Kiran's Favorite Quotes and Poems

Last Updated: Sun., June 15, 2008


Milay, Edna St. Vincent


Austen, Jane

Mortenson, Greg/Relin, Oliver  
Blake, William Nash, Ogden  
Borge, Victor

Orwell, George

Brontė, Emily Prometheus  

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett


Conrad, Joseph Relin, Oliver/Mortenson, Greg  

Dickinson, Emily

Sagan, Francoise  

Dostoevsky, Feodor

Salinger, J.D.


Frost, Robert

Shakespeare, William


Golding, William

Smith, Huston


Greene, Graham


Holmes, Justice Oliver Wendell

Steinbeck, John


Hugo, Victor

Stekel, Wilhelm


King, Stephen

Tennyson, Alfred Lord


Lodhie, Kaval

Thackeray, William Makepeace  
Lodhie, Shaan Warren, Robert Penn  




"To realize the value of one year, ask the student who has failed a class.

To realize the value of one month, ask the mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute, ask the person who missed the train.

To realize the value of one second, ask the person who has just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond, ask the person who one a silver medal at the Olympics."


"Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."


"Be tolerant of the human race. Your whole family belong to it - and some of your spouse's family does too."


"He believes that marriage and a career don't mix. So after the wedding he plans to quit his job."


"I told my wife that a husband is like fine wine: he gets better with age. The next day, she locked me in the cellar."


Jane Austen


"Seldom, very seldom does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken;..." -Austen, Emma


" 'Well, I cannot understand it.'

'That is the case with us all, papa. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other,' " -Austen, Emma


"There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves," -Austen, Emma


William Blake

"Note. The reason Milton wrote in fitters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it," -William Blake, 'The Voice of the Devil', The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


    "The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive.

    And particularly they studied the genius of each city & and country, placing it under its mental deity.

    Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects; thus began Priesthood,

    Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.

    And at length they pronounced that the Gods had ordered such things.

    Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast,"  -William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell



Victor Borge


"Ah Mozart! He was happily married - but his wife wasn't," -Borge



Emily Brontė


"Honest people don't hide their deeds," -E. Brontė, Wuthering Heights


"Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves," -E. Brontė, Wuthering Heights


"I don't know if it be a peculiarity to me, but I am seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death, should no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me. I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break, and I feel an assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter - the Eternity they have entered - where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fulness. I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness there is even in a love like Mr. Linton's, when he so regretted Catherine's blessed release!" -E. Brontė, Wuthering Heights


Elizabeth Barrett Browning


How do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends or Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of every day's

Most quiet heed, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints - I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears of all my life! - - and, if God choose,

I shall love thee better after death.  -Browning



Joseph Conrad


" 'When you have to attend to things of that sort, to the mere incidents of the surface, the reality – the reality, I tell you – fades. The inner truth is hidden – luckily luckily,' " -Conrad, Heart of Darkness


" 'In a few days the Eldorado Expedition went into the patient wilderness that closed upon it as the sea closes over a diver. Long afterwards the news came that all the donkeys were dead. I know nothing as to the fate of the less valuable animals,' " -Conrad, Heart of Darkness


" 'There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies, – which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world – what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do. Temperament, I suppose.' " -Conrad, Heart of Darkness


" 'He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision, – he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – "The horror! The horror!" ' " -Conrad, Heart of Darkness



Emily Dickinson



To fight aloud is very brave,

    But gallanter, I know,

Who charge within the bosom,

The cavalry of woe.


Who win and nations do not see,

Who fall, and none observe,

Whose dying eyes no country

Regards with patriot hue.


We trust, in plumed procession,

For such the angels go,

Rank after rank, with even feet

And uniforms of snow



If I can stop one heart from breaking,

    I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

    Or cool one pain,

    Or help one fainting robin

    Unto his nest again,

    I shall not live in vain



              "A Book"


He ate and drank the precious words,

    His spirit grew robust;

    He knew no more that he was poor

    Nor that his frame was dust

    He danced along the dingy days,

    And this bequest of wings

    Was but a book. What liberty

    A loosened spirit brings!



