec
If you sat a monkey down in front of a keyboard, the first thing typed would be a UNIX command.
Bill Lye
% ar m God
ar: God does not exist
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Oscar Wilde
Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And plunged it deep into the VAX;
Don’t you envy people who
Do all the things YOU want to do?
A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other.
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
God made the integers; all else is the work of Man.
A chubby man with a white beard and a red suit will approach you soon. Avoid him. He’s a Commie.
Succumb to natural tendencies. Be hateful and boring.
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin, real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
Alfred D’Souza
For when I was a babe and wept and slept,
Time crept;
When I was a boy and laughed and talked,
Time walked;
Then when the years saw me a man,
Time ran,
But as I older grew, Time flew.
Guy Pentreath
But time shall come that all shall changed be,
And from thenceforth, no more change shall see.
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?
Robert Frost
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Robert Frost
After Apple-Picking
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
Robert Frost
After Apple-Picking
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
Robert Frost
After Apple-Picking
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe it coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
Robert Frost
After Apple-Picking
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Robert Frost
Fire and Ice
When they said repent
I wonder what they meant.
Leonard Cohen
The Future
Love’s the only engine of survival.
Leonard Cohen
The Future
The Maestro says it’s Mozart
But it sounds like bubble gum
When you’re waiting
For the miracle to come.
Leonard Cohen
Waiting for the Miracle
It’s coming from the feel
That it ain’t exactly real,
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.
Leonard Cohen
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene.
Leonard Cohen
So I knelt there at the delta,
At the alpha and the omega,
At the cradle of the river and the seas.
Leonard Cohen
Light as a Breeze
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there.
Leonard Cohen
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty women leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more."
Leonard Cohen
Bird on a Wire
Who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger
And who shall I say is calling?
Leonard Cohen
Who by Fire
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun anymore.
Pink Floyd
One of my Turns, The Wall
A stick, a stone.
It’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of the stump,
It’s a little alone.
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Water of March
And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It’s the end of the strain,
It’s the joy in your heart.
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Water of March
A float, a drift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring.
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Water of March
The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It’s a loss, it’s a find.
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Water of March
The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom.
William Blake
The pleasure of satisfying a savage instinct, undomesticated
by the Ego, is incomparably much more intense than the one
of satisfying a tamed instinct. The reason is becoming the
enemy that prevents us from a lot of possibilities of pleasure.
Sigmund Freud
If you believe in the light, it’s because of obscurity.
If you believe in happiness it’s because of unhappiness.
If you believe in God, then you have to believe in the Devil.
Father X
Church of Notre Dame, Paris
Tell me, nymphs! what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Soon shall the winter’s foil be here;
Soon shall these icy ligatures unbind and melt—
...Thou shalt perceive the simple shows,
the delicate miracles of earth...
Walt Whitman
Soon Shall The Winter’s Foil Be Here
Mine are the night and morning
The pits of air, the gulf of space
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon
The innumerable days.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Song of Nature
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not
wait at the end to arrest it.
Walt Whitman
Song of Myself
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
John Muir
The Journals
The last of summer is delight.
Deterred by retrospect.
Emily Dickinson
The method of nature: who could ever analyze it?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Method of Nature
The woman that deliberates is lost.
Joseph Addison
Cato, IV.i.31
Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species.
Joseph Addison
The Spectator, 1
In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
Thou’rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
There is no loving with thee, nor without thee.
Joseph Addison
The Spectator, 68
If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine—a friend—or being dry—
Or lest we should be bye and bye—
Or any other reason why.
Dean Aldrich
Reasons for Drinking
L’embarras des richesses.
[The more alternatives, the more difficult the choice.]
Abbe d’Allainva
Title of comedy
Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond,
A blue sky of spring,
White clouds on the wing:
What a little thing
To remember for years—
To remember with tears!
William Allingham
A Memory
More will mean worse.
Kingsley Amis
Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but Lady Greensleeves?
I feel no pain dear mother now
But oh, I am so dry!
O take me to a brewery
And leave me there to die
Love me little, love me long,
Is the burden of my song.’,
O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!
Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing is best.
See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn.
I wish I were a moron.
My God! Perhaps I am!
There is a lady sweet and kind,
Was never a face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.
When I was a little boy, I had but a little wit,
Tis a long time ago, and I have no more yet;
Nor ever ever shall, until that I die,
For the longer I live the more fool am I.
L’amour est aveugle; l’amitie ferme les yeux.
[Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.]
Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant.
[Hail Caesar; we who are about to die salute you.]
Spoken by gladiators entering the arena before combat.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
[Thus passes the glory of the world.]
With women the heart argues, not the mind.
Matthew Arnold
Merope, 1.341
He bears the seed of ruin in himself.
Matthew Arnold
Merope, 1.856
Not deep the Poet sees, but wide.
Matthew Arnold
Resignation, 1.214
Miracles do not happen.
Matthew Arnold
Literature and Dogma
I am past thirty, and three parts iced over.
Matthew Arnold
Letter to A.H. Clough
I do hope I shall enjoy myself with you ... I am
partial to ladies if they are nice I suppose it is
my nature. I am not quite a gentleman but you would
hardly notice it.
Daisy Ashford
The Young Visitors
Weep for the lives your wishes never led.
W.H. Auden
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or today.
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
O plunge your hands in water
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
Private faces in public places
Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places.
W.H. Auden
Collected Poems, II 1927-1932, Shorts
A poet’s hope: to be,
like some valley cheese,
local, but prized elsewhere.
W.H. Auden
Collected Poems, XII, 1958-1971, Shorts II
Out on the lawn I lie in bed,
Vega conspicuous overhead.
W.H. Auden
A Summer Night
The sky is darkening like a stain;
Something is going to fall like rain,
And it won’t be flowers.
W.H. Auden
The Witnesses
One half of the world cannot understand the
pleasures of the other.
Jane Austen
Emma, Ch. 9
I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice,
though not in principle. [Mr. Darcy]
Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice, Ch. 58
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Francis Bacon
Advancement of Learning, I.v.8
Silence is the virtue of fools.
Francis Bacon
De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 31
The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.
Francis Bacon
De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 37
Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
Francis Bacon
Of Beauty
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some
strangeness in the proportion.
Francis Bacon
Of Beauty
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
Francis Bacon
Of Marriage and Single Life
Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.
Francis Bacon
Of Nature in Men
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
Francis Bacon
Of Studies
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
Francis Bacon
Of Studies
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
Francis Bacon
Of Studies
Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight.
Francis Bacon
Of Suspicion
A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
Francis Bacon
Of Truth
I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death.
Francis Bacon
An Essay on Death
We should count time by heart-throbs.
Philip James Bailey
Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.
Walter Bagehot
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan, III
For when the wine is in, the wit is out.
Thomas Becon
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rung the bell,
What would you buy?
Thomas Lovell Beddoes
A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it.
Sir Thomas Beecham
There is always something rather absurd about the past.
Max Beerbohm
The Socratic manner is not a game at which two can play.
Max Beerbohm
Zuleika Dobson, ch. 15
Only the insane take themselves quite seriously.
Max Beerbohm
Muss es sein? Es muss sein.
[Must it be? It must be.]
Ludwig van Beethoven
Physicians of the utmost fame
Were called at once, but when they came
They answered, as they took their fees,
There is no cure for this disease.
Hilaire Bellow
Henry King
I am a sundial, and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch.
Hilaire Bellow
On a Sundial
Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.
Bishop Berkeley
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov’d
Shall never be by woman lov’d.
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence, 29
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence, 53
What is it men in women do require?
The lineaments of gratified desire.
What is it women do in men require?
The lineaments of gratified desire.
William Blake
MS. Notebooks, 1793, p.99
Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.
William Blake
MS. Notebooks
O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
William Blake
The Sick Rose
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?
William Blake
The Tyger
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
William Blake
The Tyger
Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time,
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.
William Blake
A Little Girl Lost
I was angry with my friend
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
William Blake
A Poison Tree
It hurts because I like you.
Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secrecy the human dress.
William Blake
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by Incapacity.
William Blake
Proverbs of Hell
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake
Proverbs of Hell
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything
would appear as it is, infinite.
William Blake
A Memorable Fancy, pl. 14
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
William Blake
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.
William Blake
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
William Blake
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
Walt Whitman
Song of Myself
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
William Wordsworth
She Was a Phantom of Delight
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
William Wordsworth
She Was a Phantom of Delight
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
When I am Dead
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
When I Am Dead
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
Alfred Edward Houseman
Into My Heart an Air That Kills
Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.
Elizabeth Bowen
The House in Paris, pt.II, ch.2
There is another man within me, that’s angry with me, rebukes, commands, and dastards me.
Sir Thomas Browne
Religio Medici, i.7
The devil’s most devilish when respectable.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Aurora Leigh, bk. vii
A minute’s success pays the failure of years.
Robert Browning
Apollo and the Fates, prologue
He said true things but called them by wrong names.
Robert Browning
Bishop Blougram’s Apology, 1.996
No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man’s worth something.
Robert Browning
Bishop Blougram’s Apology, 1.693
You may forget the one with whom you have laughed,
but never the one with whom you have wept.
Kahlil Gilbran
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the
person doing it.
A fierce vindictive scribble of red.
Robert Browning
Easter Day, xv
So, I gave her eyes my own eyes to take,
My hand sought hers as in earnest need,
And round she turned for my noble sake,
And gave me herself indeed.
Robert Browning
A Light Woman
Where my heart lies, my brain lies also.
Robert Browning
One Word More, xiv
Measure your mind’s height by the shade it casts.
Robert Browning
Paracelsus, pt. iii, i.363
In the great right of an excessive wrong.
Robert Browning
The Ring and the Book, bk.iii, i.1055
Only I discern—
Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn.
Robert Browning
Two in the Campagna, 12
Le genie n’est qu’une plus grande aptitude a la patience.
[Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.]
Comte de Buffon
Every thing, said Epictetus, hath two handles, the one
to be held by, the other not.
Robert Burton
Democritus to the Reader, pt.ii, 3, memb. 3
L’amour vient de l’aveuglement,
L’amitie de la connaissance.
[Love comes from blindness, friendship from knowledge]
Comte de Bussy-Rabutin
Histoire Amoureuse de Gaules
L’absence est a l’amour ce qu’est au feu le vent;
Il eteint le petit, il allume le grand.
[Absence is to love what wind is to fire;
it extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.]
Comte de Bussy-Rabutin
Histoire Amoureuse de Gaules
The most perfect humour and irony is generally quite unconscious.
Samuel Butler
Life and Habit, ch. 2
It has, I believe, been often remarked, that a hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.
Samuel Butler
Life and Habit, ch. 8
It costs a lot of money to die comfortably.
Samuel Butler
An Apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written
all the books.
Samuel Butler
Note Books
To live is like to love—all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.
Samuel Butler
Note Books
I do not mind lying but I hate inaccuracy.
Samuel Butler
Note Books
They would have been equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.
Samuel Butler
Note Books
The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right
Samuel Butler
A Way of All Flesh
In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all others all she loves is love.
Lord Byron
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 3
All tragedies are finish’d by a death,
All comedies are ended by a marriage.
Lord Byron
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 9
A lady of a ’certain age’, which means
Certainly aged.
Lord Byron
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 69
Tis strange—but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction.
Lord Byron
Don Juan, c.iii, st. 101
The petrifications of a plodding brain.
Lord Byron
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, i.416
Friendship is Love without his wings!
Lord Byron
Hours of Idleness. L’Amitie
More happy, if less wise.
Lord Byron
The Island, c.ii, st. 11
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
So, We’ll Go No More a Roving
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.
Lord Byron
So, We’ll Go No More a Roving
Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
[Men willingly believe what they wish.]
Julius Caesar
De Bello Gallico, iii. 18
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Thomas Campbell
Hallowed Ground
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land.
And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.
Julia A. Carney
Little Things
What are the wild waves saying
Sister, the whole day long,
That ever amid our playing,
I hear but their low lone song?
Joseph Edwards Carpenter
What are the Wild Waves Saying?
Moi, je serai autocrate: c’est mon metier.
Et le bon Die me perdoneera: c’est son metier.
[I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the
good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.]
Empress Catherine the Great
Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
[For there is nothing sillier than a silly laugh.]
Carmina, xxxix
Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, set fieri sentio et excrucior.
[I hate and I love: why I do so you may well ask.
I do not know, but I feel it happen and am in agony.]
Carmina, lxxxv
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
Deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
[Give me a thousand kisses, thena hundred, then
another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet
another thousand, then a hundred.]
Carmina, v
What shall become of us without any barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.
Constantine Cavafy
Expecting the Barbarians
Vivre est un maladie dont le sommeil nous soulage toutes les 16 heures. C’est un pallatif. La mort est le remede.
[Living is an illness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It’s a palliative.
The remedy is death.]
Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort
Maximes et Pensees, ch. 2
L’amour, tel qu’il existe dans la societe, n’est que
l’echange de deux fantaisies et le contact de deux
[Love, in the form in which it exists in society, is
nothing by the exchange of two fantasies and the
superficial contact of two bodies.]
Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort
Maximes et Pensees, ch. 6
I recommend you to take care of the minutes: for the hours will take care of themselves.
Earl of Chesterfield
Wear your learning, like your watch in a private pocket:
and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely
to show that you have one.
Earl of Chesterfield
Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.
Earl of Chesterfield
Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity.
Earl of Chesterfield
As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.
Noam Chomsky
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.
Chuang Tse
So much they talk’d, so very little said.
Charles Churchill
The Rosciad, i. 550
O tempora, O mores!
[Oh, the times! Oh, the manners!]
Marcus Tullius Cicero
In Catilinam
I cannot sing the old songs
I sang long years ago,
For heart and voice would fail me,
And foolish tears would flow.
C.A. Barnard
Fireside Thoughts
The horrible pleasure of pleasing inferior people.
Arthur Hugh Clough
Amours de Voyage, c. I, xi
And almost every one when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
Arthur Hugh Clough
Dipsychus, sc. vi
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.
Arthur Hugh Clough
The Latest Decalogue
That out of sight is out of mind
Is true of most we leave behind.
Arthur Hugh Clough
Songs in Absence, That Out of Sight
Vivre est une chute horizontale.
[Life is falling sideways.]
Jean Cocteau
Her very frowns are fairer far,
Than smiles of other maidens are.
Hartley Coleridge
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
No man was ever yet a great poet, without
being at the same time a profound philosopher.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
