A blog for the comprehensive understanding of Literature, Applied Linguistics and ELT

October 9, 2017

Quotations by D.H. Lawrence

D.H. LAWRENCE (1885-1930) WAS AN INFLUENTIAL ENGLISH NOVELIST, ESSAYIST, POET, AND CRITIC OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.”  ~ D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow, 1915

“Obscenity only comes in when the mind despises and fears the body, and the body hates and resists the mind.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, The Complete Poems

 “A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“A woman unsatisfied must have luxuries. But a woman who loves a man would sleep on a board”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Letter to John Middleton Murry, 1913

 “One must learn to love, and go through a good deal of suffering to get to it, like any Knight of the Grail, and the journey is always towards the other soul, not away from it.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Letter to Thomas Dunlop, July 7, 1914

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“Love is never a fulfillment. Life is never a thing of continuous bliss. There is no paradise. Fight and laugh and feel bitter and feel bliss: and fight again. Fight, fight. That is life.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature, 1923

“But that is how men are! Ungrateful and never satisfied. When you don't have them they hate you because you won't; and when you do have them they hate you again, for some other reason. Or for no reason at all, except that they are discontented children, and can't be satisfied whatever they get, let a woman do what she may.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“The human soul needs beauty more than bread.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Nottingham and the Mining Countryside (1921)

“Those that go searching for love
only make manifest their own lovelessness,
and the loveless never find love,
only the loving find love,
and they never have to seek for it.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Search for Love

“Every true artist is the salvation of every other. Only artists produce for each other a world that is fit to live in.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“Recklessness is almost a man's revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

 “I can never decide whether my dreams are the result of my thoughts, or my thoughts the result of my dreams. It is very queer. But my dreams make conclusions for me. They decide things finally. I dream a decision. Sleep seems to hammer out for me the logical conclusions of my vague days, and offer me them as dreams.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Letter to Edward Garnett, January 29, 1012

“When I hear modern people complain of being lonely then I know what has happened. They have lost the cosmos.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse

“Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“And woman is the same as horses: two wills act in opposition inside her. With one will she wants to subject herself utterly. With the other she wants to bolt, and pitch her rider to perdition.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.
Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.
And their grandchildren are once more slaves.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Liberty’s Old Story

“The human being is a most curious creature. He thinks he has got one soul, and he has got dozens.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia

“The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it: though I’ll do my best. But you’re right. We must rescue ourselves as best we can.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“Sometimes life takes hold of one, carries the body along, accomplishes one's history, and yet is not real, but leaves oneself as it were slurred over.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

“Sleep is still most perfect, in spite of hygienists, when it is shared with a beloved.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

“Give up bearing children and bear hope and love and devotion to those already born.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

“For to desire is better than to possess, the finality of the end was dreaded as deeply as it was desired.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infinitely more wonderful than any sexual love.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“A man could no longer be private and withdrawn. The world allows no hermits.”
~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

“… human desire is the criterion of all truth and all good. Truth does not lie beyond humanity, but is one of the products of the human mind and feeling. There is really nothing to fear. The motive of fear in religion is base...”
~ D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow

“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.”
 ~ D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow, 1915

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October 4, 2017

Quotations by Kingsley Amis

KINGSLEY AMIS (1922-1995), AN ENGLISH NOVELIST, POET, CRITIC, AND TEACHER.

“I thought to myself how much more welcome a faculty the imagination would be if we could tell when it was at work and when not.” ~ Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

“A man's sexual aim, he had often said to himself, is to convert a creature who is cool, dry, calm, articulate, independent, purposeful into a creature that is the opposite of these; to demonstrate to an animal which is pretending not to be an animal that it is an animal.”
~ Kingsley Amis, One Fat Englishman

“If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“Like all people who try to exhaust a subject, he exhausted his listeners.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Jake's Thing

“Doing what you wanted to do was the only training, and the only preliminary, needed for doing more of what you wanted to do.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“You'll find that marriage is a good short cut to the truth. No, not quite that. A way of doubling back to the truth. Another thing you'll find is that the years of illusion aren't those of adolescence, as the grown-ups try to tell us; they're the ones immediately after it, say the middle twenties, the false maturity if you like, when you first get thoroughly embroiled in things and lose your head. Your age, by the way, Jim. That's when you first realize that sex is important to other people besides yourself. A discovery like that can't help knocking you off balance for a time.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“Those who professed themselves unable to believe in the reality of human progress ought to cheer themselves up, as the students under examination had conceivably been cheered up, by a short study of the Middle Ages. The hydrogen bomb, the South African Government, Chioang Kaidick, Senator McCarthy himself, would then seem a light price to pay for no longer being in the Middle Ages”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“With some exceptions in science fiction and other genres I have small difficulty in avoiding anything that could be called American literature. I feel it is unnatural, not I think entirely because it uses a language that is not mine, however closely akin to my own.”
~ Kingsley Amis, The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage

