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

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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