If you were coming in the fall

I'd brush the summer by

With half a smile and half a spurn

As housewives do a fly.


If I could see you in a year,

I'd wind the months in balls,

And put them each in separate drawers,

Until their time befalls.


If only centuries delayed,

I'd count them on my hand,

Subtracting till my fingers dropped

Into Van Diemen's land.


If certain, when this life was out,

That yours and mine should be,

I'd toss it yonder like a rind,

And taste eternity.


But now all ignorant f the length

Of time's uncertain wing,

It goads me like the goblin bee,

That will not state its sting.



            "The Mountain"


The mountain sat upon the plain

In his eternal chair,

His observation omnifold,

His inquest everywhere.


The seasons prayed around his knees,

Like children round a sire:

Grandfather of the days is he,

Of dawn the ancestor




Look back on time with kindly eyes,

He doubtless did his best;

How softly sinks his tremblin sun

In human nature's west!




I died for beauty, but was scarce

Adjusted in the tomb,

When one who died for truth was lain

In an adjoining room.


He questioned softly why I failed?

"For beauty," I replied

"And I for truth, -the two are one,"

We brethren are," he said.


And so, as kinsmen met at night,

We talked between the rooms,

Until the moss had reached our lips,

And covered up our names.






I like the look of agony,

   Because I know it's true;

Men do not sham convulsion,

    Nor simulate a throe.


The eyes glaze over, and that is death.

Impossible to feign

The beads upon the forehead

By homely anguish strung.




            "The Chariot"


Because I could not stop for Death,

    He kindly stopped for me;...




I never saw a moor,

I never saw the sea;

Yet know I how the heather looks,

And what a wave must be.


I never spoke with God,

Nor visited in heaven;

Yet certain am I of the spot

As if the chart were given.






I lost a world the other day.

Has anybody found?

You'll know if by the row of stars

Around its forehead bound.


A rich man might not notice it;

Yet to my frugal eye

Of more esteem than ducats.

Oh, find it, sir, for me!




I'm nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there's a pair of us -don't tell!

They'd banish us, you know.


How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!




Feodor Dostoevsky


"...he saw Sonya standing fifty yards away from him his left. She was trying to hide from him behind one of the wooden booths standing in the square, and it was plain that she had accompanied him all along his distressful way. In that moment Raskolnikov knew in his heart, once and for all, that Sonya would be with him for always, and would follow him to the ends of the earth, wherever destiny might send him. His heart contracted...but now he had come to the fatal place," - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


"With every moment Raskolnikov's intent and fiery glance pierced more powerfully into his mind and soul. Suddenly Razumikhin shuddered. Something strange had passed between them...some idea, something like a hint, something terrible and monstrous, suddenly understood on both sides..." - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


" 'Eternity is always presented to us as an idea which is impossible to grasp, something enormous, enormous! But why should it necessarily be enormous? Imagine, instead, that it will be a little room, something like a bath house in the country, black with soot, with spiders in every corner, and that is the whole of eternity,' " - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


" 'The fact that I am in error shows that I am human,' " - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


" 'Poor girl!' ...'when she comes to herself, there will be tears, and then her mother will get to know...a wreck in two or three years, her life finished at no more than eighteen or nineteen years old...Haven't I seen others like her? And what became of them? That's what became of them...Pah! Let it go! They say it must be so. Such and such a percentage they say, must go every the devil, I suppose, so that the rest may be left in peace and quiet...They have some capital words: They are so soothing and scientific...And what if Dunechka is included in the percentage?...If not one, then in another?...' " - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


" '...never try to answer for what is between a husband and his wife, or a lover and his mistress. There is always one little corner which remains hidden from all the world, and is known only to the two of them,' " - Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment


"...two is company, three is none," -Crime and Punishment



Robert Frost


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth:


Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.


And both that morning equally by

In leaves no step had trodden back.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back!