“The rewards for being sane may not be very many, but knowing what's funny is one of them.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Stanley and the Women

“It was no wonder that people were so horrible when they started life as children.”
~ Kingsley Amis, One Fat Englishman (1963)

“How wrong people always were when they said: 'It's better to know the worst than go on not knowing either way.' No; they had it exactly the wrong way round. Tell me the truth, doctor, I'd sooner know. But only if the truth is what I want to hear.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“Never despise a drink because it is easy to make and/or uses commercial mixes. Unquestioning devotion to authenticity is, in any department of life, a mark of the naive - or worse.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking

“Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a claim on, even its ice-compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like food.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking

“He thought how much he liked her and had in common with her, and how much she'd like and have in common with him if she only knew him.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“When the bishop farted we were amused to hear about it. Should the ploughboy find treasure we must be told. But when the ploughboy farts... er... keep it to yourself.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Jake's Thing

“It's never pleasant to have one's unquestioning beliefs put in their historical context, as I know from experience, I can assure you.”
~ Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

“For a moment he felt like devoting the next ten years to working his way to a position as art critic on purpose to review Bertrand's work unfavorably.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

“It is not extraordinary that the extraterrestrial origin of women was a recurrent theme of science fiction.”
~ Kingsley Amis, The King's English: A Guide to Modern English Usage

“Nothing short of physical handicap has ever made anybody turn over a new leaf.”
~ Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

“I thought to myself how much more welcome a faculty the imagination would be if we could tell when it was at work and when not.”
~ Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

“The human race has not devised any way of dissolving barriers, getting to know the other chap fast, breaking the ice, that is one-tenth as handy and efficient as letting you and the other chap, or chaps, cease to be totally sober at about the same rate in agreeable surroundings.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis

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September 28, 2017

Quotations by Philip Larkin

PHILIP LARKIN (1922–1985) WAS A RENOWNED POET AND NOVELIST IN POSTWAR ENGLAND.

“Life is first boredom, then fear. Whether or not we use it, it goes, And leaves what something hidden from us chose,    And age, and then the only end of age.”  ~ Philip Larkin, Dockery and Son

“So many things I had thought forgotten
 Return to my mind with stranger pain:
- Like letters that arrive addressed to someone
Who left the house so many years ago.”
~ Philip Larkin, Why Did I Dream of You Last Night?

“Uncontradicting solitude
Supports me on its giant palm;
And like a sea-anemone
Or simple snail, there cautiously
Unfolds, emerges, what I am.”
~ Philip Larkin, Best Society

“… it never worked for me.
Something to do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity.”
~ Philip Larkin, Love Again

“This is the first thing
I have understood:
Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.”
~ Philip Larkin, “XXVI,” The North Ship

“I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It's very strange how often strong feelings don't seem to carry any message of action.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“How little our careers express what lies in us, and yet how much time they take up. It's sad, really.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“Morning, noon & bloody night,
Seven sodding days a week,
I slave at filthy WORK, that might
Be done by any book-drunk freak.
This goes on until I kick the bucket.
FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“I feel the only thing you can do about life is to preserve it, by art if you're an artist, by children if you're not.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“… In everyone there sleeps
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make
By loving others, but across most it sweeps
As all they might have done had they been loved.
That nothing cures ...”
~ Philip Larkin, Faith Healing

“Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.”
~ Philip Larkin, This Be The Verse

“Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,
And age, and then the only end of age.”

~ Philip Larkin, Dockery and Son

 “One of the quainter quirks of life is that we shall never know who dies on the same day as we do ourselves.”
~ Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

“… we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time”
~ Philip Larkin, The Mower

“Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.”
~ Philip Larkin, High Windows

“Since the majority of me
Rejects the majority of you,
Debating ends forwith, and we
Divide...”
~ Philip Larkin, Since The Majority Of Me

“Only in books the flat and final happens
Only in dreams we meet and interlock,”
~ Philip Larkin, Observation (1941)

“Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.”
~ Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings

“The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke...
Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.”
~ Philip Larkin, High Windows

“Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word – the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.”
~ Philip Larkin, MCMXIV

“And I am sick for want of sleep;
So sick, that I can half-believe
The soundless river pouring from the cave
Is neither strong nor deep;
Only an image fancied in conceit.”
~ Philip Larkin, “XVI”, The North Ship

“Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.”
~ Philip Larkin, An Arundel Tomb

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.”
~ Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings

“I would not dare
Console you if I could. What can be said,
Except that suffering is exact, but where
Desire takes charge, readings will grow erratic?”
~ Philip Larkin, The Less Deceived

“Living toys are something novel,
But it soon wears off somehow.”
~ Philip Larkin, Take One Home for the Kiddies

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September 21, 2017

Quotations by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING (1806-1861) IS ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED ENGLISH POETS OF THE VICTORIAN ERA.

“Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love. Yet love me―wilt thou? Open thine heart wide, And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, If I Leave All for Thee, Wilt Thou Exchange (Sonnet 35)

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

“Love me sweet
With all thou art
Feeling, thinking, seeing, ―
Love me in the Lightest part,
Love me in full Being.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A Man’s Requirements

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,           
And every common bush afire with God;         
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,      
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

“You were made perfectly to be loved and surely I have loved you in the idea of you my whole life long.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, 1845-1846

“The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds that play,
Among the lowing of the herd,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Out In The Fields With God

“Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive,
Half wishing they were dead to save the shame.
The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow;
They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats,
And flare up bodily, wings and all. What then?
Who's sorry for a gnat... or a girl?”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856), Book II, line 732.

“Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars, ―
And, heaven being rolled between us at the end,
We should but vow the faster for the stars.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, But Only Three in All God’s Universe (Sonnet 2)

“What we call Life is a condition of the soul. And the soul must improve in happiness and wisdom, except by its own fault. These tears in our eyes, these faintings of the flesh, will not hinder such improvement.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 1845-1846

“I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud ―
I build it bright to see, ―
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The House of Clouds

“Will that light come again,
As now these tears come―falling hot and real?”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I See Thine Image through My Tears To-Night (Sonnet 30)

“Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me―wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, If I Leave All for Thee, Wilt Thou Exchange (Sonnet 35)

“All actual heroes are essential men,
And all men possible heroes…”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, Book Five

“How, Dearest, wilt thou have me for most use?
A hope, to sing by gladly? or a fine
Sad memory, with thy songs to interfuse?
A shade, in which to sing—of palm or pine?
A grave, on which to rest from singing? Choose.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, My poet, Thou Canst Touch on All the Notes (Sonnet 17)

“The heart doth recognise thee,
Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,—
Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A Dead Roses

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September 17, 2017

Quotations by Herman Melville

HERMAN MELVILLE, A 19TH CENTURY AMERICAN NOVELIST, POET AND WRITER OF SHORT STORY, WHO IS REMEMBERED MOSTLY FOR HIS NOVEL MOBY-DICK.

“Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form.” ~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

 “It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he had a great secret in him.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Ah, happiness courts the light so we deem the world is gay. But misery hides aloof so we deem that misery there is none.”
~ Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure..... Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle , and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

 “A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.”
~ Herman Melville, Pierre: or, the Ambiguities

 “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Book! You lie there; the fact is, you books must know your places. You'll do to give us the bare words and facts, but we come in to supply the thoughts.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“...there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale
“...and Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“...to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.”
~ Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor

“All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life. And if you be a philosopher, though seated in the whale-boat, you would not at heart feel one whit more of terror, than though seated before your evening fire with a poker, and not a harpoon, by your side.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar. ”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“For in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men; well enough they know they are in peril; well enough they know the causes of that peril;--nevertheless, the sea is the sea, and these drowning men do drown.”
~ Herman Melville, Pierre or the Ambiguities

“…for it is often to be observed of the shallower men, that they are the very last to despond. It is the glory of the bladder that nothing can sink it; it is the reproach of a box of treasure, that once overboard it must drown”
~ Herman Melville, Pierre: or, the Ambiguities

“In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Doesn't the devil live forever; who ever heard that the devil was dead? Did you ever see any person wearing mourning for the devil?”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

“Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth.”
~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale
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September 9, 2017

Quotations by O. Henry

O. HENRY, THE PSEUDONYM OF WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER (1862 –1910), WAS A PROMINENT AMERICAN SHORT STORY WRITER, BEST KNOWN FOR HIS IRONIC PLOT TWISTS AND SURPRISE ENDINGS.

