Favourite Quotes

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”

— Marsha Norman

“It is not enough to love children, it is necessary that they are aware that they are loved.”

— St John Bosco

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

“A poet ought not to pick nature’s pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.”

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.”

— Jonas Salk

“Real love is the love that sometimes arises after sensual pleasure: if it does, it is immortal; the other kind inevitably goes stale, for it lies in mere fantasy.”

— Giacomo Casanova

“The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”

— Earnest Hemmingway

“As soon as war is declared it will be impossible to hold the poets back. Rhyme is still the most effective drum.”

— Jean Giraudoux

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”

— George Sand ( French author 1804 – 1876)

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”

— Edgar Allan Poe

“And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.”

— D.H. Lawrence

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

— Mark Twain

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.”

— John Keats

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

— Anton Chekhov

“I think there’s a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time.”

— W. S. Merwin

“I’ve never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It’s probably because they have forgotten their own.”

— Margaret Atwood

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

— Anonymous

“The saddest failures in life are those that come from not putting forth the power and will to succeed.”

— Edwin Whipple

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

— John Burroughs

“We cannot teach people anything. We can only help them discover it within themselves.”

— Gallileo Galilei

“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.”

— Nicholas Sparkes

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavour, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”

— John Keating (Dead Poet’s Society)

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”

— John F. Kennedy

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

— Michelangelo

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”

— Les Brown

“You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have.”

— Charles Bukowski

“The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on.”

— Josiah Gilbert

“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost.”

— Nicole Krauss

“So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.”

— Tom Robbins

“I don’t believe in failure, because simply by saying you’ve failed, you’ve admitted you attempted. And anyone who attempts is not a failure. Those who truly fail in my eyes are the ones who never try at all. The ones who sit on the couch and whine and moan and wait for the world to change for them.”

—  Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

— Marcel Pagnol

“People like me write because otherwise we are pretty inarticulate. Our articulation is our writing”

— William Trevor

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

— Frida Kahlo

“Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”

— Oscar Wilde

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

— Bertha Calloway

“Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.”

— Norman Vincent Peale

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

— Maya Angelou

“Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”

— Eric Hoffer

“Find your comfort not in holding on to the past but in realizing that the future is yours to create as you wish.”

— Ralph Marston

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

— Gandhi

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

— George Bernard Shaw

“A poet ought not to pick nature’s pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.”

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The truth is, laughter always sounds more perfect than weeping. Laughter flows in a violent riff and is effortlessly melodic. Weeping is often fought, choked, half strangled, or surrendered to with humiliation.”

— Anne Rice

“Anyone who has chanced like me to roam through desolate mountains and studied at length their fantastic shapes and drunk the invigorating air of their valleys can understand why I wish to describe and depict these magic scenes for others.”

— Mikhail Lermontov (Un Heros de Notre Temps)

“My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.”

— Mary Shelley

“Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. The nineteenth century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac.”

— Oscar Wilde

“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble.”

— Charles Bukowski

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”

—    Victor Hugo

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

— Maya Angelou

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

—    Dead Poet’s Society

“Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside of you.”

— David Whyte

“ I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.”

— John Burrough

“There is nothing like being left alone again, to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one’s coffee and fill one’s pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.”

— Knut Hamsun

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

— Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

— Mark Twain

“Life’s not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.”

— Terri Guillemets

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!”

— Henry Ford

“ The man who says his wife can’t take a joke, forgets that she took him.”

— Oscar Wilde

“Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.”

— Salvatore Quasimodo

“Life is half spent before we know what it is.”

— George Herbert

“What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!”

— Logan Pearsall Smith

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

— Oscar Wilde

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

— E.E. Cummings

“One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.”

— Moliere

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

— Native American Proverb

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.”

— Lord Byron

“Originality consists in trying to be like everybody else and failing.”

— Raymond Radiguet

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

— Author Unknown

“Gray hairs are signs of wisdom if you hold your tongue, speak and they are but hairs, as in the young.”

— Rabindranath Tagore

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning Good morning at total strangers.”

— Maya Angelou

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”

— Katherine Mansfield

“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”

— Edward Abbey

“Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.”

— Tom Stoppard

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the best of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”

— George Eliot

“I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes — and the stars through his soul.”

— Victor Hugo

“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.”

— Erica Jong

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”

— Stacia Tauscher

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”

— Christopher Reeve

“Lipstick is really magical. It holds more than a waxy bit of colour – it holds the promise of a brilliant smile, a brilliant day. Both literally and figuratively.”

— Roberta Gately (Lipstick in Afghanista)

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

— Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

“Criticism – however valid or intellectually engaging – tends to get in the way of a writer who has anything personal to say. A tightrope walker may require practice, but if he starts a theory of equilibrium he will lose grace (and probably fall off).”

— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)

“Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.”

— Thomas Hardy

“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.”

— Grace Hansen

“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.”

— Virginia Woolf

3 responses to “Favourite Quotes

  1. “The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”

    — Earnest Hemmingway

    I love Hemmingway! I happen to wholeheartedly agree.

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