Favorite Quotes

I wanted to write these down somewhere that I’d never lose them, so, Interwebz, I’m trusting you to keep these safe.  This is a working list – I’ll be updating as I read and remember.

Trouble not thyself about the shadow of a great name, nor about the friendship of many, nor about the love of men towards thee. For these things beget distraction and great sorrows of heart. ~ The Imitation of Christ, Book Three Chapter 24, by Thomas a Kempis, tr. by William Benham

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. (translation: Here is my secret. It is very simple: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.) ~ The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupéry

Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. (translation: To love is not to look at one another, it is to look, together, in the same direction.) ~ Terre des Hommes (tr. as Wind, Sand, and Stars) by Antoine de St. Exupéry

I am become death, destroyer of worlds. ~ Robert Oppenheimer, from the Bhagavad Gita

I’ve never been a millionaire, but I just know I’d be darling at it. ~ Dorothy Parker

Bessie Braddock: “Sir, you are drunk.”
Winston Churchill: “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”

Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
Winston Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace. ~Milan Kundera

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ~ Mark Twain

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

~ Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.  ~ Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself. ~ James Anthony Froude

She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies; and all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes…  ~ George Gordon Lord Byron, full poem here.


Living In Sin by Adrienne Rich

This is one of my favorite poems.  I bought a collection of Sylvia Plath poetry in a used bookstore one summer, and this poem had been torn out of another book, folded, and stuck in the Plath book.

Living In Sin by Adrienne Rich

She had thought the studio would keep itself —
No dust upon the furniture of love.
Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal,
The panes relieved of grime.  A plate of pears,
A piano with a Persian shawl, a cat
Stalking the picturesque, amusing mouse
Had been her vision when he pleaded “Come.”
Not that, at five, each separate stair would writhe
Under the milkman’s tramp; that morning light
So coldly would delineate the scraps
Of last night’s cheese and blank, sepulchral bottles;
That on the kitchen shelf amoong the saucers
A pair of beetle eyes would fix her own —
Envoy from some black village in the moldings. . . .
Meanwhile, her night’s companion, with a yawn,
Sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard,
Declared it out of tune, inspected, whistling,
A twelve hours’ beard, went out for cigarettes,
While she, contending with a woman’s demons,
Pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found
A fallen towel to dust the tabletop,
And wondered how it was a man could wake
From night to day and take the day for granted.
By evening she was back in love again,
Though not so wholly but throughout the night
She woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
Like a relentless milkman up the stairs.

Update: Ms. Rich died on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  A nice article on her life is located here.