“If men knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they’d never marry.” ~ O. Henry, The Four Million

“To a woman nothing seems quite impossible to the powers of the man she worships.”
~ O. Henry, A Retrieved Reformation

“If men knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they’d never marry.”
~ O. Henry, The Four Million

“The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.”
~ O. Henry, The Green Door

 “Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“We can't buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.”
~ O. Henry, Selected Stories

“She had become so thoroughly annealed into his life that she was like the
air he breathed--necessary but scarcely noticed.”
~ O. Henry, The Complete Life of John Hopkins

 “No friendship is an accident.”
~ O. Henry, Heart of the West

“All of us have to be prevaricators, hypocrites and liars every day of our lives; otherwise the social structure would fall into pieces the first day. We must act in one another’s presence just as we must wear clothes. It is for the best.”
~ O. Henry, An Early Parable

“I wanted to paint a picture some day that people would stand before and forget that it was made of paint. I wanted it to creep into them like a bar of music and mushroom there like a soft bullet.”
~ O. Henry, The Complete Works of O. Henry

“The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“He seemed to be made of sunshine and blood-red tissue and clear weather.”
~ O. Henry, Selected Stories

“The most notable thing about Time is that it is so purely relative. A large amount of reminiscence is, by common consent, conceded to the drowning man; and it is not past belief that one may review an entire courtship while removing one's gloves.”
~ O. Henry, The Cactus

“There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“He studied cities as women study their reflections.”
~ O. Henry, The Best Short Stories of O. Henry

“Of habit, the power that keeps the earth from flying to pieces; though there is some silly theory of gravitation.”
~ O. Henry, The Voice of the City

"There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating."
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

"But the best, in my opinion, was the home life in the little flat--the ardent, voluble chats after the day's study; the cozy dinners and fresh, light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions--ambitions interwoven each with the other's or else inconsiderable--the mutual help and inspiration; and--overlook my artlessness--stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches at 11 p.m."
~ O. Henry, The Four Million

“But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling—something.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.”
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“Knowledge is a strong stream of water turned on us through a hose. It disturbs our roots.”
~ O. Henry, The Higher Pragmatism

"Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you..."
~ O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

“In front the sea was spread, a smiling jailer, but even more incorruptible than the frowning mountains.”
~ O. Henry, Cabbages and Kings
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August 30, 2017

Quotations by William Blake

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827), ENGLISH ENGRAVER, ARTIST, MYSTIC AND A SEMINAL POETIC FIGURE OF THE 19TH CENTURY ROMANTIC MOVEMENT.

“He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity's sun rise.” ~ William Blake, Eternity

“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
~ William Blake, The Tyger

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.”
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
  For man has closed himself up till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

 “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair”
~ William Blake, The Clod and the Pebble

“My mother groand! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.”
~ William Blake, Infant Sorrow

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”
~ William Blake, Proverbs of Hell from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.”
~ William Blake, Eternity

“The buried soul and all its gems.          
This life’s five windows of the soul
Distorts the Heavens from pole to pole,            
And leads you to believe a lie 
When you see with, not thro’, the eye”
~ William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel

“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love,”
~ William Blake, The Little Black Boy

“Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“Never seek to tell thy love
Love that never told can be
For the gentle wind does move
Silently invisibly”
~ William Blake, Never Seek to Tell thy Love

“For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress”
~ William Blake, The Divine Image

“The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time,
Love, sweet Love, was thought a crime!”
~ William Blake, A Little Girl Lost

“And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.”
~ William Blake, A Poison Tree

“I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.”
~ William Blake, Jerusalem

“The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent”
~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

“The nakedness of woman is the work of God.”
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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August 19, 2017

Quotations by John Keats

JOHN KEATS (1795-1821) WAS A MAJOR ENGLISH POET OF THE ROMANTIC PERIOD.

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”  ~ John Keats, Endymion: A Poetic Romance

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”
~ John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

 “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;”
~ John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

“… life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree's summit;…”
~ John Keats, Sleep and Poetry

“Dancing music, music sad,
Both together, sane and mad;”
~ John Keats, A Song of Opposites

“To Sorrow,
I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind;
But cheerly, cheerly,
She loves me dearly;
She is so constant to me, and so kind:
I would deceive her
And so leave her,
But ah! she is so constant and so kind.”
~ John Keats, Endymion

“And so he groan'd, as one by beauty slain.
The lady's heart beat quick, and he could see
Her gentle bosom heave tumultuously.
He sprang from his green covert: there she lay,
Sweet as a muskrose upon new-made hay;
With all her limbs on tremble, and her eyes
Shut softly up alive.”
~ John Keats, Endymion

