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Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm...

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The day was counting up its birds and never got the answer right.  ~Author Unknown

And upsidedown in the earth a dead man walks upon my soles when I walk.  ~Bill Knott, "(End) of Summer (1966)"  (Thanks, Laurie)

Night and morning are making promises to each other which neither will be able to keep.  ~Richard Shelton

I imagine that yes is the only living thing.  ~e.e. cummings

Ink smears, as thoughts sometimes do.  ~Emme Woodhull-Bäche

Never mind.  The self is the least of it.  Let our scars fall in love.  ~Galway Kinnell

Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.  ~D.M. Thomas

Silence moves faster when it's going backward.  ~Jean Cocteau

We are asleep with compasses in our hands.  ~W.S. Merwin

If only I could leave everything as it is, without moving a single star or a single cloud.  Oh, if only I could!  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Sharp nostalgia, infinite and terrible, for what I already possess.  ~Juan Ramon Jimenez

[T]he departing world leaves behind... not an heir, but a pregnant widow.  ~Alexander Ivanovich Herzen, Other Shore

Two and two the mathematician continues to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.  ~James McNeill Whistler, Whistler Versus Ruskin, 1878

We are never prepared for what we expect.  ~James A. Michener, Caravans

The universe is simmering down, like a giant stew left to cook for four billion years.  Sooner or later we won't be able to tell the carrots from the onions.  ~Arthur Bloch

As I was walking up the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd go away.
~Hugh Mearns

It has been said repeatedly that one can never, try as he will, get around to the front of the universe.  Man is destined to see only its far side, to realize nature only in retreat.  ~Loren Eiseley, "The Innocent Fox," The Star Thrower, 1978

We have met the enemy and they are us!  ~Walt Kelly, Pogo, 1971

Our dream dashes itself against the great mystery like a wasp against a window pane.  Less merciful than man, God never opens the window.  ~Jules Renard, Journal, 1906

Fear is a cloak which old men huddle about their love, as if to keep it warm.  ~William Wordsworth

You can owe nothing, if you give back its light to the sun.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

the high cost of
living isnt so bad if you
dont have to pay for it
~Don Marquis, Archy and Mehitabel, 1927

Take the so-called standard of living.  What do most people mean by "living"?  They don't mean living.  They mean the latest and closest plural approximation to singular prenatal passivity which science, in its finite but unbounded wisdom, has succeeded in selling their wives.  ~e.e. cummings, Introduction, Poems, 1954

You're only as sick as your secrets.  ~Author Unknown

Those who gave away their wings are sad not to see them fly.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Clouds, birds, tree tops
The freedom of being on high
Closer to the sun
Further from the slum,
But farther to fall when they die.
~Carrie Latet

All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed waste-paper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at all our knowing.  ~D.H. Lawrence, "Peace and War," Pansies, 1929

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, 1943

The beginning of all wisdom is to look fixedly on clothes, or even with armed eyesight, till they become transparent.  ~Thomas Carlyle

I believe 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

You are sad because they abandon you and you have not fallen.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Another way of approaching the thing is to consider it unnamed, unnameable.  ~Francis Ponge

Invent a past for the present.  ~Daniel Stern

My great day came and went, I do not know how.  Because it did not pass through dawn when it came, nor through dusk when it went.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Nothing is not only nothing.  It is also our prison.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

A hunter of shadows, himself a shade.  ~Homer

The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions.  ~Susan Sontag

Within your lifetime will, perhaps,
As souvenirs from distant suns
Be carried back to earth some maps
Of planets and you'll find that one's
So hard to color that you've got
To use five crayons.  Maybe, not.
~Marlow Sholander, "Maybe"

Let your working ideas go for a picnic - sometimes the fresh air and ant bites are just what they need.  Many great ideas were bitten a little at the beginning.  ~Carrie Latet

No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.  ~Terry Pratchett

I wish I could have known earlier that you have all the time you'll need right up to the day you die.  ~William Wiley

I am the vessel.  The draft is God's.  And God is the thirsty one.  ~Dag Hammarskjold, Markings, 1964

The first step... shall be to lose the way.  ~Galway Kinnell

Psychoanalysis and Zen, in my private psychic geometry, are equal to nicotine.  They are anti-existential.  Nicotine quarantines one out of existence.  ~Norman Mailer

The Great Way has no gate.
Clear water has no taste.
The tongue has no bone.
In complete stillness, a stone girl is dancing.
~Seung Sahn

He who does not fill his world with phantoms remains alone.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

I would go to heaven, but I would take my hell; I would not go alone.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Love, she said, should be said more slowly, and ran from the house.  Words could not catch her as such.  Honesty is so slow, that is the trouble.  ~Author Unknown

They have stopped deceiving you, not loving you.  And it seems to you that they have stopped loving you.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

It is known that there is an infinite number of worlds, but that not every one is inhabited.  Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds.  Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so if every planet in the Universe has a population of zero then the entire population of the Universe must also be zero, and any people you may actually meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.  ~Douglas Adams, The Original Hitchhiker Radio Script

Learning is not easy, but hard; culture is severe.  The steps to Parnassus are steep and terribly arduous.  ~John Jay Chapman

He who holds me by a thread is not strong; the thread is strong.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Alas! must it ever be so?
Do we stand in our own light, wherever we go,
And fight our own shadows forever?
~Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken," 1916

You think you are killing me.  I think you are committing suicide.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.  ~Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

You purchase pain with all that joy can give, and die of nothing but a rage to live.  ~Alexander Pope

My heaviness comes from the heights.  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
~Robert Frost, In the Clearing, 1962

I have figured for you the distance between the horns of a dilemma, night and day, and A and Z.  I have computed how far is Up, how long it takes to get Away, and what becomes of Gone.  I have discovered the length of the sea serpent, the price of priceless, and the square of the hippopotamus.  I know where you are when you are at Sixes and Sevens, how much Is you have to have to make an Are, and how many birds you can catch with the salt in the ocean - 187,796,132, if it would interest you.  ~James Thurber, Many Moons

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.  ~Yogi Berra

My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.  ~Tom Stoppard

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Last modified 2023 Nov 24 Sat 16:46 PST

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