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.  -Frost



William Golding


"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!...You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?" -William Golding, Lord of the Flies


Graham Greene

"When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity - that was a quality God's image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of the imagination," -Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

"...But at the centre of his own faith there always stood the convincing mystery - that we were made in God's image. God was the parent, but He was also the policeman, the criminal, the priest, the maniac, and the judge. Something resembling God dangled from the gibbet or went into odd attitudes before the bullets in a prison yard or contorted itself like a camel in the attitude of sex. He would sit in the confessional and hear the complicated dirty ingenuities which God's image had thought out, and God's image shook now, up and down on the mule's back, with the yellow teeth sticking out over the lower lip, and God's image did its despairing act of rebellion with Maria in the hut among the rats. He said, 'Do you feel better now? Not so cold, eh? Or so hot?' and pressed his hand with a kind of driven tenderness upon the shoulders of God's image," -Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

" 'And I dare say the first time you saw a man raised from the dead you might think so too.' He giggled unconvincingly behind the smiling mask. 'Oh, it's funny, isn't it? It isn't a case of miracles not happening - it's just a case of people calling them something else. Can't you see the doctors round the dead man? He isn't breathing anymore, his pulse has stopped, his heart's not beating: he's dead. Then somebody gives him back his life, and they all - what's the expression? - reserve their opinion. They won't say it's a miracle, because that's a word they don't like. Then it happens again and again perhaps - because God's about on earth - and they say: these aren't miracles, it is simply that we have enlarged our conception of what life is. Now we know you can be alive without pulse, breath, heart-beats. And they invent a new word to describe that state of life, and they say science has disproved a miracle.' He giggled again, 'You can't get around them,' " -Graham Green, The Power and the Glory

"He wanted to say to this man, 'Love is not wrong, but love should be happy and open - it is only wrong when it is secret, unhappy...It can be more unhappy than anything but the loss of God. It is the loss of God...' " -Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

"I have never understood why people who can swallow the enormous improbability of a personal God boggle at a personal Devil," - Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

" 'He was drinking, I think, for the same reason that I write - to escape the darkness of his own spirit,' " -Graham Greene, The Honorary Consul (150)

" 'I've often noticed,' Doctor Plarr said, 'when a man leaves a woman he begins to hate her. Or is it that he hates his own failures? Perhaps we want to destroy the only witness who knows exactly what we are like when we drop the comedy. I suppose I shall hate Clara when I leave her?' " -Graham Greene, The Honorary Consul (214)

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins," -Holmes (on Democracy)

Victor Hugo

"What branch do we scorn when we feel we are sinking?" -Hugo, Les Miserables

"Humanity is similarity. All men are of the same clay. No difference, here below at least, lies in predestination. The same darkness before, the same flesh during, the same ashes after life. But ignorance, mixed with the human composition, blackens it. This incurable ignorance possesses the heart of man, and there becomes Evil," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"Destroy the cave Ignorance, and you destroy the mole crime," -Hugo, Les Miserables

" 'Take away time is money, and what is left of England? Take away cotton is King, and what is left of America? Germany is the lymph; Italy is the bile. Shall we go into ecstasies over Russia?' " -Hugo, Les Miserables

"She imagined some more or less illicit love affair, a woman in the shadows, a rendezvous, a mystery, and she would not have been sorry to take a closer look. The taste of a mystery is like the first hint of scandal; saintly souls never hate that. In the secret compartments of bigotry there is some curiosity for scandal," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"What a spectacle night is! We hear dull sounds, not knowing where they come from; we see Jupiter, twelve hundred times larger than the earth, glowing like an ember, the sky is black, the stars sparkle, it is awe-inspiring," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"Not seeing people permits us to imagine them with every perfection,"  -Hugo, Les Miserables

"There is a way of falling into error while on the road of truth," -Hugo, Les Miserables (on fanaticism)