“This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed--see here it is--
I hold it towards you.”
~ John Keats, This Living Hand

“And when thou art weary I’ll find thee a bed
Of mosses and flowers to pillow thy head;”
~ John Keats, To Emma

“Touch has a memory. O say, love, say,
What can I do to kill it and be free”
~ John Keats, What can I do to drive away

“Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant boddice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.”
~ John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes

“When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.”
~ John Keats, When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”
~ John Keats, Endymion: A Poetic Romance

“When by my solitary hearth I sit,
When no fair dreams before my “mind’s eye” flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head.”
~ John Keats, To Hope

“Closer of lovely eyes to lovely dreams,
Lover of loneliness, and wandering,
Of upcast eye, and tender pondering!
Thee must I praise above all other glories
That smile us on to tell delightful stories.”
~ John Keats, Bright Star

“Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death”
~ John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale
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August 3, 2017

Quotations by Jane Austen

JANE AUSTEN (1775-1817) IS A LEADING 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH NOVELIST.

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men." ~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“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

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy admiration means more than it does. And men take care that they should.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
~ Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”
~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

“Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.
It is something to think of”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison”
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”
~ Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love, has been my folly.”
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.”
~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love ; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.”
~ Jane Austen, Emma

“It is not every man's fate to marry the woman who loves him best”
~ Jane Austen, Emma

“An engaged woman is always more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged: no harm can be done.”
~Jane Austen,  Mansfield Park

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July 29, 2017

Quotations by Robert Herrick

ROBERT HERRICK (1591–1674) WAS A 17TH-CENTURY ENGLISH CAVALIER POET, WHOSE WORK IS NOTED FOR ITS DIVERSITY OF FORM AND FOR ITS STYLE, MELODY, AND FEELING.


“Tears are the noble language of eye;  And when true love of words is destitute,  The eye by tears speak, while the tongue is mute.” ~ Robert Herrick, Tears are Tongues


“Here we are all, by day; by night, we're hurled
By dreams, each one, into a several world.”
~ Robert Herrick, Dreams

“A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;”
~ Robert Herrick, Delight in Disorder


“Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score;
Then to that twenty, add a hundred more:
A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on,
To make that thousand up a million.
Treble that million, and when that is done,
Let's kiss afresh, as when we first begun.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Anthea: Ah, My Anthea!

“Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.”
~ Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

“Love is a circle that doth restless move
In the same sweet eternity of love.”
~ Robert Herrick, Love, What It Is

“If little labour, little are our gains:
Man's fortunes are according to his pains.”
~ Robert Herrick, No Pains, No Gains

“Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes of me;
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thee.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Anthea, who may Command him Anything

“And with our broth, and bread, and bits, sir friend,
You've fared well : pray make an end ;
Two days you've larded here ; a third, ye know,
Makes guests and fish smell strong ; pray go”
~ Robert Herrick, A Panegyric To Sir Lewis Pemberton, 1891

“Then this immensive cup
Of aromatic wine,
Catullus, I quaff up
To that terse muse of thine.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses

“Attempt the end and never stand to doubt;
Nothing's so hard, but search will find it out.”
~ Robert Herrick, Seek and Find

“HUMBLE we must be, if to heaven we go:    
High is the roof there; but the gate is low.”
~ Robert Herrick, Humility


“But here's the sunset of a tedious day,
These two asleep are; I'll but be undrest,
And so to bed. Pray wish us all good rest.”
~ Robert Herrick, Epitaph on the Tomb of Sir Edward Giles

“Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising Sun
Has not attain'd his noon.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a Spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Daffodils

“Tears are the noble language of eye;
 And when true love of words is destitute,
 The eye by tears speak, while the tongue is mute.”
~ Robert Herrick, Tears are Tongues

“Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy Protestant to be,
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing

“Bid me despair, and I'll despair,
Under that cypress tree;
Or bid me die, and I will dare
E'en Death, to die for thee.”
~ Robert Herrick, To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing

“Thus times do shift, each thing his turn does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old.”
~ Robert Herrick, Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve

“'TIS not the food, but the content
That makes the table's merriment.”
~ Robert Herrick, Content, Not Cates

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July 27, 2017

Quotations by Robert Browning

ROBERT BROWNING (1812 –1889) WAS A POET AND PLAYWRIGHT OF THE VICTORIAN ERA. TODAY HE IS WIDELY RECOGNIZED AS A MASTER OF DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE.

