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)

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Vincent

There are so many people, especially among our comrades, who imagine that words are nothing – on the contrary, isn’t it true that saying a thing well is as interesting and as difficult as painting it?
(Vincent van Gogh)

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public van-gogh-autoportrait-chapeau-pailleopinion.
(Vincent van Gogh)

I come back dissatisfied – I put it away, and when I have rested a little, I go and look at it with a kind of fear. Then I am still dissatisfied, because I still have that splendid scene too clearly in my mind to be satisfied with what I have made of it. But I find in my work an echo of what struck me…
(Vincent van Gogh)

 Only he can be an artist who has a religion all his own – an original way of viewing infinity.
(Vincent van Gogh)

Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me.
(Vincent van Gogh)

One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.
(Vincent van Gogh)

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I’ve failed again!
(Vincent van Gogh)

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
(Vincent van Gogh)

It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.
(Vincent van Gogh)

*featured image: photograph of Vincent van Gogh

*image one: Autoportrait, 1889, Vincent van Gogh

*image two: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1886 by John Peter Russell

‘If the Furies Should Take…’

‘It is widely rumored, and also true, that I wrote my first novel in a closet. Before I get all rapturous and carried away here, I had better admit to that. The house was tiny, I was up late at night typing while another person slept, and there just wasn’t any other place for me to go but that closet. The circumstances were extreme. And if I have to — if the Furies should take my freedom or my sight — I’ll go back to writing in the dark. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper. Probably I’ve already tempted fate by announcing that I need to look upon wilderness in order to write. (I can hear those Furies sharpening their knives now, clucking, Which shall it be, dearie? Penury or cataracts?)…’

~ Barbara Kingsolver, ‘Knowing Our Place’, Small Wonder