"This ship...flew a pennant that entitled it to a regulation salute of eleven guns, which it returned shot for shot – in all, twenty two. It has been estimated that in salutes, royal and military complements, exchanges of courteous hubbub, signals of etiquette, sun saluted daily by all fortresses and all vessels of war, the opening and closing of gates, etc. etc., the civilized would, in every part of the globe, fires off daily one hundred and fifty thousand useless cannon shots. At six francs per shot, that amounts to nine hundred thousand francs a day, or three hundred million a year, gone up in smoke. This is only one item. Meanwhile, the poor are dying of hunger." -Hugo, Les Miserables

"The delight we inspire in others has this enchanting peculiarity that, far from being diminished like every other reflection, it returns to us more radiant than ever," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"...because God opened the flowers before man cut the paving blocks," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"These are the true felicities. No joy beyond these joys. Love is the only ecstasy, everything else weeps. To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. To love is a consummation," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"I didn't believe it could be so monstrous. It's wrong to be so absorbed in divine law as not to perceive human law. Death belongs to God alone. By what right do men touch that unknown thing?" -Hugo, Les Miserables

"The girls chirped and chatted like uncaged warblers. They were delirious with joy. Now and then they would playfully cuff the young men's ears. Intoxications of life's morning! Enchanted years! The wing of the dragonfly trembles! Oh reader, whoever you may be, do you have such memories? Have you walked in the underbrush, pushing asides branches for the charming head behind you? Have you slid, laughing, down some slope wet with rain, with the woman you loved, who held you by the hand, crying out: 'Oh my new shoes! Just look at them now!' " -Hugo, Les Miserables

"Oh Thou who art! Ecclesiastes names thee Almighty; Maccabees names thee Creator, the Epistle to the Ephesians names thee immensity; the Psalms name thee Wisdom and Truth; John names thee Light; the Book of Kings names thee Lord; Exodus calls thee Providence; Leviticus, Holiness; Esdras, Justice; Creation calls thee God; man names thee father; but Soloman names thee Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all thy names," -Hugo, Les Miserables

"A compliment is like a kiss through a veil," -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of live is to live by it," -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"So idleness is a mother. She has a son, robbery, and daughter, hunger," -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore their grandson," -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Stephen King

"...any good marriage is a secret territory, a necessary white space on society's map. What others don't know about it is what makes it yours," -King, Bag of Bones

Kaval Lodhie

"Your hair is so...hairy," -Kaval Lodhie, Oct. 15, 2006

Kaval: Process of Elimination

Kiran: Ya it helps so much. It's also known as POE

Kaval: You mean, "POO"?

Kiran: Uhh, no, POE...Process of Elimination

Kaval: No...ohhhh!

Both: Hahaha

              -Oct. 21, 2006



Shaan Lodhie


"It is the fat Kiran who is thou poop," -Shaan Lodhie



Edna St. Vincent Milay


What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone;

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more. -Milay



Greg Mortenson/Oliver Relin


" 'I used to assume that the direction of "progress" was somehow inevitable, not to be question,' she writes. 'I passively accepted a new road through the middle of the park, a steel-and-glass bank where a 200-year-old church had stood...and the fact that life seemed to get harder faster with each day. I do not anymore. In Ladakh I have learned that there is more than one path into the future and I have had the privilege to witness another, saner, way of life−a pattern of existence based on the coevolution between human beings and the earth.'

    Norberg-Hodge continues to argue not only that Western development workers should not blindly impose modern 'improvements' on ancient cultures, but that industrialized countries had lessons to learn from people like Ladakhis about building sustainable societies. 'I have seen,' she writes, 'that community and a close relationship with the land can enrich human life beyond all comparison with material wealth or technological sophistication. I have learned that another way is possible,' " -Mortenson/Relin, Three Cups of Tea (112)


"When the porcelain bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in their hands, Haji Ali spoke. 'If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways,' Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl. 'The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die,' he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson's own. 'Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.' ...Haji Ali...taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them," -Mortenson/Relin, Three Cups of Tea (150)


" 'We share in the sorrow as people weep and suffer in America today,' he said, pushing his thick glasses firmly into place, 'as we inaugurate this school. Those who have committed this evil act [9/11] against the innocent, the women and children, to create thousands of widows and orphans do not do so in the name of Islam. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, may justice be served upon them.

