Oliver Wendell Holmes

When I feel inclined to read poetry, I take down my dictionary. The poetry

of words is quite as beautiful as the poetry of sentences. The author may
arrange the gems effectively, but their shape and lustre have been given by
the attrition of ages.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,

writer and physician (1809-1894)


Truest Confidant

“I never feel that I have comprehended an emotion, or fully lived even the smallest events, until I have reflected upon it in my journal; my pen is my truest confidant, holding in check the passions and disappointments that I dare not share even with my beloved.”

~ Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, 1996

A New Proposition

“Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure, but betting with your last cent… Faith is not a series of gilt-edged propositions that you sit down to figure out, and if you follow all the logic and accept all the conclusions, then you have it. It is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair…

Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night and then getting up and going to work…

Faith is thinking thoughts and singing songs and making poems in the lap of death.”

–Mary Jean Irion, 1970

Quote Board 2


Human Nature loses its most precious quality when it is robbed of its sense of things beyond, unexplored and yet insistent. {Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)}

Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition. {Edward Gibbon}

When hope is taken away from the people, moral degeneration follows swiftly after. {Pearl S. Buck, letter to the NY Times, 14 Nov. 1941}

The Hope of the world lies in what one demands, not of others, but of oneself. {James Baldwin}

When there is no hope, there can be no endeavor. {Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, April 1751}

Hope encourages men to endure and attempt everything; in depriving them of it, or in making it too distant, you deprive them of their very soul. {Maurice de Saxe (1696-1750)}

Hope unbelieved is always considered nonsense. but Hope believed is history in the process of being changed. {Jim Wallis, The Soul of Politics; a practical and prophetic vision for change, 8, 1994}

To defy power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, to bear; to hope til Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates.
{Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822) Promethius Unbound, 1820}

Although I have lived through much darkness, under harsh totalitarian regimes, I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young. Do not let that hope die. {Pope John Paul II, Toronto, July 28th 2002}

I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. {M. Gandhi}

I have lain in prison for nearly two years. Out of my nature has come wild despair; an abandonment to grief that was piteous even to look at; terrible and impotent rage; bitterness and scorn– anguish that wept aloud; misery that could find no voice; sorrow that was dumb. . . Now I find hidden somewhere in my nature something which tells me that nothing in the whole wide world is meaningless, and suffering least of all. That something hidden away in my nature, like a treasure in a field, is humility. It is the last thing left in me, and the best: the ultimate discovery at which I have arrived; the starting point for a fresh development. {Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) De Profundis, 1905}

The unexamined life is not worth living. {Socrates}

Just as the water of the streams we see is small in amount compared to that which flows underground, so the idealism which becomes visible is small in amount compared with what men and women bear locked up in their hearts, unreleased or scarcely released. To unbind what is bound, to bring the underground waters to the surface: mankind is waiting and longing for such as can do that. {Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography, 9, tr. C.T. Campion, 1933}

The imagination needs moodling– long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering. {Brenda Ueland}

The imagination’s power lies in its receptivity, not in any power to ‘invent’. {Colin Wilson (1931-?)}

Imaginative ideas are independent of the subject’s will. {Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum}

In happy hours, when the imagination
Wakes like a wind at midnight, and the soul
Trembles in all its leaves, it is a joy
To be uplifted on its wings, and listen
To the prophetic voices in the air
That call us onward.
{Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)}

At any innocent tea-table we may easily hear a man say, “life is not worth living.” We regard it as we regard the statement that it is a fine day; nobody thinks that it can possibly have any serious effect on the man or on the world. And yet if that utterance were really believed, the world would stand on its head. Murderers would be given medals for saving men from life; firemen would be denounced for keeping men from death; poisons would be used as medicines. . . Yet we never speculate as to whether the conversational pessimist will strengthen or disorganize society; for we are convinced that theories do not matter. {G. K. Chesterton}

He who has imagination without learning has wings with no feet. {Joseph Joubert}

This life’s dim windows of the soul,
Distort the heavens from pole to pole
And goad you to believe a lie,
When you see with and not through the eye.
{William Blake}

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? {T. S. Eliot}

Great learning does not teach wisdom. {Heraclitus}

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. {Aldous Huxley}

Happy New Year Everyone!

I’m back.
2 really good quotes for everyone:

When the ancients said that the solitary was likely to be either a god or a beast, they meant that he would either achieve a rare intellectual and spiritual independence or sink into a more brutish and complete dependence.
{Thomas Merton}

And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today.
{Max Weber}

3 of the many Superb Things from my Christmas Break:

1) staying with my parents-in-law, sleeping in & cozy blankets with all the time in the world.
2) surprised by my husband with a hotel stay, nice meals & shopping in chester on our way ‘home’ so i wouldn’t suspect!
3) an awesome phone convo with my mum and dad back in the states on christmas day.

I’ve been a little out of it over the Holidays in terms of blogging ‘n whatnot — sorries — & I promise to do better now they’re over.

Happy 2012. . .


Writer’s Quotes

“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” Oscar Wilde

“One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.” Oscar Wilde

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” C. S. Lewis

“Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.” Carol Burnett (1936 – )

“Maybe that’s just what happens; you start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it’s enough to tell a few jokes.” David Nicholls, One Day, 2010

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” Cyril Connolly (1903 – 1974)

“A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.” Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937)

“The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.” George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

“After being Turned Down by numerous Publishers, he had decided to write for Posterity.” George Ade (1866 – 1944), “Fables in Slang”, 1899

“The cure for writer’s cramp is writer’s block.” Inigo DeLeon

“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” Junot Diaz, O Magazine, November 2009

“The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.” Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

“Advice to writers: Sometimes you just have to stop writing. Even before you begin.” Stanislaw J. Lec (1909 – 1966), “Unkempt Thoughts”

“I never feel that I have comprehended an emotion, or fully lived even the smallest events, until I have reflected upon it in my journal; my pen is my truest confidant, holding in check the passions and disappointments that I dare not share even with my beloved.” Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, 1996