His heart runs away with his head.
George Colman the Younger
Who Wants a Guinea
When you have nothing to say, say nothing.
Charles Caleb Colton
Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man
can answer.
Charles Caleb Colton
If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city.
Charles Caleb Colton
Man is an embodied paradox, a bundle of contradictions.
Charles Caleb Colton
Careless she is with artful care,
Affecting to seem unaffected.
William Congreve
She likes herself, yet others hates
For that which in herself she prizes;
And while she laughs at them, forgets
She is the thing that she despises.
William Congreve
No mask like open truth to cover lies,
As to go naked is the best disguise.
William Congreve
The Double Dealer, V.vi
Women are like tricks by light of hand,
Which, to admire, we should not understand.
William Congreve
Love for Love, IV.xxi
To find a young fellow that is neighter a wit in his own eye, nor a fool in the eye of the world, is a very hard task.
William Congreve
Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.
William Congreve
The Mourning Bride
You were about to tell me something, child—
but you left off before you began.
William Congreve
The Old Bachelor, IV.viii
Wou’d I were free from this restraint,
Or else had hopes to win her;
Wou’d she cou’d make me a saint,
Or I of her a sinner.
William Congreve
Song: Pious Selinda Goes to Prayers
Un premier mouvement ne fut jamais un crime.
[A first impulse was never a crime.]
Pierre Corneille
Horace, V.iii
Fill all the glasses there, for why
Should every creature drink but I,
Why, man of morals, tell me why?
Abraham Cowley
Men deal with life as children with their play,
Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.
William Cowper
Hope, i.127
A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct;
The language plain, and incidents well link’d;
Tell not as new what ev’ry body knows;
And, new or old, still hasten to a close.
William Cowper
Charity, i.235
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,
Makes half a sentence at a time enough;
The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,
Then pause, and puff—and speak, and pause again.
William Cowper
Charity, i.245
With awe around these slient walks I tread:
These are the lasting mansions of the dead.
George Crabbe
The Library, i.105
Secrets with girls, like loaded guns with boys,
Are never valued till they make a noise.
George Crabbe
The Parish Register, xi, The Maid’s Story
It is better to wear out than to rust out.
Bishop Richard Cumberland
listen: there’s a hell of a good
universe next door; let’s go.
e.e. cummings
pity this buys monster, manunkind
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
W.H. Davies
The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.
Daniel Defoe
Character of the late Dr. S. Annesley
Youth, what man’s age is like to be doth show;
We may our ends by our beginnings show.
Sir John Denham
Of Prudence
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
Austin Dobson
The Paradox of Time
Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
John Donne
Love is a growing or full constant light;
And his first minute, after noon, is night.
John Donne
A Lecture in the Shadow
When I died last, and Dear, I die
As often as from thee I go,
Though it be but an hour ago,
And lovers’ hours be full eternity.
John Donne
The Legacy
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
George Eliot
Choruses from "The Rock"
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
George Eliot
What is a communist? One who hath yearnings for
equal division of unequal earnings.
Ebenezer Elliott
Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy
Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy.
George Ellis
The Twelve Months
Adieu tristesse
Bonjour tristesse
Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond.
[Farewell sadness
good day sadness
you are inscribed in the lines of the ceiling.]
Paul Eluard
A peine defiguree
I like a church; I like a cowl;
I love a prophet of the soul;
And on my heart monastic aisles
Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles;
Yet not for all his faith can see,
Would I that cowled churchman be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Problem
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
The youth replies, I can.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Voluntaries, iii
Make yourself necessary to someone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Conduct of Life
A person seldom falls sick, but the bystanders are
animated with a faint hope that he will die.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, xii. Art
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, x. Circles
The years teach much which the days never know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, xiv. Experience
The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, vi. Friendship
It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, viii. Heroism
Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, xiii. The Poet
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, xix. Politics
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, vii. Prudence
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, ii. Self-Reliance
I like the silent church before the service begins,
better than any preaching.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays, ii. Self-Reliance
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fortune of the Republic
We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hate quotations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Old age brings along with its ugliness the comfort that you will soon be out of it,—which ought to be a substantial relief to such discontented pendulums as we are. To be out of the war, out of debt, out of the drought, out of the blues, out of the dentist’s hands, out of the second thoughts, mortifications, and remorses that inflict such twinges and shooting pains,—out of the next winter, and the high prices, and company below your ambition,—surely these are soothing hints.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Representative Men
Hitch your wagon to a star.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We boil at different degrees.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Si jeuness savoit; si vieillesse pouvout.
[If youth knew; if age could.]
Henri Estienne
Les Premices
There is no ’royal road’ to geometry.
Says little, thinks less, and does—nothing at all, faith.
George Farquhar
Aimwell: Then you understand Latin, Mr. Bonniface?
Bonniface: Not I, Sir, as the saying is, but he talks
it so very fast that I’m sure it must be good.
George Farquhar
I hate all that don’t love me, and slight all that do.
George Farquhar
The Constant Couple
I describe not men, but manners; not an individual, but a species.
Henry Fielding
Joseph Andrews, bk. iii, ch. i
Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
Henry Fielding
Love in Several Masques
Half to forget the wandering and the pain,
Half to remember days that have gone by,
And dream and dream that I am home again!
James Elroy Flecker
O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.
James Elroy Flecker
Death hath so many doors to let out life.
John Fletcher
The Custom of the Country, II.ii
Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,
Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.
[Love’s pleasure lasts but a moment,
love’s sorrow lasts all through life.]
Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian
He is not only dull in himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Foote
The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.
Miss C.F. Forbes
Tempt not the stars, young man, thou canst not play With the severity of fate.
John Ford
The Broken Heart
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.
Howell Forgy
The so-called white races are really pinko-grey.
E.M. Forster
A Passage to India, ch. 7
At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgement.
Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richard’s Almanac
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
Robert Frost
Acquainted with the Night
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
Robert Frost
Desert Places
To err is human, not to, animal.
Robert Frost
The White-tailed Hornet
Poetry is what gets lost in the translation.
Robert Frost
In the affluent society no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessaries.
J.K. Galbraith
The Affulent Society
The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own.
W.S. Gilbert
Life is a joke that’s just begun.
W.S. Gilbert
Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream.
W.S. Gilbert
Take heart, fair days will shine;
Take any heart, take mine!
W.S. Gilbert
Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.
Hermann Goering
Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille,
Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt.
[Talent develops in quiet places,
character in the full current of human life.]
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Torquato Tasso
Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast.
[Without haste, but without rest.]
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble
Courage in your own.
Adam Lindsay Gordon
Ye Wearie Wayfarer
Let the scintillations of your wit be like the coruscations of summer lightning, lambent but innocuous.
Dean Goulburn
The best way to get the better of temptation is just to yield to it.
Clementia Stirling Graham
Most men make little other use of their speech than to give evidence against their own understanding.
George Saville
Of Folly and Fools
Anger is never without argument, but seldom with a good one.
George Saville
Of Anger
Malice is of a low stature, but it hath very long arms.
George Saville
Of Malice and Envy
The best way to suppose what may come, is to remember what is past.
George Saville
Miscellaneous, "Experience"
Perfection is the child of Time.
Bishop Joseph Hall
Partir c’est mourir un peu,
C’est mourir a ce qu’on aime:
On laisse un peu de soi-meme
En toute heure et dans tout lieu.
[To go away is to die a little,
It is to die to that which one loves:
One leaves behind a part of oneself
Everywhere and always.]
Edmond Haraucourt
If, of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, ’It might have been,
More sad are these we daily see:
It is, but hadn’t ought to be!
Bret Harte
Mrs. Judge Jenkins
What do you mean funny? Funny-peculiar or funny-ha-a?
Ian Hay
The Housemaster, Act III
Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles,
with sniffles predominating.
O. Henry
The Gift of the Magi
Everything flows and nothing stays.
You can’t step twice into the same river.
Don’t tell my mother I’m living in sin,
Don’t tell the old folks know:
Don’t tell my twin that I breakfast on gin,
He’d never survive the blow.
A.P. Herbert
Don’t Tell My Mother
He that lives in hope danceth without music.
George Herbert
Outlandish Proverbs, 1006
Look not on pleasures as they come, but go.
George Herbert
The Church Porch, lxxvii
I dare not ask a kiss;
I dare not beg a smile;
Lest having that, or this,
I might grow proud the while.
No, no, the utmost share
Of my desire, shall be
Only to kiss the air,
That lately kissed thee.
Robert Herrick
To Electra
Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.
W.E. Hickson
Try and Try Again
The life so short, the craft so long to learn.
Aphorisms, I.i
Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek,
To take one blow, and turn the other cheek;
It is not written what a man shall do
If the rude caitiff smite the other too!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Professor at the Breakfast Table
Change is not made without inconvenience, even
from worse to better.
Richard Hooker
I wish you would read a little poetry sometimes.
Your ignorance cramps my conversation.
Anthony Hope
The Dolly Dialogues, No. 22
His foe was folly and his weapon wit.
Anthony Hope
Difficile est proprie communia dicere.
[It is hard to utter common notions in an individual way.]
Ars Poetica
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
Alfred Edward Houseman
Last Poems
The candles burn their sockets,
The blinds let through the day,
The young man feels his pockets
And wonders what’s to pay.
Alfred Edward Houseman
Eight O’Clock
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.
Alfred Edward Houseman
The Name and Nature of Poetry
Some hold translations not unlike to be the wrong side of a Turkey tapestry.
James Howell
Familiar Letters, bk.i, let.6
This life at best is but an inn, and we the passengers.
James Howell
Familiar Letters, bk.ii, let.73
It’s more than a game. It’s an institution. [Cricket.]
Thomas Hughes
Tom Brown’s Schooldays, ch.7
On resiste a l’invasion des armees; on ne resiste pas a l’invasion des idees.
[A stand can be made against invation by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.]
Victor Hugo
Histoire d’un Crime, La Chute, X
Jesus a pleure, Voltaire a souri; c’est de cette larme divine and de ce sourire humain qu’est faite la douceur de la civilisation actuelle.
[Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. Of that divine tear and of that human smile the sweetness of present civilisation
is composed.]
Victor Hugo
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
David Hume
Of Tragedy
Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
Leigh Hunt
Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Stolen, stolen, be your apples.
Leigh Hunt
Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard
A pleasure so exquisite as almost to amount to pain.
Leigh Hunt
The great tragedy of Science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
T.H. Huxley
Biogenesis and Abiogenesis
Some experience of popular lecturing had convinced me that the necessity of making things plain to uninstructed people was one of the very best means of clearing up the obscure conrners in one’s own mind.
T.H. Huxley
Man’s Place in Nature
If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
T.H. Huxley
On Elementary Instruction in Physiology
Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
T.H. Huxley
Science and Culture
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
T.H. Huxley
Science and Culture
It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
T.H. Huxley
Science and Culture
I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.
T.H. Huxley
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—there are consequences.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Lectures & Essays
A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with
constant use.
Washinton Irving
Rip Van Winkle
I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories.
Washinton Irving
Tales of a Traveller
There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in travelling in a stage-coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.
Washinton Irving
Tales of a Traveller
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it
for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting
rid of it nearly breaks my heart.
Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat
I know you: solitary griefs,
Desolate passions, aching hours.
Lionel Johnson
The Precept of Silence
Cheer up, the worst is yet to come.
Philander Chase Johnson
Shooting Stars
Round numbers are always false.
Samuel Johnson
Then, with no throbs of fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
Samuel Johnson
Of Gray’s Odes
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not
obliged to find you an understanding.
Samuel Johnson
An odd thought strikes me:—we shall receive
no letters in the grave.
Samuel Johnson
Wheresoe’er I turn my view,
All is strange, yet nothing new;
Endless labour all along,
Endless labour to be wrong.
Samuel Johnson
Anecdotes of Johnson
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure
Samuel Johnson
Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
Samuel Johnson
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
Samuel Johnson
Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.
Samuel Johnson
Language is the dress of thought.
Samuel Johnson
True happiness
Consists not in the multitude of friends,
But in the worth and choice.
Ben Jonson
Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.
Ben Jonson
Epitaph on Elizabeth L.H.
Suns, that set, may rise again;
But if once we lose this light,
This with us perpetual night.
Ben Jonson
"Pone seram, cohibe." Sed quis custodiet ipsos
Custodes? Cauta est et ab illis incipit uxor.
["Bolt her in, keep her indoors." But who is
to guard the guards themselves? Your wife
arranges accordingly and begins with them.]
...weil Gluckseligkeit nicht ein Ideal der Vernunft, sondern der Einbildung ist.
[...because hapiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.]
Immanuel Kant
Aus so krummem Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz gerades gezimmert werden.
[Our of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.]
Immanuel Kant
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
John Keats
Endymion, bk.i, 1.1
To Sorrow,
I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
But cheerly, cheerly,
She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind.
John Keats
Emdymion, bk.iv, 1.173
In pale contented sort of discontent.
John Keats
O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!
John Keats
There is an awful warmth about my heart
like a load of immortality.
John Keats
Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Bishop Thomas Ken
Evening Hymn
It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone.
A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone
on a great mountain.
Revd. Francis Kilvert
Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash ’tis gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on!
Benjamin Franklin King
The Pessimist
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
Rudyard Kipling
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.
Rudyard Kipling
If you can dream—and not make derams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
Rudyard Kipling
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss.
Rudyard Kipling
If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but too much;
Rudyard Kipling
Tous est dit et l’on vient trop tard depuis plus
de sept mille ans qu’il y a des hommes et qui pensent.
[Everything has been said, and we are more than seven
thousand years of human thought too late.]
Jean de la Bruyere
Les Caracteres
I strove with ; for was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
Walter Savage Landor
I loved him not; and yet now he is gone
I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
Alas! I would not check.
Walter Savage Landor
The Maid’s Lament
States, like men, have their growth, their manhood, their decrepitude, their decay.
Walter Savage Landor
Pollio and Calvus
Fleas know not whether they are upon the body
of a giant or upon one of ordinary size.
Walter Savage Landor
Two men look out through the same bars:
One sees the mud, and one the stars.
Frederick Langbridge
A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts
Lava quod est sordidum,
Riga quod est aridum,
Sana quod est saucium.
Flecte quod est rigidum,
Fove quod est frigidum,
Rege quod est devium.
[Wash what is dirty, water what is dry,
heal what is wounded. Bend what is stiff,
warm what is cold, guide what goes off the road.]
Archbishop Stephen Langton
What are days for?
Days are where we live
They come they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in;
Where can we live but days?
Philip Larkin
Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
Inside your head, and people in them, acting.
People you know, yet can’t quite name.
Philip Larkin
The Old Fools
C’est une grande habilete que de savoir chacher son habilete.
[The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.]
Duc de la Rocherfoucauld
Reflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales
On n’est jamais si malheureux qu’on croit, ni si heureux qu’on espere.
[We are never as unhappy as we believe, or as happy as we hope.]
Duc de la Rocherfoucauld
Sentences et Maximes de Morale
Gestern liebt’ ich,
Heute leid’ ich,
Morgen sterb’ ich:
Dennoch denk’ ich
Heut und morgen
Gern an gestern.