“Out of your whole life give but one moment!  All of your life that has gone before,  All to come after it, – so you ignore,  So you make perfect the present, – condense,  In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,  Thought and feeling and soul and sense –”  ~ Robert Browning, Now

 “How good is man’s life, the mere living! how fit to employ     
All the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy!”
~ Robert Browning, David Singing before Saul

“In this world, who can do a thing, will not;
And who would do it, cannot, I perceive:
Yet the will's somewhat — somewhat, too, the power —
And thus we half-men struggle.”
~ Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto (1855)

“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?”
~ Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto (1855)

“Who hears music, feels his solitude
Peopled at once.”
~ Robert Browning, Balaustion's Adventure (1871)

“God is the perfect poet,
Who in his person acts his own creations.”
~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus (1835)

“Progress, man’s distinctive mark alone,
Not God’s, and not the beasts’: God is, they are,
Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.”
~ Robert Browning, De Gustibus

“… what's the earth
With all its art, verse, music, worth —
Compared with love, found, gained, and kept?”
~ Robert Browning, Dîs Aliter Visum; or, Le Byron De Nos Jours

“Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things.
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
the superstitious atheist …”
~ Robert Browning, Bishop Blougram's Apology

“Open my heart and you will see
Graved inside of it, "Italy".”
~ Robert Browning, De Gustibus

“Out of your whole life give but one moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it, – so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present, – condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense –”
~ Robert Browning, Now

“Heart, fear nothing, for, heart, thou shalt find her—
Next time, herself!—not the trouble behind her ”
~ Robert Browning, Love in a Life

“Each life unfulfilled, you see;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:
We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired,—been happy.”
~ Robert Browning, Youth and Art

“This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.”
~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

“It is the glory and good of Art
That Art remains the one way possible
Of speaking truth - to mouths like mine, at least.”
~ Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book (1868-69)

“My whole life long I learn’d to love.   
This hour my utmost art I prove            
And speak my passion—heaven or hell?
She will not give me heaven? ’T is well!”
~ Robert Browning, One Way of Love

“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''”
~ Robert Browning, One Way of Love, Rabbi Ben Ezra

“A minute’s success pays the failure of years.”
~ Robert Browning, Apollo and the Fates (1887)

“Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
One more devils’-triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!”
~ Robert Browning, The Lost Leader

“I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive,—what time, what circuit first,
I ask not; but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fire-balls, sleet or stifling snow,
In some time, his good time, I shall arrive:
He guides me and the bird. In his good time.”
~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus (1835)

“Ignorance is not innocence but sin.”
~ Robert Browning, The Inn Album (1875)

“Womanliness means only motherhood;
All love begins and ends there.”
~ Robert Browning, The Inn Album (1875)

“I find earth not gray but rosy;
Heaven not grim but fair of hue.
Do I stoop? I pluck a posy; Do I stand and stare? All's blue.”
~ Robert BrowningAt the 'Mermaid'(1876)

“What Youth deemed crystal,
Age finds out was dew.”
~ Robert BrowningJochanan Hakkadosh (1883)

“Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!”
~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

“If you get simple beauty and naught else,
You get about the best thing God invents.”
~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

“You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.”
~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi

“The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its best to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up and all the cottage warm;”
~ Robert Browning, Porphyria's Lover

“All the breath and the bloom of the year in the bag of one bee:
All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem:
In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea:
Breath and bloom, shade and shine, — wonder, wealth, and — how far above them —
Truth, that's brighter than gem,
Trust, that's purer than pearl, —
Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe, — all were for me
In the kiss of one girl.”
~ Robert Browning, Summum Bonum (1889)


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July 8, 2017

Quotations by Ezra Pound

EZRA POUND (1885-1972) WAS AMERICAN POET AND CRITIC AND ONE OF THE SEMINAL FORCES OF MODERNISM.

“Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. It doesn't matter whether the good writer wants to be useful, or whether the good writer wants to be harm.” ~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets literature decay than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“Anyone who is too lazy to master the comparatively small glossary necessary to understand Chaucer deserves to be shut out from the reading of good books forever.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“No teacher has ever failed from ignorance. That is empiric professional knowledge. Teachers fail because they cannot ‘handle the class’. Real education must ultimately be limited to men how INSIST on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. It doesn't matter whether the good writer wants to be useful, or whether the good writer wants to be harm.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“More writers fail from lack of character than from lack of intelligence.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A people that grows accustomed to sloppy writing is a people in process of losing grip on its empire and on itself.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“The critic who doesn't make a personal statement, in remeasurements he himself has made, is merely an unreliable critic. He is not a measurer but a repeater of other men's results. KRINO, to pick out for oneself, to choose. That's what the word means.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A nation which neglects the perceptions of its artists declines. After a while it ceases to act, and merely survives.