    'For this tragedy, I humbly ask Mr. George and Dr. Greg Sahib for their forgiveness. All of you, my brethren: Protect and embrace these two American brothers in our midst. Let no harm come to them. Share all you have to make their mission successful.

    'These two Christian men have come halfway around the world to show our Muslim children the light of education,' Abbas said. 'Why have we not been able to bring education to our children on our own? Fathers and parents, I implore you to dedicate your full effort and commitment to see that all your children are educated. Otherwise, they will merely graze like sheep in the field, at the mercy of nature and the world changing so terrifyingly around us.'

    Syed Abbas paused, considering what to say next, and somehow, even the youngest children among the hundreds of people packed into the courtyard were absolutely silent.

    'I request American to look into our hearts,' Abbas continued, his voice straining with emotion, 'and see that the great majority of us are not terrorists, but good and simple people. Our land is stricken with poverty because we are without education. But today, another candle of knowledge has been lit. In the name of Allah the Almighty, may it light our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in,' " -Mortenson/Relin, Three Cups of Tea (257)


Ogden Nash


"A husband is a guy who tells you when you've got on too much lipstick and helps you with your girdle when your hips stick," -Nash


George Orwell

"(Never tell me, by the way, that the dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen look devilish.)" -George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

"(Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal.)" -George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

"Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones,..." -George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemisms, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them," -George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia," -George Orwell, Politics and the English Language


"It is easy for him who keeps his foot free from harm to admonish and council him who is in misery," -Prometheus


"The sinning is the best part of repentance," Arabian Proverb

"Out of a hundred rabbits you'll never make a house, and a hundred suspicions will never make a proof," -English Proverb

"Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins," -Native American Proverb

"Pray one hour before going to war, two hours before going to sea, and three hours before getting married," -Native American Proverb

Francoise Sagan

"A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you," -Sagan

J.D. Salinger

"Girls. They can drive you crazy. They really can," -J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

"It's really too bad that so much crumby stuff is a lot of fun sometimes," -J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

"Mothers are all slightly insane,"  -J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


William Shakespeare


"No sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they sought remedy," -Shakespeare, As You Like It


"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool," -Shakespeare, As You Like It


"I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad," -Shakespeare, As You Like It


"I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good," -Shakespeare, As You Like It


"Blow, blow thou winter wind! Thou art not so unkind as man's ingratitude," -Shakespeare, As You Like It


"Who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure," -Shakespeare, As You Like It

"This above all: To thine own self be true," -Shakespeare, Hamlet

"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark," -Shakespeare, Hamlet

" Neither a borrower nor a lender be/ For loan oft loses both itself and friend," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"...for to the noble mind/ Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"We fat all creatures else to fat us,

and we fat ourselves for maggots...

Your fat king and your lean beggar

is but variable service - two dishes

but to one table," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"Ay, truly, for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;..." -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"Lord, we know what we are but know not what we may be," -Shakespeare, Hamlet


"Antony: O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?/ Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,/ Shrunk to this little measure? -Fare thee well-/ I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,/ Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:/ If I myself, there is no hour so fit/ As Caesar's death's hour; nor no instrument/ Of half that worth as those your swords made rich/ With the most noble blood of all this world./ I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard,/ Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,/ Fulfill your pleasure. Life a thousand years,/ I shall not find myself so apt to die:/ no place will please me so, no mean of death/ As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,/...The choice and master spirits of this age." - Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


"Cassius: ...Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

Brutus: No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself/ But by reflection, by some other things

Cassius: 'Tis just; And it is very much lamented, Brutus, that you have no such mirrors as will turn your hidden worthiness into your eye, that you might see your shadow," -Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


"How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes ill deeds done!" -Shakespeare, King John


"The ripest fruit first falls," -Shakespeare, King Richard II


"O, call back yesterday, bid time return!" -Shakespeare, King Richard II


"So Judas did to Christ: but he, in twelve, found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none," -Shakespeare, King Richard II


"Our doubts are traitors,

And make us lose the good

We oft might win by

Fearing to attempt," -Shakespeare, Measure for Measure


"Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?" -Shakespeare, Measure for Measure


"A man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted," -Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice


"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late," -Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor


"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind," -Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream


"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" -Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream


"Leonato: Did he break out into tears?