[Yesterday I loved, today I suffer, tomorrow I die:
but I still think fondly, today and tomorrow, of yesterday.]
G.E. Lessing
Lied aus dem Spanischen
Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school,
and then work, work, work till we die.
C.S. Lewis
Surprised by Joy
It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of truth.
John Locke
An Essay Concerting Human Understanding
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
John Locke
An Essay Concerting Human Understanding
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
When she was good
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Fun is fun but no girl wants to laugh all the time.
Anita Loos
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
Samuel Lover
Handy Andy
Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang,
Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang.
[Who loves not woman, wine, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.]
Martin Luther
If all the earth were paper white
And all the sea were ink
Twere not enought for me to write
As my poor heart doth think.
John Lyly
Deceive boys with toys, but men with oaths.
Where admire, ’tis useless to excel;
Where are beaux, ’tis vain to be a belle.
George Lord Lyttleton
Soliloquy of a Beauty in the Country
Nothing is so useless as a general maxim.
Lord Macaulay
I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having
descended below the dignity of history.
Lord Macaulay
History of England
Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.
George Macdonald
At the Back of the North Wind
Yo vivo en paz con los hombres y en guerra con mis entranas.
[I am living at peace with men and at war with my innards.]
Antonio Machado
Campos de Castilla
You are offered a piece of bread and butter that feels like a damp handkerchief and sometimes, when cucumber is added to it, like a wet one.
Sir Compton Mackenzie
Vestal Fire
Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd’hui.
[That virgin, vital, fine day: today.]
Stephane Mallarme
Plusieurs Sonnets
Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
Horace Mann
Lost, Two Golden Hours
Consider what you think jsutice quires, and decide accordingly. But never give your reasons; for your judgement will probably be right, but your reasons will certainly be wrong.
Lord Mansfield
Non est, crede mini, sapientis dicere ’Vivam’: Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.
[Believe me, wise men don’t say ’I shall live to do that, tomorrow’s life’s too late; live today.]
Laudant illa sed ista legunt.
[They praise those works, but they’re not the ones they read.]
Difficilis facilis, iucundus acerbus es idem: Nec tecum possum vivere nec sine te.
[Difficult or easy, pleasant or bitter, you are the same you: I cannot live with you—nor without you.]
Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped.
Groucho Marx
Quant’ e bella giovinezza
Che si fugge tuttavia!
Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:
Di doman non c’e certezza.
[How beautiful is youth, that is always slipping away!
Whoever wants to be happy, let him be so: about
tomorrow there’s no knowing.]
Lorenzo de Medici
Trionfo di Bacco ed Arianna
Genius does what it must, and Talent does what it can.
Owen Meredith
Last Words of a Sensitive Second-Rate Poet
He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope,—what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
Owen Meredith
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
John Stuart Mill
After all, my erstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Just because it perished?
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Passer Mortuus Est
Ah, la belle chose que de saviour quelque chose.
[Ah, it’s a lovely thing, to know a thing or two.]
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
On ne meurt qu’une fois, et c’est pour si longtemps!
[One dies only once, and it’s for such a long time!]
Le Depit Amoureux
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita, ch. 1
If I have seen further it is by standing
on the shoulders of giants.
Sir Isaac Newton
Letter to Robert Hooke
Wie ich den Philosophen verstehe, als einen
furchtbaren Explosionsstoff, vor dem Alles in Gefahr ist.
[What I understand by ’philosopher’: a terrible
explosive in the presence of which everything is in
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ecce Homo
Gott ist tot: aber so wie die Art der Menschen ist, wird es vielleicht noch jahrtausendlang Hohlen geben, in denen man seinen Schatten zeigt.
[God is dead: but considering the state the species Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown.]
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ecce Homo
Wer mit Ungeheuren kampft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in
dich hinein.
[He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.]
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ecce Homo
Der Witz ist das Epigramm auf den Tod eines Gefuhls.
[Wit is the epitaph of an emotion.]
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ecce Homo
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
[No more things should be presumed to exist than are
absolutely necessary.]
William Occam
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
George Orwell
Animal Farm
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
George Orwell
O death! I know it—’tis my famulus—
Thus turns to naught my fairest bliss!
That visions in abundance such as this
Must be disturbed by that dry prowler thus!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To make your dreams come true, live on the edge of reality.
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
Winston Churchill
I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.
Oscar Wilde
There are two tragedies in life.
One is to lose your heart’s desire.
The other is to gain it.
George Bernard Shaw
Life is short, live it up.
N. Khrushchev
A police state is a place where everything that is forbidden is compulsory.
I find that alcohol when taken in sufficient quantities can bring about all the effects of drunkeness.
Oscar Wilde
Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.
Marcus Aurelius
Identity is no museum piece sitting stock-still in a display case, but rather the endlessly astonishing synthesis of the contradictions of everyday life.
E.E. Galeano
Prepare thoroughly.
Go to the sacred places.
Then shoot!
David Muench
Inopem me copia fecit.
[Plenty has made me poor.]
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.
[I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.]
Qui finem quaeris amoris,
Cedet amor rebus; res age, tutus eris.
[You who seek an end of love, love will yield to business: be busy, and you will be safe.]
Remedia Amoris
All the world is queer save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer.
Robert Owen
As the sin that was sweet in the sinning
Is foul in the ending thereof,
As the heat of the summer’s beginning
Is past in the winter of love:
O purity, painful and pleading!
O coldness, ineffably gray!
O hear us, our handmaid unheeding,
And take it away!
Barry Pain
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason
The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime, makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous, makes the sublime again.
Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason
La derniere chose qu’on trouve en faisant un ouvrage, est de savoir celle qu’il faut mettre la premiere.
[The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.]
Blaise Pascal
L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature; mais c’est un roseau pensant.
[Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed.]
Blaise Pascal
Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares.
[Where observation is concerned, chance favours only the prepared mind.]
Louis Pasteur
To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.
Walter Pater
"I saw you take his kiss!" "’Tis true."
"O modesty!" "’Twas strictly kept:
He thought me asleep; at least, I know
He thought I thought he thought I slept."
Coventry Patmore
The Angel in the House
In research the horizon recedes as we advance, and is no nearer at sixty than it was at twenty. As the power of endurance weakens with age, the urgency of the pursuit grows more intense ... And research is always incomplete.
Mark Pattison
Isaac Casaubon
I never had a piece of toast
particularly long and wide,
But fell upon the sanded floor,
And always on the buttered side.
James Payn
Chambers’s Journal
Mid pleasures and palaces thought we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home! there’s no place like home!
J.H. Payne
Clari, the Maid of Milan
"I distinguish the pictureseque and the beautiful, and I add to them, in the laying out of grounds, a third and distinct character, which I call unexpectedness." "Pray, sir," said Mr. Milestone, "by what name do you distinguish the character, when a person walks round the grounds for the second time?"
Thomas Love Peacock
Headlong Hall
He remembered too late on this thorny green bed,
Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.
Thomas Love Peacock
Crotchet Castle
Foeda est in coitu et brevis voluptas
Et taedet Veneris statim peractae.
[Delight of lust is gross and brief
And weariness treads on desire.]
My soul, do not seek immortal life, but exhaust
the realm of the possible.
Sal Atticum.
[Attic wit.]
Historia Naturalis
Keeping time, time time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells.
Edgar Allan Poe
The Bells
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven
Take thy beak from out my heart,
and take thy form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead.
Alexander Pope
The Dunciad
Teach him how to live,
And, oh! still harder lesson! how to die.
Beilby Porteus
Literature is news that STAYS news.
Ezra Pound
ABC of Reading
One of the pleasures of middle age is to find out that one WAS right, and that one was much righter than one knows at say 17 or 23.
Ezra Pound
ABC of Reading
Oh, one world at a time!
Henry David Thoreau
in response to question about afterlife
La vie humaine commence de l’autre cote du desespoir.
[Human life begins on the other side of despair.]
Jean-Paul Sartre
Les Mouches, III,2
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Rien n’empeche le bonheur comme la souvenir du bonheur.
[Nothing prevents hapiness like the moemory of happiness.]
Andre Gide
Speak when you are angry and you will make the
best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce
The human doesn’t see things as they are, but as he is.
Ce que me separait, me distinguait des autres, importait;
ce que personne d’autre que moi ni disait ni se pouvait dire,
c’etait ce que j’avais a dire.
[That which separated and distnguished me from others, mattered.
That which no one else said or could say, was what I had to say.]
Andre Gide
If I am I because I am I, then I am I and you are you.
But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because
I am I, then I am not I and you are not you.
Menachem Mendel
A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
Edward de Bono
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.
T.S. Eliot
Few things are harder to put up with than a good example.
Mark Twain
Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.
Samuel Butler
The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.
Oscar Wilde
A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.
Oscar Wilde
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
Oscar Wilde
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
Oscar Wilde
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
Oscar Wilde
The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilized being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
Oscar Wilde
Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.
Oscar Wilde
When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk it.
Oscar Wilde
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Oscar Wilde
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Oscar Wilde
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde
When you love someone all your saved-up wishes start coming out.
Elizabeth Bowen
Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship—never.
Charles Caleb Colton
I have loved badly, loved the great
Too soon, withdrawn my words too late;
And eaten in an echoing hall
Alone and from a chipped plate
The words that I withdrew too late.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fatal Interview, xxx
A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.
George Jean Nathan
Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common-sense.
Helen Rowland
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
Henry David Thoreau
Never ask of money spent
Where the spender thinks it went.
Nobody was ever meant
To remember or invent
What he did with every cent.
Robert Frost
And the wisdom of the wise, and the experience of the ages, may be preserved by quotation.
Isaad D’Israeli
It’s not that age brings childhood back again,
Age merely shows what children we remain.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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
A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
John Barrymore
It’s the things I might have said that fester.
Clemence Dane
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
T.S. Eliot
Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically—
for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building
block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking
to a moralist—but then what isn’t?
Quentin Crisp
Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
Lord Byron
They never taste who always drink;
They always talk, who never think.
Matthew Prior
Upon this Passage in Scaligerana
He that begins to live, begins to die.
Francis Quarles
Thou art my way; I wander, if thou fly;
Thou art my light; if hid, how blind am I!
Thou art my life; if thou withdraw, I die.
Francis Quarles
Hugo de Anima, bk.iii, No.7
Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
Charles Reade
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
Theodore Roethke
The Waking
But there are moments which he calls his own,
Then, never less alone than when alone,
Those whom he loved so long and sees no more,
Loved and still loves—not dead—but gone before,
He gathers round him.
Samuel Rogers
Human Life 1.755
Go—you man call it madness, folly;
You shall not chase my gloom away
There’s such a charm in melancholy,
I would not, if I could, be gay.
Samuel Rogers
To-, 1814
It doesn’t much signify whom one marries, for one is sure to find next morning that it was someone else.
Samuel Rogers
Table Talk
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
Was but a dream; and now I wake,
Exceeding comfortless, and worn, and old,
For a dream’s sake.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
A proverb is one man’s wit and all men’s wisdom.
Lord John Russell
Alors, c’est ca l’Enfer. Je n’aurais jamais cru... Vous vous rappelez: le soufre, le bucher, le gril... Ah! quelle plaisanterie. Pas besoin de gril, l’Enfer, c’est les Autres.
[So that’s what Hell is. I’d never have believed it...Do you remember, brimstone, the stake, the gridiron?... What a joke! No need of a gridiron. Hell, it’s other people.]
Jean-Paul Sartre
Huis Clos
As I grow older and older,
And totter towards the tomb,
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom.
Dorothy L. Sayers
That’s Why I Never Read Modern Novels
Architecture in general is frozen music.
Friedrich von Schelling
Philosophie der Kunst
Television? The word is half Latin and half Greek.
No good can come of it.
C.P. Scott
Eternal law has arranged nothing better than this,
that it has given us one way in to life, but many ways out.
Epistulae Morales
Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think.
Robert W. Service
Ballads of a Bohemian. Spring, ii
In a dream you are never eighty.
Anne Sexton
Words may be false and full of art,
Sighs are the natural language of the heart.
Thomas Shadwell
Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.
William Shakespeare
All’s Well That Ends Well, V.iii.19
I wish you all joy of the worm.
William Shakespeare
Anthony and Cleopatra, V.ii.260
I know that a woman is a dish for the gods, if the
devil dress her not.
William Shakespeare
Anthony and Cleopatra, V.ii.274
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood.
William Shakespeare
As You Like It, I.iii.47
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour, we rot and rot:
And thereby hangs a tale.
William Shakespeare
As You Like It, I.vii.26
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare
As You Like It, I.vii.139
I do desire we may be better strangers.
William Shakespeare
As You Like It, I.vii.276
Jaques: I do not like her name.
Orlando: There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christened.
William Shakespeare
As You Like It, I.vii.283
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
Hamlet, I.iii.58
Brevity is the soul of wit.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, II.ii.90
Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, III.ii.393
Diseases desperate grown,
By desperate appliances are reliev’d,
Or not at all.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, IV.iii.9
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, IV.iii.29
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.
William Shakespeare
Hamlet, V.ii.360
It would be argument for a week, laughter for a
month, and a good jest for ever.
William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part I, I.ii.104
I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.
William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part II, I.ii.268
Let the end try the man.
William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part II, II.ii.52
Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways.
William Shakespeare
Henry IV, Part II, III.v.124
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials, quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
William Shakespeare
Henry VII, Part III, II.v.21
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
William Shakespeare
Henry VIII, IV.ii.41
Nor stony tower, nor wall of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, I.iii.93
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, II.i.63
A poem begins with a lump in the throat.
Robert Frost
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like Arabs,
And silently steal away.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Beauty never slumbers;
All is in her name;
But the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I’ll not look for wine.
Ben Jonson
To Celia
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
For the crown of our life as it closes
Is darkness, the fruit there of dust;
No thorns go as deep as the rose’s,
And love is more cruel than lust.
Time turns the old days to derision,
Our loves into corpses or wives;
And marriage and death and division
Make barren our lives.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
For this is Wisdom, to love, to live
To take what fate, or the Gods may give.
To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,
Speed passion’s ebb as you greet its flow
To have,—to hold—and—in time,—let go!
Laurence Hope
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Times is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
Robert Herrick
To the Virgins to Make Much of Time
Girl with the burning golden eyes,
And red-bird song, and snowy throat:
I bring you gold and silver moons,
And diamond stars, and mists that float.
I bring you moons and snowy clouds,
I bring you prarie skies to-night
To feebly praise your golden eyes
And red-bird song, and throat so white.
Vachel Lindsay
To Gloriana
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made.
Robert Browning
Rabbi Ben Ezra
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
W.H. Auden
Her eyes the glowworm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
Robert Herrick
The Night Piece to Julia
Here are fruits, flowers, leaves and branches,
And here is my heart which beats only for you.
Paul Verlaine
Romances sans Paroles
I believe that if I should die,
And you were to walk near my grave,
From the very depths of the earth
I would hear your footsteps.