“There is probably no use in telling this to people who can't see it without being told.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A great spirit has been amongst us, and a great artist is gone.”
~ Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir

“Why do you look so eagerly and so curiously into people’s faces,
Will you find your lost dead among them?”
~ Ezra Pound, Coda

“If a man have not order within him
He can not spread order about him;
And if a man have not order within him
His family will not act with due order;
And if the prince have not order within him
He can not put order in his dominions.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.”
~ Ezra Pound, The Garden

“Let the gods speak softly of us”
~ Ezra Pound, Greek

“If a man have not order within him
He can not spread order about him;
And if a man have not order within him
His family will not act with due order;
And if the prince have not order within him
He can not put order in his dominions.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“And even I can remember
A day when the historians left blanks in their writings,
I mean, for things they didn't know,
But that time seems to be passing.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“Without character you will
be unable to play on that instrument”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII
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July 3, 2017

Quotations by William Faulkner

WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897-1962) WAS A NOBEL PRIZE WINNING AMERICAN WRITER WHOSE WORKS ARE GREATLY ADMIRED FOR THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL DEPTH. FAULKNER WAS ALSO ONE OF THE STRONGEST EXPONENTS OF THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE.

War is an episode, a crisis, a fever the purpose of which is to rid the body of fever. So the purpose of a war is to end the war.” ~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.”
~ William Faulkner, Soldiers’ Pay

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”
~ William Faulkner, Light in August

“War is an episode, a crisis, a fever the purpose of which is to rid the body of fever. So the purpose of a war is to end the war.”
~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“The phenomenon of war is its hermaphroditism: the principles of victory and of defeat inhabit the same body and the necessary opponent, enemy, is merely the bed they self-exhaust each other on.”
~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“That’s what they mean by the womb of time: the agony and the despair of spreading bones, the hard girdle in which lie the outraged entrails of events.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“…any live man is better than any dead man but no live or dead man is very
much better than any other live or dead man …”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”
~ William Faulkner, The Wild Palms

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
~ William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

“Love doesn't die; the men and women do.”
~ William Faulkner, The Wild Palms

“Memory believes before knowing remembers.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“The reason you will not say it is, when you say it, even to yourself, you will know it is true.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“The sun, an hour above the horizon, is poised like a bloody egg upon a crest of thunderheads; the light has turned copper: in the eye portentous, in the nose sulphurous, smelling of lightning.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“I say money has no value; it's just the way you spend it.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“I'd have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“… clocks slay time ... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“She loved him not only in spite of but because he himself was incapable of love.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Caddy got the box and set it on the floor and opened it. It was full of stars. When I was still, they were still. When I moved, they glinted and sparkled. I hushed.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“I suppose that people, using themselves and each other so much by words, are at least consistent in attributing wisdom to a still tongue...”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“If you could just ravel out into time. That would be nice. It would be nice if you could just ravel out into time”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“Though children can accept adults as adults, adults can never accept children as anything but adults too.”
~ William Faulkner, Light in August
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July 2, 2017

Quotations by James Joyce

JAMES JOYCE (1882 –1941) WAS AN IRISH MODERNIST WRITER WHO IS NOTED FOR HIS EXPERIMENTS WITH THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE.

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” ~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes of his mind.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant's heart on the hillside.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“In woman's womb word is made flesh but in the spirit of the maker all flesh that passes becomes the word that shall not pass away. This is the postcreation.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but what properly riled them was a bite from a sheep.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“To discover the mode of life or of art whereby my spirit could express itself in unfettered freedom.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid preasure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?”
~ James Joyce, The Dead

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July 1, 2017

Shaw’s Treatment of Love and War in “Arms and the Man”

The 19th century plays mostly centered on the idealistic aspects of life, frequently recounting the incredible deeds and exploits of the heroes. However, during the latter half of the very century George Bernard Shaw came forward and brought about an epoch-making change in the presentation of plays. His technique placed reason over emotion with a view to disillusion humanity of its cherished ideals. Hence, Shaw strongly liberated himself from the infatuation of romanticism and enacted his plays to reform the society. For this reason Shaw often regarded as an anti-romantic playwright.

George Bernard Shaw applied his anti-romantic technique most brilliantly in his 1894 play Arms and the Man. Shaw was realistic enough to ascertain that people hold an idealized notion about love and war since the society defines these from clichéd standpoint. Therefore, Shaw opted to define love and war from practical point of view, isolating all their traditional attachments or the romantic glamour.