Messenger: In great measure.

Leonato: A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those that are so washed./ How much better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping?" -Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing



Two households, both alike in dignity,

    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

    A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;

Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows

    Do with their death bury their parents' strife

The fearful passage of their death mark'd love,

    And the continuance of their parents' rage,

Which but their children's end nought could remove,

Is now the two hours traffic of our stage;

The which, if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss our toil shall strive to mend. -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast," -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet," -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"See! how She leans her cheek upon her hand:

O! that I were a glove upon that hand,

that I might touch that cheek," -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"How are thou out of breath when thou hast enough breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?" -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny they father, and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love/ And I'll no longer be a Capulet," -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


"Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love," -Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew


"Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor: For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich," -Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew


"If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it that, Surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall: O! it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound that breathes Upon a bank of violets, stealing and giving odour!" -Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night


"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them," -Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night


" 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white/ Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on: Lady, you are the cruelest she alive/ If you will lead these graces to the grave/ And leave the world no copy," -Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night



Huston Smith


"We are like a lover who, in his dream, searches the wide world in despair for his beloved, oblivious of the fact that she is lying at his side throughout," -Smith, The World's Religions (Hinduism)


"The mask registered the role, while behind it the actor remained hidden and annonymous, aloof from the emotions he enacted. This, say the Hindus, is perfect; for roles are precisely what our personalities are, the ones into which we have been cast for the moment in this greatest of all tragi-comedies, the drama of life itself in which we are simultaneously coauthors and actors," -Smith, The World's Religions (Hinduism)





"By all means marry. If you get a good wife you will become happy, and if you get a bad one you will become a philosopher," -Socrates



John Steinbeck


"I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered, 'Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit - the Human Sperit - the whole sheband. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of,' "  -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"Fella can get so he misses the noise of a saw mill," -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"Joad demanded, 'What's come over you, Muley? You wasn't never no run-an'-hide fella. You was mean.' Muley watched the approaching lights. 'Yeah!' he said. 'I was mean like a wolf. Now I'm mean like a weasel. When you're huntin' somepin you're a hunter, an' you're strong. Can't nobody beat a hunter. But when you get hunted - that's different. Somepin happens to you. You ain't strong; maybe you're fierce, but you ain't strong...That's how it is,' " -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


" 'An' you ain't gonna preach?' Tom asked.

'I ain't gonna preach.'

'An' you ain't gonna baptize?' Ma asked.

'I ain't gonna baptize. I'm gonna work in the fiel's, in the green fiel's, an' I'm gonna be near to folks. I ain't gonna try to teach 'em nothin'. I'm gonna try to learn. Gonna learn why folks walks in the grass, gonna hear 'em talk, gonna hear 'em sing. Gonna listen to kids eatin' mush. Gonna hear a husban' an' wife a-poundin' the mattress in the night. Gonna eat with 'em an' learn.' His eyes were wet and shining. 'Gonna lay in the grass, open an' honest with anybody that'll have me. Gonna cuss an' swear an' hear the poetry of folks talkin'. All that's holy, all that's what I didn' understan'. All them things is the good things.' Ma said, 'Amen,' " -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"If the step were not taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while bombers live - for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live - for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know - fear the time when manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe," -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor. Pray God some day a kid can eat. And the associations of owners knew that some day the praying would stop. And there's the end," -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"  Tom said, 'They comes a time when a man gets mad.'

    Ma broke in, 'Tom - you tol' me - you promised me you wasn't like that. You promised.'