Benito Perez Galdos
I have loved many, the more and the few—
I have loved many that I might love you.
Grace Fallow Norton
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy, golden storm,
yes many loved before us, I know we are not new,
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you,
but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try,
your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.
Leonard Cohen
Hey That’s No Way to Say Good-bye
I shall go the way of the open sea,
To the lands I knew before you came,
And the cool ocean breezes shall blow from me
The memory of your name.
Laurence Hope
I walked beside the evening sea
And dreamed a dream that could not be;
The waves that plunged along the shore
Said only: "Dreamer, dream no more!"
George William Curtis
I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips,
And lights are in my hair.
Georgia Douglas Johnson
I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.
Alexander Pushkin
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If every wife was happy with a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
Anne Bradstreet
To My Dearest and Loving Husband
If I could take your troubles
I would toss them into the sea,
But all these things I’m finding
Are impossible for me.
I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I know best,
A friend that is always there.
Khahlil Gibran
A True Friend
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!
Alfred Noyes
The Highwayman
Love me sweet
With all thou art
Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the
Lightest part,
Love me in full
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above:
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
Walter Scott
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.
Now that I am without you, all is so desolate;
And all that once was so beautiful is dead.
Conrad Aiken
Bread and Music
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odors, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Music, When Soft Voices Die
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Music, When Soft Voices Die
My love came back to me
Under the November tree
Shelterless and dim.
He put his hand upon my shoulder,
He did not think me strange or older,
Nor I, him.
Frances Cornford
All Souls’ Night
One had a lovely face,
And two or three had charm,
But charm and face were in vain.
Because the mountain grass
Cannot keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.
William Butler Yeats
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
Ralph Vaull Starr
Rest not! Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness.
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another.
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tales of a Wayside Inn
Some reckon their age by years,
Some measure their life by art;
But some tell their days by the flow of their tears
And their lives by the moans of their hearts.
Abram Joseph Ryan
sweet springtime is my time is your time is our time
for springtime
is love time
and viva sweet love.
e.e. cummings
The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.
Joyce Kilmer
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
J.R.R. Tolkien
These bursting yellow pears I hold,
In burning hands so lately cold,
My quiet autumn day confound;
I feel my fingers pressing round
In quick delight—old thoughts renew...
Ah, who’s to say when summer’s through?
E. F. Weisslitz
They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
Ernest Dowson
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Ernest Dowson
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham
Thou art gone from my gaze like a beautiful dream,
And I seek thee in vain by the meadow and stream.
George Linley
Thou Art Gone
Though they go mad they shall be sane.
Though they sink through the sea, they shall rise again.
Though lovers be lost, love shall not,
And death shall have no dominion.
Dylan Thomas
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go, — so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his boot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Time Does Not Bring Relief
Trusty, dusky, vivid, true,
With eyes of gold and bramble-dew,
Steel-true and blade-straight,
The great artificer made my mate.
Robert Louis Stevenson
My Wife
Twice or thrice I loved thee
Before I knew thy face or name
So in a voice, so in shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be.
John Donne
Air and Angels
Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Maria Lovell
Ingomar the Barbarian
Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms
And I in my bed again!
When the tea is brought at five o’clock
And all the neat curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.
Harold Monro
Milk for the Cat
Years steal
Fire from the mind as vigor from the limb,
And life’s enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
Lord Byron
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
T.S. Eliot
A grave is such a quiet place.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Better to die, and sleep
The never-waking sleep, than linger on
And dare to live when the soul’s life is gone.
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
John Donne
Holy Sonnets X
Don’t strew me with roses after I’m dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!
Thomas F. Healey
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
Dying is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it fells like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
Sylvia Plath
In my beginning is my end.
T.S. Eliot
East Coker
In any man who dies there dies with him,
His first snow and kiss and fight...
Not people die but worlds die in them.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Keep not your roses for my dead, cold brow
The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
Arabella Smith
If I Should Die To-Night
Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,
In the dawn clouds flying,
How good to go, light into light, and still
Giving light, dying.
Sara Teasdale
Babies haven’t any hair;
Old men’s heads are just as bare;
Between the cradle and the grave
Lies a haircut and a shave.
Samuel Hoffenstein
The dead they sleep a long, long sleep;
The dead they rest, and their rest is deep;
The dead have peace, but the living weep.
Samuel Hoffenstein
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted—"Open then the Door!"
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, III, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XVIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sand Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d—
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXVIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
What, without asking, hither hurried whence?
And, without asking, whither hurried hence!
Another and another Cup to drown
The Memory of this Impertinence!
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in—Yes—
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be—Nothing—Thou shalt not be less.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XLVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
And Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXXII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (1st ed.)
Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries,
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door as in I went.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was—and then no more of Thee and Me.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, XXXV, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after, or bitter, Fruit.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
If so, by striking from the Calendar
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LIX, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain—This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once is blown for ever dies.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXVII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
We are no other than a moving row
Of visionary Shapes that come and go
Round with this Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Impotent Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXXIV, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXXVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
And this I know: whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, LXXXIII, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Oh if the World were but to re-create,
That we might catch ere closed the Book of Fate,
And make The Writer on a fairer leaf
Inscribe our names, or quite obliterate!
Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat, CVI, trans. by Edward Fitzgerald (2nd ed.)
Then, every day was a week, each month a year. A season was a decade, and every year a life.
Iain Banks
The Crow Road
The rain fell with that impression of gentle remorselessness west coast rain sometimes apears to possess when it has already been raining for some days and might well go on raining for several more.
Iain Banks
The Crow Road
...skimming the scummy surface of our effervescent present in preference to plumbing the adumbrate depths of the underlying past.
Iain Banks
The Crow Road
love is a little white bird
and the flight of it so fast
you can’t see it
and you know it’s there
only by the faint whirr of its wings
and the hush song coming so low to your ears
you fear it might be silence
and you listen keen and you listen long
and you know it’s more than silence
for you get the hush song so lovely
it hurts and cuts into your heart
and what you want is to give more than you can get
and you’d like to write it but it can’t be written
and you’d like to sing it but you don’t dare try
because the little white bird sings it better than you can
Carl Sandburg
Little Word, Little White Bird
Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more,—there is no weight
Can follow here, however great.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I have but to continue at your side.
So wanton, light and false, my love, are you,
I am most faithless when I most am true.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, x
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xi
Yours is a face of which I can forget
The colour and the features, every one,
The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
But in your day this moment is the sun
Upon a hill, after the sun has set.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xv
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xxvii
I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xxvii
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xxix
And I am made aware of many a week
I shall consume, remembering in what way
Your brown hair grows about your brow and cheek,
And what divine absurdities you say:
Till all the world, and I, and surely you,
Will now I love you, whether or not I do.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xl
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity,—let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, xli
She told, in secret and with whispering,
How he had flashed a mirror in her eyes;
And as she told, it struck her with surprise
That this was not so wonderful a thing.
But what’s the odds?—It’s pretty nice to know
You’ve got a friend to keep you company everywhere you go.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree, ix
But it would strike her sometimes, making the tea:
She had kept that kettle boiling all night long, for company.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree, xiv
Deep is the pond-although the edge be shallow,
Frank is the sun, revealing fish and stone,
Climbing ashore to turtle-head and mallow—
Black at the center beats a heart unknown.
Desolate dreams pursue me out of sleep;
Weeping I wake; waking, I weep, I weep.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fatal Interview, xxxiii
The heart once broken is a heart no more,
And is absolved from all a heart must be;
All that it signed or chartered heretofore
Is cancelled now, the bankrupt heart is free;
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fatal Interview, l
Heart in my breast,
This half a year now since you broke in two;
The world’s forgotten well, if the world knew.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fatal Interview, l
I cannot starve thee out: I am thy prey
And thou shalt have me; but I dare defend
That I can stave thee off; and I dare say,
What with the life I lead, the force I spend,
I’ll be but bones and jewels on that day,
And leave thee hungry even in the end.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sonnets, cxxviii
My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run;
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Song of a Second April
Stranger, pause and look;
From the dust of ages
List this little book,
Turn the tattered pages,
Read me, do not let me die!
Search the fading letters, finding
Steadfast in the broken binding
All that once was I!
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Poet and His Book
Suffer me to take your hand.
Suffer me to cherish you
Till the dawn is in the sky.
Whether I be false or true,
Death comes in a day or two.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I know a man that’s a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Philosopher
Yet women’s ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,—
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Philosopher
Just a rainy day or two
And a bitter word.
Why do I remember you
As a singing bird?
Edna St. Vincent Millay
And why should I be cold, my lad,
And why should you repine,
Because I love a dark head
That never will be mine?
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Betrothal
I might as well be easing you
As lie alone in bed
And waste the night in wanting
A cruel dark head.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Betrothal
You might as well be calling yours
What never will be his,
And one of us be happy.
There’s few enough as is.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Betrothal
If I could have
Two things in one:
The peace of the grave,
And the light of the sun.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come,—
I know what sound is there.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
City Trees
Such hope is mine, if this indeed be true,
I dread no more the first white in my hair,
Or even age itself, the easy shoe,
The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair:
Time, doing this to me, may alter too
My anguish, into something I can bear.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Charon, indeed, your dreaded oar,
With what a peaceful sound it dips
Into the stream; how gently, too,
From the wet blade the water drips.
I knew a ferryman before.
But he was not so old as you.
He spoke from unembittered lips,
With careless eyes on the bright sea
One day, such bitter words to me
As age and wisdom never knew.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sappho Crosses the Dark River into Hades
Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Leaf and the Tree
Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist,
and into them enters suffering in order that
they may have existence.
Leon Bloy
Live in each season as it passes;
breate the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each.
Henry David Thoreau
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau
I learned this, at least, by my experiement;
that if one advances confidently in the
direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could
not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
Oscar Wilde
I loved you once, nor can this heart be quiet,
For it would seem that love still lingers there,
But do not you be further troubled by it;
I would in no wise hurt you, oh my dear.
Alexander Pushkin
I Loved You Once
I loved you without hope, a mute offender;
What jealous pangs, what shy despairs I knew!
A love as deep as this, as true, as tender,
God grant another may yet offer you.
Alexander Pushkin
I Loved You Once
The billows play, the mast bends, creaking,
The wind, impatient, moans and sighs...
It is not joy that it is seeking,
No it’s from happiness it flies.
Mikhail Lermontov
The Sail
We only, while around all weary grow,
Unwearied stand,
And midst the fickle changes others konw,
Love—hand in hand.
Sully Prudhomme
The Water’s Edge
Love, if you love me,
Lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
The getting out
Of the tiredness, the fatuousness,
The semi-lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
With a decent happiness.
Robert Creeley
The Rain
O woman perilous, alluring climes!
O, shall I worship, too, your snow and rime,
And in your wintertime implacable
Discover sharper joys than ice and steel?
Charles Baudelaire
Troubled Sky
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships;
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has showed to me,
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
John Masefield
I looked and saw your eyes
In the shadow of your hair
As a traveller sees the stream
In the shadow of the wood;
And I said, "My faint heart sights
Ah me! to longer there,
To drink deep and to dream
In that sweet solitude."
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Three Shadows
I looked and saw your heart
In the shadow of your eyes,
As a seeker sees the gold
In the shadow of the stream;
And I said, "Ah me! what art
Should win the immortal prize,
Whose want must make life cold
And Heaven a hollow dream?"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Three Shadows
I looked and saw your love
In the shadow of your heart,
As a diver sees the perl
In the shadow of the sea;
And I murmured, not above
My breath, but all apart,—
"Ah! you can love, true girl,
And is your love for me?"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Three Shadows
Even for you I shall not weep
When I at last, at last am dead,
No turn and sorrow in my sleep
Though you should linger overhead.
Rosamund Marriott Watson
Even of you I shall not dream
Beneath the waving graveyard grass,
One with the soul of wind and stream
I shall not heed you if you pass.
Rosamund Marriott Watson
Even for you I would not wake,
Too bitter were the tears I knew,
Too dark the road I need must take—
The road that winds away from you.
Rosamund Marriott Watson
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.
Philip Sidney
A Ditty
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.
Philip Sidney
A Ditty
I throw the apple; if thou love me true
Take it and give what willing maidens do;
But if thy thoughts be other than I pray,
Take’t all the same and think how things decay.
I Throw the Apple
Heart lives in the figure, so
What if gloom pervades the present?
All is fleeting, all will go;
What is gone will then be pleasant.
Alexander Pushkin
Should This Life Sometime Deceive You
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
Oscar Wilde
The Critic as Artist
Only the shallow know themselves.
Oscar Wilde
Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk.
Oscar Wilde
A Woman of No Importance
What people call insincerity is simply a method by which we can multiply our personalities. Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
Oscar Wilde
The Critic as Artist
The condition of perfection is idleness; The aim of perfection is youth.
Oscar Wilde
Phrases and Philosopies for the Use of the Young
The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy.
Oscar Wilde
A Woman of No Importance
Ah, clear they see and true they say
That one shall weep, and one shall stray
For such is Love’s unvarying law....
I never thought, I never saw
That I should be the first to go;
How pleasant that it happened so!
Dorothy Parker
Into love and out again,
Thus I went, and thus I go.
Spare your voice, and hold your pen—
Well and bitterly I know
All the songs were ever sung,
All the words were ever said;
Could it be, when I was young,
Some one dropped me on my head?
Dorothy Parker
Should they whisper false of you.
Never trouble to deny;
Should the words they say be true,
Weep and storm and swear they lie.
Dorothy Parker
Superfluous Advice
I must go on, till ends my rope,
Who from my birth was cursed with hope.
