Quotes That Strike a Chord

“What if you could make humans do the wise thing, like the way you could make them laugh?”
— Joan Slonczewski

“I’ve recently been diagnosed as fashion intolerant.  I can’t wear anything good in case I develop style.”
— Simon R. Green

“I’m a firm believer in the indigestibility of the individual.”
— Don DeBrandt

“What was American education anyway, that they could all grow up and not be steeped in Emerson and Thoreau and Audubon and Church?  It was like inheriting billions and then forgetting it.”
— Kim Stanley Robinson

“If you want to create work that will touch people the way you were touched, you have to become elegant in your capacity to feel….”
— Stephen Harrod Buhner

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say ‘It is yet more difficult than you thought.’ This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
— Wendell Berry

“I saw eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
All calm as it was bright
And round beneath it time in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved in which the world
And all her train were hurled.”
— Henry Vaughan

“They are not brethren: they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners in the splendor and travail of the earth.”
— Henry Beston, on animals

“Have you come across the word ‘velleity’?  A nice Thomistic ring to it.  Volition at its lowest ebb.   A small thing, a wish, a tendency.  If you’re low-willed, you see, you end up living in the shallowest turns and bends of your preoccupations.”
— Dom DeLillo

“We linger in manhood to tell the dreams of our childhood, and they are half forgotten ere we have learned the language.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“Such is the irresistable nature of the truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.”
— Thomas Paine

“I imagine the dead waking, dazed, into a shadowless light in which they know themselves altogether for the first time. It is a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy; by it they are at once condemned and redeemed. It is Hell until it is Heaven. Seeing themselves in that light, if they are willing, they see how far they have failed the only justice of loving one another; it punishes them by their own judgment. And yet, in suffering that light’s awful clarity, in seeing themselves in it, they see its forgiveness and its beauty, and are consoled. In it they are loved completely, even as they have been, and so are changed into what they could not have been but what, if they could have imagined it, they would have wished to be.”
— Wendell Berry

“Language is the veil that can pierce itself.”
— Colin Browne

“Some men’s words I remember so well that I must often use them to express my thought.  Yes, because I perceive that we have heard the same truth, but they have heard it better.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


Note:  November 20, 2013, added the Henry Beston quote….

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6 Comments on “Quotes That Strike a Chord”

  1. Good ones, of which Paine’s speaks loudest to me.

  2. fencer Says:

    Hi Mr. Beer,

    Thanks… I’m partial to each of them, obviously, depending on the mood of the moment.


  3. dmerrett Says:

    Wonderful collection Fencer! I too keep files of quotes that whisper to me at odd times. In fact I have to write them down if I want the original. My memory tends to be accuracy-intolerant.

  4. fencer Says:

    Hi Doug,

    I definitely have to write them down, or they be forgotten for sure… but I carry a notebook all the time for just that sort of thing!


  5. Amyclae Says:

    A few choice aphorisms always does it for me. I don’t know what they do or what ‘it’ is. I enjoy them anyhow. The last one by Emerson is especially good.

  6. fencer Says:

    Hi Amyclae,

    I like the way they can broaden, or introduce insight, in ways I hadn’t thought of….


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