'I know, ma. I'm a-tryin'. But them deputies - Did you ever see a deputy that didn't have a fat ass? An' they waggle their ass an' flop their gun aroun'. Ma,' he said, 'if it was the law they was workin' with, why, we could take it. But it ain't the law. They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a-tryin' to make us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on our decency.'...'I'll try, Ma. But when one a them fat asses gets to workin' me over, I got a big job tryin'. If it was the law, it'd be different. But burnin' the camp ain't the law.'...Tom whined, 'Which way is it at, mister?'

    'You turn right around an' head north. An' don't come back till the cotton's ready.'

    Tom shivered all over. 'Yes sir,' he said. He put the car in reverse, backed around and turned. He headed back the way he had come. Ma released his arm and patted him softly. And Tom tried to restrain his hard smothered sobbing.

    'Don' you ming,' Ma said. 'Don' you mind.'

    Tom blew his nose out the window and wiped his eyes on his sleeve. 'The sons-of-bitches'

    'You done good,' Ma said tenderly. 'You done jus' good,' " -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


"The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all, carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with noses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit - and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.

    And the smell of rot fills the country. Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.

    There is a crime that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates - died of malnutrition - because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.

    The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes fly by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage," -Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Wilhelm Stekel


"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one," -Wilhelm Stekel


Alfred Lord Tennyson


I envy not in any moods

    The captive void of noble rage,

    The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods;


I envy not the beast that takes

    His license in the field of time,

    Unfettered by the sense of crime,

To whom conscience never wakes;


Nor, what may count itself as blest,

    The heart that never plighted troth

    But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.


I hold it true, whate'er befall;

    I feel it, when I sorrow most;

    'Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all,"...

                -Alfred Lord Tennyson, 27, In Memoriam

William Makepeace Thackeray

"Mr. Crawley had tended that otherwise friendless bedside. She went out of the world strengthened by such words and comfort as he could give her. For many years his was the only kindness she ever knew; the only friendship that solaced in any way that feeble, lonely soul. Her heart was dead long before her body. She had sold it to become Sir Pitt Crawley's wife. Mothers and daughters are making the same bargain every day in Vanity Fair," -W.M.T., Vanity Fair

"Which, I wonder, brother reader, is the better lot, to die prosperous and famous, or poor and disappointed? To have, and to be forced to yield; or to sink out of life, having played and lost the game? That must party cocktail dress be a strange feeling, when a day of our life comes, and we say, 'Tomorrow, success or failure won't matter much: and the sun will rise, and all the myriads of mankind go to their work or their pleasure as usual, but I shall be out of the turmoil,' " - W.M.T., Vanity Fair

" 'Poor Becky, poor Becky!' said Emmy. 'How thankful, how thankful I ought to be;' (though I doubt whether that practice of piety inculcated upon us by our womankind in early youth, namely, to be thankful because we are better off than somebody else, be a very rational religious exercise;)..." -W.M.T., Vanity Fair

"She never told until long afterwards how painful that duty was; how peevish a patient was the jovial old lady; how angry; how sleepless; in what horrors of death; during what long nights she lay moaning, and in almost delirious agonies respecting that future world which she quite ignored when she was in good health. - Picture to yourself, O fair young reader, a worldly, selfish, graceless, thankless, religionless old woman, writing in pain and fear, and without her wig. Picture her yourself and ere you be old, learn to love and pray," -W.M.T., Vanity Fair

"Some cynical Frenchman has said that there are two parties to a love transaction: the one who loves, and the other who condescends to be so treated," -W.M.T., Vanity Fair

Robert Penn Warren

"The human curse is to love and sometimes to love well, but never well enough," -Warren

"Oh, it is real. It is the only real thing. Pain. So let us name the truth, like men. We are born to joy that joy may become pain. We are born to hope that hope may become pain. We are born to love that love may become pain. We are born to pain that pain may become more Pain, and from that inexhaustible super flux we may give others pain as our prime definition," -Warren, Brothers to Dragons