A heart in half is chaste, archaic;
But mine resembles a mosaic—
The thing’s become ridiculous!
Why am I so? Why am I thus?
Dorothy Parker
A Fairly Sad Tale
New love, new love, shall I be forsaken?
One shall go a-wandering, and one of us must sigh.
Sweet it is to slumber, but how shall be awaken—
Whose will be the broken heart, when dawn comes by?
Dorothy Parker
The Last Question
The sun’s gone dim, and
The moon’s turned blak;
For I love him, and
He didn’t love back.
Dorothy Parker
Two-Volume Novel
If wild my breast and sore my pride,
I bask in dreams of suicide;
If cool my heart and high my head,
I think, "How lucky are the dead!"
Dorothy Parker
Rhyme Against Living
And why with you, my love, my lord,
Am I spectacularly bored,
Yet do you up and leave me—then
I scream to have you back again.
Dorothy Parker
On Being a Woman
If I had a shiny gun,
I could have a world of fun
Speeding bullets through the brains
Of the folk who give me pains;
Dorothy Parker
Or had I some poison gas,
I could make the moments pass
Bumping off a number of
People whom I do not love.
Dorothy Parker
Hope it was that tutored me,
And Love that taught me more;
And now I learn at Sorrow’s knee
The self-same lore.
Dorothy Parker
Who flings me silly talk of May
Shall meet a bitter soul;
For June was nearly spent away
Before my heart was whole.
Dorothy Parker
The False Friends
How shall I wail, that wasn’t meant for weeping?
Love has run and left me, oh, what then?
Dream, then, I must, who never can be sleeping;
What if I should meet Love, once again?
Dorothy Parker
How shall I be mating
Who have looked above—
Living for a hating,
Dying of a love?
Dorothy Parker
The Dark Girl’s Rhyme
Why it is no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
Dorothy Parker
One Perfect Rose
By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
Dorothy Parker
Unfortunate Coincidence
I give her sadness and the gift of pain,
A new moon madness and a love of rain.
Dorothy Parker
The Godmother
There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a paremanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle—
Would you kindly direct me to hell?
Dorothy Parker
It costs me never a stab nor squirm
To tread by chance upon a worm.
"Aha, my little dear," I say,
"Your clan will pay me back one day."
Dorothy Parker
Thoughts for a Sunshiny Morning
The first time I died, I walked my ways;
I followed the file of limping days.
The next time I died, they laid me deep.
They spoke worn words to hallow my sleep.
Dorothy Parker
Epitaph, extracts
They tossed me petals, they wreathed me fern,
They weighted me down with a marble urn.
And I lie here warm, and I lie here dry,
And watch the worms slip by, slip by.
Dorothy Parker
If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to make an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all asume that Oscar said it.
Dorothy Parker
On Oscar Wilde’s mastery of the epigram
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.
Dorothy Parker
Oh, sad are winter nights, and slow;
And sad’s a song that’s dumb;
And sad it is to lie and know
Another dawn will come.
Dorothy Parker
The Small Hours
Once, when I was young and true,
Someone left me sad—
Broke my brittle heart in two;
And that is very bad.
Love is for unlucky folk,
Love is but a curse.
Once there was a heart I broke;
And that, I think, is worse.
Dorothy Parker
A Very Short Song
Joy stayed with me a night—
Young and free and fair—
And in the morning light
He left me there.
Then Sorrow came to stay,
And lay upon my breast
He walked with me in the day.
And knew me best.
Dorothy Parker
Light of Love
Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
Dorothy Parker
All of the blundering words I’ve spoken,
Little whilte love, forgive, forgive.
Once you went out, my heart fell, broken.
(Nevertheless, a girl must live.)
Dorothy Parker
Now at Liberty
Over young are you to guide me,
And your blood is slow and sleeping.
If you must, then sit beside me....
Tell me, why have I been weeping?
Dorothy Parker
Oh, it is, then, Utopian
To hope that I may meet a man
Who’ll not relate, in accents suave,
The tales of girls he used to have?
Dorothy Parker
De Profundis
But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, "The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won—
The difference is small, my son."
Dorothy Parker
The Veteran
I’ll never be a bride,
Nor yet celibate,
So I’m living now with Pride—
A cold bedmate.
He must not hear nor see,
Nor could he forgive
That Sorrow still visits me
Each day I live.
Dorothy Parker
Light of Love
Love has gone a-rocketing.
That is not the worst;
I could do without the thing,
And not be the first.
Joy has gone the way it came.
That is nothing new;
I could get along the same—
Many people do.
Dorothy Parker
This is what I vow:
He shall have my heart to keep,
Sweetly will we stir and sleep...
thi sis what I pray:
Keep him by me tenderly;
Keep him sweet in pride of me...
This is what I know:
Lovers’ oaths are thin as rain;
Love’s a harbinger of pain...
Dorothy Parker
Somebody’s Song, extracts
...Swift the measured sands may run;
Love like this is never done;
He and I are welded one:
This is what I vow.
...Keep me from the old distress;
Let me, for our happiness,
Be the one to love the less:
This is what I pray.
...Ever is my heart a-thirst,
Ever is my love accurst;
He is neither last nor first:
This is what I know.
Dorothy Parker
Somebody’s Song, extracts
You will be frail and musty
With peering, furtive head,
Whilst I am young and lusty
Among the roaring dead.
Dorothy Parker
Let him see your passion is
Ever tenderer than his....
Go and bless your star above,
Thus are you, and thus is Love.
Tender though the love he bore,
You had loved a little more....
Lady, go and curse your star,
Thus Love is, and thus you are.
Dorothy Parker
To a Much Too Unfortunate Lady, extracts
If I seek a lovelier part,
Where I travel goes my heart;
Where I stray my thought must go;
With me wanders my desire.
Best to sit and watch the snow,
Turn the lock, and poke the fire.
Dorothy Parker
If it shine or if it rain,
Little will I care or know.
Days, like drops upon a pane,
Slip, and join, and go.
Dorothy Parker
The New Love
Because your eyes are slant and slow,
Because your hair is sweet to touch,
My heart is high again; but oh,
I doubt if this will get me much.
Dorothy Parker
Prophetic Soul
Lady, lady, should you meet
One whose ways are all discreet,
One who murmurs that his wife
Is the lodestar of his life,
One who keeps assuring you
That he never was untrue,
Never loved another one ...
Lady, lady, better run!
Dorothy Parker
Social Note
If he whistles low and clear
When the insistent moon is near
And the secret stars are known—
Will your heart be still your own
Just because some words were true? ...
Lady, I was told them too!
Dorothy Parker
For an Unknown Lady
Then if my friendships break and bend,
There’s little need to cry
The while I know that every foe
Is faithful till I die.
Dorothy Parker
The Heal
Travel, trouble, music, art,
A kiss, a frock, a rhyme—
I never said they feed my heart,
But still they pass my time.
Dorothy Parker
Faute de Mieux
She’s passing fair; but so demure is she,
So quiet is her gown, so smooth her hair,
That few there are who note her and agree
She’s passing fair.
Alas, no lover ever stops to see;
The best that she is offered is the air.
Yet—if the passing mark is minus D—
She’s passing fair.
Dorothy Parker
When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
the thousand little deaths my heart has died.
Dorothy Parker
A Certain Lady
And you believe, so well I know my part,
That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
And all the straining things within my heart
You’ll never know.
Dorothy Parker
A Certain Lady
And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go....
And what goes on, my love, while you’re away,
You’ll never know.
Dorothy Parker
A Certain Lady
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men....
I’m due to fall in love again.
Dorothy Parker
Symptom Recital
And this, O love, my pitiable plight
Whenever from my circling arms you stray;
This little world of mine has lost its light....
I hope to God, my dear, that you can say
The same to me.
Dorothy Parker
Rondeau Redouble
Oh, both my shoes are shiny new,
And pristine is my hat;
My dress is 1922....
My life is all like that.
Dorothy Parker
Woman wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman’s moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun.
Woman lives but in her lord;
Count to ten, and man is bored.
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?
Dorothy Parker
General Review of the Sex Situation
Oh, gallant was the first love, and glittering and fine;
The second love was water, in a clear white cup;
The third love was his, and the fourth was mine;
And after that, I always get them all mixed up.
Dorothy Parker
Pictures in the Smoke
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall—
I’m a fool to rise at all!
Dorothy Parker
Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom
Gone are the raptures that once we knew,
Now you are finding a new joy greater—
Well, I’ll be doing the same thing, too,
Sooner or later.
Dorothy Parker
Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that cleans up the matter.
Dorothy Parker
So silent I when Love was by
He yawned, and turned away;
But Sorrow clings to my apron-strings,
I have so much to say.
Dorothy Parker
My door is grave in oaken strength,
The cool of linen calms my bed,
And there at night I stretch my length
And envy no one but the dead.
Dorothy Parker
Story of Mrs. W-
And each of us will sigh, and start
A-talking of a faded year,
And lay a hand above a heart,
And dry a pretty tear.
Dorothy Parker
The Dramatists
I know I have been happiest at your side;
But what is done, is done, and all’s to be.
And small the good, the llinger dolefully—
Gayly it lived, and gallantly it died.
Dorothy Parker
I Know I Have Been Happiest
Strange, that from lovely dreamings of the dead
I shall come back to you, who hurt me most.
You may not feel my hand upon your head,
I’ll be so new and inexpert a ghost.
Perhaps you will not know that I am near—
And that will break my ghostly heart, my dear.
Dorothy Parker
I Shall Come Back
Yet this the need of woman, this her curse:
To range her little gifts, and give, and give,
Because the throb of giving’s sweet to bear.
TO you, who never begged me vows or verse,
My gift shall be my absence, while I live;
But after that, my dear, I cannot swear.
Dorothy Parker
I Know I Have Been Happiest
Dig for me the narrow bed.
Now I am bereft.
All my pretty hates are dead,
And what have I left?
Dorothy Parker
Dearest one, when I am dead
Never seek to follow me.
Never mount the quiet hill
Where the copper leaves are still,
As my heart is, on the tree
Standing at my narrow bed.
Dorothy Parker
Prayer for a Prayer
And now I have another lad!
No longer need you tell
How all my nights are slow and sad
For loving you too well.
Dorothy Parker
The Danger of Writing Defiant Verse
Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)
Dorothy Parker
The Flaw in Paganism
There was a bird, brought down to die;
They said, "A hundred fill the sky—
What reason to be sad?"
There was a girl, whose lover fled;
I did not wait, the while they said,
"There’s many another lad."
Dorothy Parker
She hated bleak and wintry things alone.
All that was warm and quick, she loved too well—
A light, a flame, a heart against her own;
It is forever bitter cold, in Hell.
Dorothy Parker
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Pretty Lady
He’d have the best, and that was too good;
No barrier could hold, before his terms.
He lies below, correct in cypress wood,
And entertains the most exclusive worms.
Dorothy Parker
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Very Rich Man
The man she had was kind and clean
And well enough for every day,
But, oh, dear friends, you should have seen
The one that got away!
Dorothy Parker
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Fisherwoman
Her name, cut clear upon this marble cross,
Shines, as it shone when she was still on earth;
While tenderly the mild, agreeable moss
Obscures the figures of her date of birth.
Dorothy Parker
Tombstones in the Starlight: The Actress
The bird that feeds from off my palm
Is sleek, affectionate, and calm,
But double, to me, is worth the thrush
A-flickering in the elder-bush.
Dorothy Parker
Ornithology for Beginners
Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.
Dorothy Parker
News Item
For contrition is hollow and wraithful,
And regret is no part of my plan,
And I think (if my memory’s faithful)
There was nothing more fun than a man!
Dorothy Parker
The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
For now I am my own. And that is best.
Therefore, I am immeasurably grateful
To you, for proving shallow, false, and hateful.
Dorothy Parker
Sonnet for the End of a Sequence
There’s honester eyes than your blue eyes,
There’s better a mile than such as you.
But when did I say that I was wise,
And when did I hope that you were true?
Dorothy Parker
Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song
Show me a love was done and through,
Tell me a kiss escaped its debt!
Son, to your death you’ll pay your due—
Women and elephants never forget.
Dorothy Parker
Ballade of Unfortunate Mammals
You are brief and frail and blue—
Little sisters, I am, too.
You are Heaven’s masterpieces—
Little loves, the likeness ceases.
Dorothy Parker
Sweet Violets
No moonbeam cuts the air; a sapphire light
Rolls lazily, and slips again to rest.
There is no edged thing in all this night,
Save in my breast.
Dorothy Parker
Every love’s the love before
In a duller dress.
That’s the measure of my lore—
Here’s my bitterness:
Would I knew a little more,
Or very much less!
Dorothy Parker
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you—
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.
Dorothy Parker
The Lady’s Reward
In May my heart was breaking—
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.
And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
"Poor thing, do you remember?"
"What heart was that?" it cried.
Dorothy Parker
Autumn Valentine
Her mind lives tidily, apart
From cold and noise and pain,
And bolts the door against her heart,
Out wailing in the rain.
Dorothy Parker
"Then we will have tonight!" we said.
"Tomorrow—we may not be dead?"
The morrow touched our eyes, and found
Us walking firm above the ground,
Our pulses quick, our blood alight.
Tomorrow’s gone—we’ll have tonight!
Dorothy Parker
On Cheating the Fiddler
Oh, it is sure as it is sad
That any lad is every lad,
And what’s a girl, to dare impore
Her dear be hers forevermore?
Though he be tried and he be bold,
And swearing death should he be cold,
He’ll run the path the others went....
But you, my sweet, are different.
Dorothy Parker
Let another cross his way—
She’s the one will do the weeping!
Little need I fear he’ll stray
Since I have his heart in keeping—
Let another hail him dear—
Little chance that he’ll forget me!
Only need I curse and fear
Her he loved before he met me.
Dorothy Parker
Mortal Enemy
and eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new
e.e. cummings
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quiet new a thing.
e.e. cummings
we are so both and oneful
night cannot be so sky
sky cannot be so sunful
i am through you so i
e.e. cummings
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
e.e. cummings
if you like my poems let them
walk in the evening, a little behind you
then people will say
"Along this road i saw a princess pass
on her way to meet her lover (it was
toward nightfall) with all ignorant servants."
e.e. cummings
Brevity is the soul of lingerie.
Dorothy Parker
Sorrow is tranquility remembered in emotion.
Dorothy Parker
Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e. the interval.
Marshall McLuhan
A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.
e.e. cummings
Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.
e.e. cummings
Look at the fingers of your hands if you want
to know how things that are different can be the same.
Mikhail Naimy
The simple lack of her is more to me than others’ presence.
Edward Thomas
How can I believe in God when just last week I got
my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
Woody Allen
Man is a god in ruins.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm, and yet
he will be making gods by dozens.
If I had been the Virgin Mary, I would have said "No."
Margaret Smith
It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day
to day basis.
Margaret Bonnano
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Mahatma Gandi
Dying is one of the few things that can be done
as easily lying down.
Woody Allen
After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why
I have no monument than why I have one.
Cato the Elder
Early one June morning in 1872 I murdered my father—
an act which made a deep impression on me at the time.
Ambrose Bierce
There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry
in money, either.
Robert Graves
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous,
the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
Oscar Wilde
Cabbage: A vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.
Ambrose Bierce
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
Oscar Wilde
Egotist: A person more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
Gore Vidal
Except during the nine months before he draws his
first breath, no man manages his affairs as well
as a tree does.
George Bernard Shaw
To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady.
Wilson MIzner
A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sex is the biggest nothing of all time.
Andy Warhol
Love is the delightful interval between meeting
a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks
like a haddock.
John Barrymore
The heaviest object in the world is the body
of the woman you have ceased to love.
Marquis de Luc de Clapiers Vauvenargues
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
Oscar Wilde
The reverse side also has a reverse side.
Japanese proverb
Oh, this age! How tasteless and ill-bred it is!
It is sometimes expedient to forget who we are.
Publilius Syrus
The 100% American is 99% an idiot.
George Bernard Shaw
And that’s the world in a nutshell—an appropriate
Stan Dunn
The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that
he really is very good, in spite of all the
people who say he is very good.
Robert Graves
A manuscript, like a fetus, is never improved
by showing it to somebody before it is completed.
Boy meets girl; girl gets boy into pickle;
boy gets pickle into girl.
Jack Woodford
Every novel should have a beginning, a muddle, and an end.
Peter de Vries
Never read a book that is not a year old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What an ugly beast is the ape, and how like us.
One more drink and I’ll be under the host.
Dorothy Parker
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity
to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson
I would have made a good Pope.
Richard M. Nixon
The only reason I would take up jogging is so
that I could hear heavy breathing again.
Erma Bombeck
Punctuality is the thief of time.
Oscar Wilde
I’m in a phone booth at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk.
Any fool can make a rule.
Henry David Thoreau
I don’t care what is written about me so long
as it isn’t true.
Dorothy Parker
If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody,
come sit next to me.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Many a man owes his success to his first wife and
his second wife to his success.
Jim Backus
I haven’t been wrong since 1961, when I thought I made
a mistake.
Bob Hudson
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but
if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
Abraham Lincoln
Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
William Safire
What is true is what I can’t help believing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
So little time and so little to do.
Oscar Levant
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.
William Shakespeare
Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
One should never know too precisely whom one has married.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Some things have to be believed to be seen
