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Quotations about Imagination

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A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.  ~Michelangelo

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.  Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.  ~Theodore Geisel

Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one's face.  ~James D. Finley

Some stories are true that never happened.  ~Elie Weisel

It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.  ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz.  It's the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz.  You'll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond 'Z' and start poking around!  ~Dr. Seuss

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.  ~William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night's Dream, 1595

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.  ~Francis Bacon

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  ~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant:  first, get a huge block of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.  ~Author Unknown

The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
~Emily Dickinson

Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.  ~George Smith Patton, War as I Knew It, 1947

The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.  ~Frank Barron, Think, November-December 1962

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.  ~Mark Twain

Don't expect anything original from an echo.  ~Author Unknown

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.  ~Pablo Picasso

You can't wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.  ~Jack London

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life.  ~Simone Weil

Personally, I would sooner have written Alice in Wonderland than the whole Encyclopedia Britannica.  ~Stephen Leacock

Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring.  ~Leslie Grimutter

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.  ~Norman Podhoretz

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.  ~Edgar Allan Poe, "Eleonora"

He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.  ~Joseph Joubert

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.  ~Lewis Carroll

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.  ~Ansel Adams

Things are only impossible until they're not.  ~Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion.  Then I go out and paint the stars.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
~Lewis Carroll

The theoretician believes in logic and believes that he despises dreams, intuition, and poetry.  He does not recognize that these three fairies have only disguised themselves in order to dazzle him.... He does not know that he owes his greatest discoveries to them.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

I think the world really boils down to two types of people - those who see shapes in cloud formations, and those who just see clouds.  ~Danzae Pace

Trust that little voice in your head that says "Wouldn't it be interesting if..."  And then do it.  ~Duane Michals, "More Joy of Photography"

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.  ~George Scialabba

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.  ~Henry David Thoreau

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
~Emily Dickinson, Poems

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.  He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein

Anyone who can be replaced by a machine deserves to be.  ~Dennis Gunton

Really we create nothing.  We merely plagiarize nature.  ~Jean Baitaillon

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.  ~Jessamyn West

People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.  ~William Butler Yeats

I remembered a story of how Bach was approached by a young admirer one day and asked, "But Papa Bach, how do you manage to think of all these new tunes?"  "My dear fellow," Bach is said to have answered, according to my version, "I have no need to think of them.  I have the greatest difficulty not to step on them when I get out of bed in the morning and start moving around my room."  ~Laurens Van der Post

I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed.  If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.  ~Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.  ~Albert Szent-Györgyi

I believe in the imagination.  What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.  ~Duane Michals, Real Dreams

I never did very well in math - I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn't meant my answers literally.  ~Calvin Trillin

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.  ~Anna Freud

To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.  ~George Kneller

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.  ~Tuli Kupferberg

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.  ~Paul Gauguin

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Last modified 2023 Nov 24 Sat 15:34 PST

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