In practical life, love is full of complexities and is not devoid of blemishes, such as inconstancy, carnality, etc. But in fairy tales or romantic stories the picture is quite the opposite. In such works love is portrayed ideally, i.e., from Platonic viewpoint, hence it lacks negative sides. On the other hand, in practical life, war stems from unavoidable circumstances and it entails violence, bloodshed, and atrocity. The warriors participated in war are made of flesh and blood like us, possessing all human qualities, especially hunger, fear, and an urge for preserving life. They only battle when it is essential and never exhibit courage unnecessarily. In fairy tales, however, war is a ground for the soldiers to showcase heroism. They are desperate in fighting and reckless in courage. In Arms and the Man, Shaw mainly focused on eliminating the fairy tale or romantic elements from the notions of love and war.

Arms and the Man

The opening scene confronts us with Raina, the heroine, whose thoughts and attitude are moulded greatly by romanticism since she hovers around the pages of Byron and Pushkin. As a result, her outlook on love and war is illusive.  To her, war is an act of heroism, a deed of glory and patriotism in which the brave soldiers risk their lives for the sake of their country. Her ideals get visible when she becomes a strong enthusiast of her fiancé, Sergius when she was informed about his cavalry charge in the battle at Slivnitza. The incident gives her a faith that the man she is going to marry will be brave and patriotic.

But very soon Shaw shatters Raina’s obsession with the romantic notion about war by introducing an antithetical character, Captain Bluntschli, a runaway Serb officer. With Bluntschli, Shaw has presented a realistic portrait of an average soldier who is of common stature, is ready to fight when he must and is glad to escape when he can. Bluntschli’s character also reveals the truth that a solder is not a superman, he suffers from hunger and fatigue and is roused to action only by danger.

However, observing Bluntschli’s concern about fear and death, Raina considers him to be a coward and proudly claims that in her country there are soldiers like Sergius who can lead to victory. But soon Bluntschli shatters her false ideals by revealing the fact that Sergius’ cavalry charge was not an act of bravery rather was a complete foolish and suicidal attempt. Bluntschli further clarified that Sergius made a heroic charge on the artillery of the Serbs Ignoring the orders of his Russian commander, thereby putting his entire brigade to fight. Pursuant to Bluntschli’s opinion, Sergius’ action was absolutely unprofessional and it was a so serious offence that he should be court-martialed for it. He and his regiment survived since the Serbs couldn’t shoot because of wrong ammunition:
He and his regiment simply committed suicide—only the pistol missed fire, that's all.
With this, Raina could understand that Bluntschli is not a coward, though he likes to save his life as far as possible. Thus Raina is moved by his realistic views on war and she determines to save his life. Afterwards, Sergius himself is also fully disillusioned about the glory of war when he finds that he has not been promoted for his bravery. Even though his country won the battle he still holds the rank of a major. Petkoff remarked that he should not be promoted to put in danger the whole brigade. Thus Sergius realizes that he won the battle by sheer of chance:
Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms.
After war, Shaw concentrates on the misconceptions of love. Shaw proves that the higher love between Raina and Sergius is tinged with sentiment and deceit. Apparently they glorify each other and are blind to the faults of each other. On his return from the war Sergius calls her his “Queen” and “goddess” and she calls him her “King” and “hero”, which recalls the legend of the medieval knight. The medieval knight dedicated his life to his beloved and fought his whole life against injustice and evildoers. Like the knight, Sergius fights solely for Raina and risks his life to get applause. He is not ready to accept that someone else desires his beloved. But at the same time he is getting tired of dealing with this higher love which is full of failure, incompleteness, and emptiness:
… do you know what the higher love is? … Very fatiguing thing to keep up for any length of time, Louka. One feels the need of some relief after it.
Hence, Sergius wants a type of love that is compatible with practical life. So he rejects Raina and accepts Louka as his wife.

Coming in contact with Bluntschli, Raina could realize that her love for Sergius is nothing but an illusion. She doesn’t find Sergius fit for her as his character is full of incongruities and contrarieties. On the other hand she is amazed by Bluntschli’s practicality, wisdom, determination, and strong personality. Although Raina wants to keep her feelings secret, ultimately the fact is exposed to everybody. This love is heart-felt and is devoid of feigned sentiment.

In fine, Arms and the Man is an amazing anti-romantic play exposing the synthetic appearances of love and war. With great comic sense, in this play Shaw endeavours to make his readers aware of the impracticality of romantic ideals.
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