Ralph Hodgson
God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness
shows through.
Paul Valery
I was the best I ever had.
Woody Allen
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
H.L. Mencken
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure
the operation of life.
George Bernard Shaw
I am a deeply superficial person.
Andy Warhol
Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
No sane man will dance.
Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in
nature has a function.
Garrison Keillor
It’s better to be wanted for murder than not
to be wanted at all.
Marty Winch
When smashing monuments, save the pedestals—
they always come in handy.
Stanislaw Lem
Stay with me; I want to be alone.
Joey Adams
I can’t seem to bring myself to say, "Well, I guess
I’ll be toddling along." It isn’t that I can’t toddle.
It’s that I can’t guess I’ll toddle.
Robert Benchley
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
George Bernard Shaw
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso
Peace, n.: In international affairs, a period of cheating
between two periods of fighting.
Ambrose Bierce
The gods too are fond of a joke.
Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is
God one of man’s?
Friedrich Nietzsche
Millions long for immortality who don’t know what
to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Susan Ertz
Women are like elephants to me. I like to look at them
but I wouldn’t want to own one.
W.C. Fields
Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without
asking a clear question.
Albert Camus
Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message
and get back to you.
Mary Bly
Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau
Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?
I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde
Idealism is what preceeds experience; cynicism is what follows.
David T. Wolf
The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite
of talking is waiting.
Fran Lebowitz
In America, you can always find a party. In Russia,
the party always finds you.
Yakov Smirnoff
A gentleman is a man who can play the accordion but doesn’t.
I never travel without my dairy. One should always have something sensational to read.
Oscar Wilde
The odds against there being a bomb on a plane
are a million to one, and against two bombs a
million times a million to one. Next time you fly,
cut the odds and take a bomb.
Benny Hill
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the
sky as well as the earth!
Henry David Thoreau
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau
Ignore previous cookie.
Message in a fortune cookie
What luck for rulers that men do not think.
Adolf Hitler
The reason there are so few female politicians
is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces.
Maureen Murphy
Those who are too smart to engage in politics
are punished by being governed by those who
are dumber.
Very few things happen at the right time and
the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious
historian will correct these defects.
Gifts are like hooks.
The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist
man and ultimately defeat him.
Russell Baker
A committee is a cul-de-sac down which
ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
Sir Barnett Cocks
Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
Either I’ve been missing something or nothing
has been going on.
Karen Elizabeth Gordon
The world is a madhouse, so it’s only right that it is patrolled by armed idiots.
Brendan Behan
Love loves for ever,
And finds a sort of joy in pain,
And gives with nought to take again,
And loves too well to end in vain:
Is the gain small then?
Love laughs at "never",
Outlives our life, exceeds the span
Appointed to mere mortal man:
All which love is and does and can
Is all in all then.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Watching the shied core
Striking the basket, skidding across the floor,
Shows less and less of luck, and more and more.
Of failure spreading back up the arm
Earlier and earlier, the unraised hand calm,
The apple unbitten in the palm.’,
Morning at last: there in the snow
Your small blunt footprints come and go.
Night has left no more to show,
Not the candle, half-drunk wine,
Or touching joy; only this sign
Of your life walking into mine.
But when they vanish with the rain
What morning woke to will remain,
Whether as happiness or pain.
Philip Larkin
Oderint dum metuant.
[Let them hate, as long as they fear.]
Luccius Accius
You can’t say civilization doesn’t advance. In every war they kill you in a new way.
Will Rogers
You are not thinking. You are merely being logical.
[Spoken to Einstein]
Niels Bohr
To do is to be.
Friedrich Nietzsche
To be is to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
Robert Frost
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Mark Twain
For everything, there is a first time.
Mr. Spock
All things are difficult before they are easy.
Thomas Fuller
Are you going places or just being taken?
H.F. Henrichs
Nature uses as little as possible of anything.
Johann Kepler
The smallest thing, well done, becomes artistic.
William Matthews
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms.
Strong and content I travel the open road.
Walt Whitman
In every parting there is an image of death.
George Eliot
Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night (Act II, Scene III)
What we see is mainly what we look for.
Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
[For knowledge itself is power.]
Francis Bacon
Meditations Sacrae
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
Girl with the burning golden eyes,
And red-bird song, and snowy throat:
I bring you gold and silver moons,
And diamond stars, and mists that float.
I bring you moons and snowy clouds,
I bring you prarie skies to-night
To feebly praise your golden eyes
And red-bird song, and throat so white.
Vachel Lindsay
To Gloriana
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if you replace the P with an O, my name would be Oinky, wouldn’t it?’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but balancing a family, and a career? Ooh, it’s all too much for me.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but isn’t Regis Philbin already married?’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but pants with horizontal stripes make me look chubby.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, we’d look like weasels.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but why would anyone want a depressed tongue?’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?’,
Pinky and the Brain
People don’t turn down money. It’s what separates us from the animals.
Jerry Seinfeld
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but if they called them "sad meals", kids wouldn’t buy them.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but how do we get all seven dwarves to shave their legs.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering.
Pinky: I think so Brain, but "instant karma" always gets so lumpy.’,
Pinky and the Brain
Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.
Winston Churchill
What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it... That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.
Richard Feynman
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
Stephen Hawking
A Brief History of Time
Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.
Pope John Paul II
Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were , save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
Alighieri Dante
The Divine Comedy
Avarice, envy, pride,
Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all
On Fire.
Alighieri Dante
The Divine Comedy
All human things are subject to decay,
And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey;
This Flecknoe found, who like Augustus young
Was call’d to empire, and had govern’d long:
In prose and verse, was own’d, without dispute
Through all the realms of nonsense, absolute.
John Dryden
Mac Flecknoe
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory out of desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in a forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
T.S. Eliot
The Waste Land
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass’d;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax’d deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
Lord Byron
The Destruction of Sennacherib
Beauty is but a flower,
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.
I am sick, I must die;
Lord have mercy on us.
Thomas Nash
Song in Time of Pestilence
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in ,
Is it therefore the less gone?
Edgar Allan Poe
A Dream Within A Dream
Angels and ministers of grace defend us.
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned,
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,
Thou com’st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speak to thee.
William Shakespeare
To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause; there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
William Shakespeare
Nothing but blackness above
And nothing that moves but the cars...
God, if you wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!
Louis Untermeyer
Caliban in the Coal Mines
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Allan K. Chalmers
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another.
Jonathan Swift
Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes ... just be an illusion.
Lookin back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.
Daving Grayson
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Victor Hugo
To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.
Anna Louise Strong
The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
J. Krishnamurti
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine
There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature.
Stephen Stills
Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
James Baldwin
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
Bertrand Russell
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
James Baldwin
Perfect love is rare indeed—for to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the scholar and the fortitude of the cretin.
Leo Buscaglia
Nunc scio quit sit amor.
[Now I know what love is.]
I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau
A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
Stephen Crane
War is Kind
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essays: First Series, Essay XII, "Art"
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Desiderius Erasmus
Is not a kiss the very autograph of love?
Henry Finck
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Robert A. Heinlein
Notebook of Lazarus Long
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.
Thomas Edward Lawrence
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.
John Masefield
Sea Feaver
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
John Masefield
Sea Fever
I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Masefield
Sea Fever
Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
H.L. Mencken
The Divine Afflatus
What a great artist dies with me.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Isaac Newton
When we walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take the step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for us to stand upon,
or we will be taught to fly.
Patrick Overton
We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
Will Rogers
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The age is dull and mean. Men creep,
Not walk; with blood too pale and tame
To pay the debt we owe to shame;
Buy cheap, sell dear; eat, drink, and sleep
Down-pillowed, deaf to moaning want;
Pay tithes for soul-insurance; keep
Six day to Mammon, one to Cant.
John Greenleaf Whittier
For Righteousness’ Sake
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street.
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.
W.H. Auden
As I Walked Out One Evening
Genius is applying the originality of youth to the experience of maturity.
Michael Polanyi
Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.
Edward Abbey
Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behaviour. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behaviour.
Dee Hock
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that is is too low and we reach it.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where schools got all the money they needed and the military had to hold bake sales to buy bombers?’,
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Faith: not wanting to know what is true.
Friedrich Nietzsche
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
Oscar Wilde
It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be wiity every day than to say pretty things from time to time.
Honore de Balzac
Escape me?
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world
contains us both,
Me the loving and you
the loth,
While the one eludes, must
the other persue.
Robert Browning
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is a stupidity second to , to busy one-self with the correction of the world.
Jean-Baptiste Moliere
The Misanthrope
You may have genius. The contrary is, of course, probable.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
H.L. Mencken
Church: A place in which gentlemen who have never been to Heaven brag about it to people who will never get there.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Clergyman: A ticket speculator outside the gates of Heaven.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Fine: A bribe paid by a rich man to escape the lawful penalty of his crime.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Idealist: One who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
H.L. Mencken
A Book of Burlesques
If the average man is made in God’s image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. All animal breeders know how difficult it is to maintain a fine strain. The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers.
H.L. Mencken
In Defense of Women
A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
H.L. Mencken
I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
Willa Cather
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
Samuel Butler
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius
A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there—even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
Robert Doisneau
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange—my youth.
Sara Teasdale
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstacy
Give all you have been, or could be.
Sara Teasdale
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And childrens’s faces looking up
Holding wonder in a cup.
Sara Teasdale
Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love all year round, madam; that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals.
I try to catch at many a tune
Like petals of light fallen from the moon,
Broken and bright on a dark lagoon.
But they float away—for who can hold
Youth, or perfume or the moon’s gold?
Sara Teasdale
Old Tunes
So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.
but in the instant the airs remain
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.
Sara Teasdale
Old Tunes
I love my hour of wind and light,
I love men’s faces and their eyes,
I love my spirit’s veering flight
Like swallows under evening skies.
Sara Teasdale
Swallow Flight
They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.
D.H. Lawrence
Last Poems, 1933
Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.
Douglas Adams
Life, the Universe and Everything
Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost. Rigour should be a signal to the historian that the maps have been made, and the real explorers have gone elsewhere.
W.S. Anglin
Mathematics and History, Mathematical Intelligencer, v. 4, no. 4
Referee’s report: This paper contains much that is new and much that is true. Unfortunately, that which is true is not new and that which is new is not true.
Howard Eves
Return to Mathematical Circles
Life is a school of probability.
Walter Bagehot
World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman (ed.) [quoted]
What is now proved was once only imagin’d.
William Blake
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.
Thomas Carlyle
Sartor Resartus III
Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
G.K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy, ch. 2
The measure of our intellectual capacity is the capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better and better problems.
C.W. Churchman
A Mathematician’s Miscellany by J.E. Littlewood [quoted]
The mathematician may be compared to a designer of garments, who is utterly oblivious of the creatures whom his garments may fit. To be sure, his art originated in the necessity for clothing such creatures, but this was long ago; to this day a shape will occasionally appear which will fit into the garment as if the garment had been made for it. Then there is no end of surprise and delight.
David van Dantzig
Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Rene Descartes
Discours de la Methode
I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.
Rene Descartes
La Geometrie
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.
Paul Dirac
Mathematical Circles Adieu by H. Eves [quoted]
Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.
Lord Dunsany
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about ’and’.
Sir Arthur Eddington
Mathematical Maxims and Minims by N. Rose [quoted]
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Albert Einstein
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
A Mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
Paul Erdos
A formal manipulator in mathematics often experiences the discomforting feeling that his pencil surpasses him in intelligence.
Howard Eves
In Mathematical Circles
Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability.
Ronald Aylmer Fisher
To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking hm to perform a postmortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of.
Ronald Aylmer Fisher
Indian Statistical Congress
Few, but ripe.
[His motto]
Karl Friedrich Gauss
Should I refuse a good dinner simply because I do not understand the process of digestion?
[Criticized for using formal mathematical manipulations, without understanding how they worked.]
Oliver Heaviside
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.
Robert A. Heinlein
Time Enough for Love
Physics is much too hard for physicists.
David Hilbert
Hilbert by C. Reid [quoted]
Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that are not so.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Calculus Gems by G. Simmons [quoted]
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts — for support rather than illumination.
Andrew Lang
Treasury of Humorous Quotations
Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad and theology makes them sinful.
Martin Luther
We think in generalities, but we live in details.
Alfred North Whitehead
The Viking Book of Aphorisms by W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger [quoted]
There is no nature at an instant.
Alfred North Whitehead
What if angry vectors veer
Round your sleeping head, and form.
There’s never need to fear
Violence of the poor world’s abstract storm.
Robert Penn Warren
Lillaby in Encounter
It can be shown that a mathematical web of some kind can be woven about any universe containing several objects. The fact that our universe lends itself to mathematical treatment is not a fact of any great philosophical significance.
Bertrand Russell
The Viking Book of Aphorisms by W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger [quoted]
Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything.
Jules Henri Poincare
The World of Mathematics by J.R. Newman [quoted]
Be thou my friend forever blest
Have friends selected from the best
Have all the sweethearts you desire
but be my sweetheart for this hour.
Will A. McCoy
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
For many miles divide us,
And you I cannot see
Remember oh Remember
Who wrote these lines to Thee.
A.R. Hirons
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
The rose of the valley may wither
The flowers of the forest decay
But friendship shall bloom forever
When all other charms fade away.
Molly Hirons
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
Remember me and beare in mind
A truthful friend is hard to find
The path of sorrow and that alone
Leads to a place where sorrow is unknown.
Anna Bowman
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
Friends must meet and friends must part,
For months and perhaps forever.
Forgetfulness may do its part,
But I will forget thee never.’,
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
As sure as your wedding day,
A broom you I will send.
In sunshine use the brushy part,
In storms use the other end.
Sallie Price
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
Desire not to live long but to live well,
How long we live not years, but actions tell.
Adda Ervin
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
As you go down the
Stream of life in your
Little canoe, I hope
You will have a jolley
Time, with plenty of
Room for two,
Love is to the human
Heart as sunshine is
To flowers, And friendship
Is the fairest thing in
This cold world of ours.
Thomas Rigdon Foote
Autograph Albums and Bible of Ella Beaver Calhoun
The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can never end.
Benjamin Disraeli
The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.
Jacques Benigne Bossuel
Henceforth there will be such a oneness between us that when one weeps
the other will taste salt.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus
Don’t wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.
Albert Camus
We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love—first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.
Albert Camus
I do not want to believe that death is the gateway to another life. For me, it is a closed door. I do not say it is a step we must all take, but that it is a horrible and dirty adventure.
Albert Camus
Punishment without judgment is bearable. It has a name, besides, that guarantees our innocence: it is called misfortune.
Albert Camus
Only evil can reach its limits and reign absolutely.
Albert Camus
To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.
Albert Camus
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Albert Camus
Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
Albert Camus
We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible.
Albert Camus
Within you I lose myself
Without you I find myself
Wanting to be lost again.
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Kahlil Gibran
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
Kahlil Gibran
Every attempt to employ mathematical methods in the study of chemical questions must be considered profoundly irrational and contrary to the spirit of chemistry... if mathematical analysis should ever hold a prominent place in chemistry — an aberration which is happily almost impossible — it would occasion a rapid and widespread degeneration of that science.
Auguste Comte
Cours de Philosophie Positive (1830)
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.
Mike Adams
Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
Ashley Montague
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
H.L. Mencken
The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
Winston Churchill
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
If you don’t imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going agead with it on your own.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
This surprising result supported a hunch he had had for a long time: that the brighter, more serious students were the least desirous of grades, possibly because they were more interested in the subject matter of the course, whereas the dull or lazy students were the most desirous of grades, possibly because grades told them if they were getting by.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
He had already done this with his statement that lack of knowledge of what Quality is constitutes incompetence. It’s an old rule of logic that the competence of a speaker has no relevance to the truth of what he says, and so talk of incompetence was pure sand.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Zen is the "spirit of the valley," not the mountain. The only Zen you find on the tops of moutains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
You go up the mountaintop and all you’re gonna get is a great big heavy stone tablet handed to you with a bunch of rules on it.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
One thing about piorneers that you don’t hear mentioned is that they are invariably, by their nature, messmakers. They go forging ahead, seeing only their noble, distant goal, and never notice any of the crud and debris they leave behind them. Someone else gets to clean that up and it’s not a very glamorous or interesting job.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
One geometry can not be more true than another; it can only be more convenient. Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
This isn’t a rare scene in science or technology. This is the commonest scene of all. Just plain stuck. In traditional maintenance this is the worst of all moments, so bad that you have avoided even thinking about it before you come to it.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Romantic reality is the cutting edge of experience. It’s the leading edge of the train of knowledge that keeps the whole train on the track. Traditional knowledge is only the collective memory of where that leading edge has been.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The real ugliness lies in the relationship beteween the people who produce the technology and the things they produce, which results in a similar relationship between the people who use the technology and the things they use.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start becase no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.
Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Art is Science in Love.
E.F. Weisslitz
Delicacy is the furthest expression of Passion.
E.F. Weisslitz
Nature is a tableau to the Scientist;
a prism to the Artist;
a glass to the Madman.
E.F. Weisslitz
How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at Love’s beginning.
Thomas Campbell
Something made of nothing, tasting very sweet,
A most delicious compound, with ingredients complete;
But if, as on occasion, the heart and mind are sour,
It has no great significance, and loses half its power.
Mary. E. Buell
The Kiss
What is a kiss? Why this, as some approve:
The sure sweet cement, glue, and lime of love.
Robert Herrick
Tis a secret
Told to the mouth instead of to the ear.
[speaking of a kiss]
Edmond Rostand
Cyrano de Bergerac
Lips go dry and eyes grow wet
Waiting to be warmly met.
Keep them not in waiting yet;
Kisses kept are wasted.
Edmund Vance Cooke
Kisses Kept Are Wasted
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.
Lord Tennyson
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
Though I know he loves me,
Tonight my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.
Sara Teasdale
The Kiss
Alas! how easily things go wrong!
A sigh too much or a kiss too long,
And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,
And life is never the same again.
George Macdonald
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.
William Blake
The kiss you take is better than you give;
Therefore no kiss.
William Shakespeare
Henry VIII
"May I print a kiss on your lips?" I said,
And she nodded her full permission;
So we went to press and I rather guess
We printed a full edition.
Joseph Lilenthal
A Full Edition
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
The Look
It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space.
Gloria Steinem
A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill.
Frank Borman
An idiot with a computer is a faster, better idiot.
Rich Julius
Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.
Edward V. Berard
"There is no use in trying," she said: "one can"t believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven"t had much practice," said the Queen. "when I was our age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I"ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland
I drank coffee in titrated doses. It was a tricky business, requiring the finely tuned judgment of a skilled anesthesiologist. There was a tiny range within which coffee was effective, short of which it was useless, and beyond which, fatal.
Annie Dillard
The Writing Life
There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.
Annie Dillard
The Writing Life
Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a serious book in a year. Some people lift cars, too.
Annie Dillard
The Writing Life
Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein
We never touch but at points.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one worth possessing can be quite possessed.
Sara Teasdale
Friendship is love minus sex and plus reason. Love is friendship plus sex and minus reason.
Mason Cooley
Spartans, stoics, heroes, saints and gods use a short and powerful speech.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A speech is like a love affair. Any fool can start it, but to end it requires considerable skill.
Lord Mancroft
Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs.
Andrew Carnegie
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.
Theodore Roethke
The Waking
A poet is, after all, a sort of scientist, but engaged in a qualitative science in which nothing is measurable. He lives with data that cannot be numbered, and his experiments can be done only once. The information in a poem is, by definition, not reproducible. He becomes an equivalent of scientist, in the act of examining and sorting the things popping in [to his head], finding the marks of remote similarity, points of distant relationship, tiny irregularities that indicate that this one is really the same as that one over there only more important. Gauging the fit, he can meticulously place pieces of the universe together, in geometric configurations that are as beautiful and balanced as crystals.
Lewis Thomas
The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher
First follow Nature, and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is still the same:
Unerring nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchanged, and universal light,
Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
At once the source, and end, and test of art.
Alexander Pope
Essay On Criticism
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
ee cummings
How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.
Isaac Asimov
The Roving Mind (Ch 25)
I want to fall in love with him again. I never stopped loving him - I've always loved him and always will - but our life together is verging on monotony. Love can withstand this, but for lust, it's fatal.
Paolo Coelho
So she had to satisfy herself with the idea of love - loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she loved loving love, as love loves loving, and was able, in that way, to reconcile herself with a world that fell so short of what she would have hoped for. It was not the world that was the great and saving lie, but her willingness to make beautiful and fair, to live a once-removed life, in a world once-removed from the one in which everyone else seemed to exist.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything is Illuminated
You'd be wrong to think that it's just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I'm standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there's no question, this must be the premiere,
And whatever I do
will become forever what I've done.
Wislawa Szymborska
Life While-You-Wait
is the most
force in the universe.
the memory of loving,
the most
Harold H. Bloomfield
How to Survive the Loss of a Love
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
Kahil Gibran
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters on Love (Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties)
Life is short. But death is very, very long.
Henning Mankell
The future can give us no memories.
Henning Mankell
In the world of thought ... everywhere is open country.
Henning Mankell
So, what do the trees know
Oh, letting their leaves go
So, what do the trees see
Oh, that is beyond me.
Sway (Colors)
Based on the many times he had ridden in cars driven by women, Kafuku had reached the conclusion that most female drivers fell into one of two categories: either they were a little too aggressive or a little too timid.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
In addition, the two of them had one big thing in common: both were still in love with the same beautiful, dead woman.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
So in the end maybe that’s the challenge: to look inside your own heart as perceptively and seriously as you can, and to make peace with what you find there. If we hope to truly see another person, we have to start by looking within ourselves.”
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
After Takatsuki had walked off into the drizzle in his beige raincoat, Kafuku, as was his habit, looked down at his right palm. It was that hand that had caressed my wife’s naked body, he thought.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
“Tobacco’s a killer,” Kafuku said. “Being alive is a killer, if you think about it,” Misaki said.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
“Isn’t it possible that your wife didn’t fall for him at all?” Misaki said simply. “And that’s why she slept with him?”
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
If I never saw her again, it would be too soon for me.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
“You remember my dream?” she asked. “For some reason, I do.” “Even though it’s someone else’s dream?” “Dreams are the kind of things you can—when you need to—borrow and lend out,” I said. I really do overplay these sayings sometimes.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
He was, in short—how best to put this?— not the sort of person with an excessive amount of room for misunderstanding.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
Quality of experience was the goal. And he wasn’t that particular about a woman’s physical appearance. As long as there wasn’t some major flaw that aroused his professional interest,
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
“The woman gave an example. A man opens a door to find a woman inside naked, changing her clothes. The polite person says, ‘Excuse me, madam,’ and swiftly shuts the door. The one who says ‘Excuse me, monsieur’ and shuts the door, now that’s somebody who’s quick.”
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
I agreed with him. In a concentration camp Pinot Noir, amateur piano performances, and sparkling conversational skills would be totally useless.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
Or he could spend hours trimming his facial hair with a razor or a pair of scissors. For the first time he realized how useful a hairy face could be, simply as a diversion from boredom.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
You can be totally entranced by the glow of something one minute, be willing to sacrifice everything to make it yours, but then a little time passes, or your perspective changes a bit, and all of a sudden you’re shocked at how faded it appears.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
She got out of bed and put on her clothes—panties, stockings, camisole, and, finally, her skirt and blouse. Habara casually watched the sequence of her movements from the bed. It struck him that the way women put on their clothes could be even more interesting than the way they took them off.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
He looked at the new blue dress she was wearing. They were sitting facing each other, so he couldn’t tell if there was a zipper or buttons at the back. But he couldn’t help thinking about what he would see if he unzipped or unbuttoned her clothes. Her body was no longer his, though. No longer could he see it, let alone touch it. All he could do was imagine it.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
It wasn’t a knocking on a door in a business hotel. It was a knocking on the door to his heart. A person couldn’t escape that sound.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
She far surpassed any west wind. And not just the west wind. She was so spectacular that she made wind coming from all directions simply vanish.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
What I want to say is, M is the woman I should have fallen in love with when I was fourteen. But it was only much later that I fell in love with her, and by then, sadly, she was fourteen no more. We were mistaken about the time when we should have met. Like forgetting when you’re supposed to meet someone. You get the time of day and place right, but miscalculate the day.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
I wish there was a machine that could accurately measure sadness, and display it in numbers that you could record. And it would be great if that machine could fit in the palm of your hand. I think of this every time I measure the air in my tires.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
And I imagine what it means to be the loneliest man on earth. I already know what it is to be the second-loneliest man on earth. But I still don’t know what it is to be the loneliest.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
Having a girl break her brand-new eraser in two and give me half was extraordinary. Like handing over a dozen old barns to a gigantic tornado.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
And at a certain time, losing one woman means losing all women.
Haruki Murakami
Men Without Women
Silence was damning. A silence with an unattractive person implies they are the boring one. A silence with an attractive one immediately renders it certain you are the tedious party.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
Silence was damning. A silence with an unattractive person implies they are the boring one. A silence with an attractive one immediately renders it certain you are the tedious party.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
As Proust once said, classically beautiful women should be left to men without imagination.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
Her beauty was fractured enough that it could support creative rearrangements.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
‘A man can acquire anything in solitude except a character,’ wrote Stendhal, suggesting that character has its genesis in the reactions of others to our words and actions.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
Happiness with other people seems bounded by two kinds of excess: suffocation and loneliness.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
To have killed myself would have been to forget that I would be too dead to derive any pleasure from the melodrama of my own extinction.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
My superiority was revealed primarily on the basis of my isolation and suffering: I suffer, therefore I am special. I am not understood, but for precisely that reason, I am worthy of greater understanding.
Alain de Botton
Essays In Love
First World problems aren’t an unnecessary oddity. They are a form of time travel. They are a glimpse into what will one day bedevil all humankind – unless we learn to view them as more than the tantrums of the spoilt.
Alain de Botton
School of Life
Melancholy is not rage or bitterness; it is a noble species of sadness that arises when we are properly open to the idea that suffering and disappointment are at the heart of human experience.
Alain de Botton
School of Life
Poetry is not more pretty. It is more true.
Emma Beauxis-Aussalet
news + thoughts

Nasa to send our human genome discs to the Moon

Sat 23-03-2024

We'd like to say a ‘cosmic hello’: mathematics, culture, palaeontology, art and science, and ... human genomes.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | A cosmic hello of art, science, and genomes. (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | Benoit Faiveley, founder of the Sanctuary project gives the Sanctuary disc a visual check at CEA LeQ Grenoble (image: Vincent Thomas). (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | Sanctuary team examines the Life disc at INRIA Paris Saclay (image: Benedict Redgrove) (details)

Comparing classifier performance with baselines

Sat 23-03-2024

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. —George Orwell

This month, we will illustrate the importance of establishing a baseline performance level.

Baselines are typically generated independently for each dataset using very simple models. Their role is to set the minimum level of acceptable performance and help with comparing relative improvements in performance of other models.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Comparing classifier performance with baselines. (read)

Unfortunately, baselines are often overlooked and, in the presence of a class imbalance5, must be established with care.

Megahed, F.M, Chen, Y-J., Jones-Farmer, A., Rigdon, S.E., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2024) Points of significance: Comparing classifier performance with baselines. Nat. Methods 20.

Happy 2024 π Day—
sunflowers ho!

Sat 09-03-2024

Celebrate π Day (March 14th) and dig into the digit garden. Let's grow something.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2024 π DAY | A garden of 1,000 digits of π. (details)

How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything

Thu 18-01-2024

Huge empty areas of the universe called voids could help solve the greatest mysteries in the cosmos.

My graphic accompanying How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything in the January 2024 issue of Scientific American depicts the entire Universe in a two-page spread — full of nothing.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything. Text by Michael Lemonick (editor), art direction by Jen Christiansen (Senior Graphics Editor), source: SDSS

The graphic uses the latest data from SDSS 12 and is an update to my Superclusters and Voids poster.

Michael Lemonick (editor) explains on the graphic:

“Regions of relatively empty space called cosmic voids are everywhere in the universe, and scientists believe studying their size, shape and spread across the cosmos could help them understand dark matter, dark energy and other big mysteries.

To use voids in this way, astronomers must map these regions in detail—a project that is just beginning.

Shown here are voids discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), along with a selection of 16 previously named voids. Scientists expect voids to be evenly distributed throughout space—the lack of voids in some regions on the globe simply reflects SDSS’s sky coverage.”


Sofia Contarini, Alice Pisani, Nico Hamaus, Federico Marulli Lauro Moscardini & Marco Baldi (2023) Cosmological Constraints from the BOSS DR12 Void Size Function Astrophysical Journal 953:46.

Nico Hamaus, Alice Pisani, Jin-Ah Choi, Guilhem Lavaux, Benjamin D. Wandelt & Jochen Weller (2020) Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2020:023.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12

constellation figures

Alan MacRobert (Sky & Telescope), Paulina Rowicka/Martin Krzywinski (revisions & Microscopium)


Hoffleit & Warren Jr. (1991) The Bright Star Catalog, 5th Revised Edition (Preliminary Version).


H0 = 67.4 km/(Mpc·s), Ωm = 0.315, Ωv = 0.685. Planck collaboration Planck 2018 results. VI. Cosmological parameters (2018).

Error in predictor variables

Tue 02-01-2024

It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision that the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness where only an approximation is possible. —Aristotle

In regression, the predictors are (typically) assumed to have known values that are measured without error.

Practically, however, predictors are often measured with error. This has a profound (but predictable) effect on the estimates of relationships among variables – the so-called “error in variables” problem.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Error in predictor variables. (read)

Error in measuring the predictors is often ignored. In this column, we discuss when ignoring this error is harmless and when it can lead to large bias that can leads us to miss important effects.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2024) Points of significance: Error in predictor variables. Nat. Methods 20.

Background reading

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of significance: Simple linear regression. Nat. Methods 12:999–1000.

Lever, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2016) Points of significance: Logistic regression. Nat. Methods 13:541–542 (2016).

Das, K., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Quantile regression. Nat. Methods 16:451–452.

Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA
Google whack “vicissitudinal corporealization”
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