"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Wisdom of Others

I've always been a quote junkie.

As a teenager my diary was filled with them. As an English teacher, I'd put a new quote on the board every week that correlated with my lessons. As a dork, I list a quote of the week on my outgoing voicemail. As a poet so many of the things I write begin as a response to a quote I read, or a singular line that comes to me somewhere from the ether.

Here are a few favorites that I've gathered over the years:

"The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which makes you lonely."
--Lorraine Hansberry

"The meeting of two personalities is like the meeting of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
--Carl Jung

"You do not have a soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."
--C.S. Lewis

"There are years that question, and there are years that answer."
--Zora Neale Hurston

"The true genius shutters at incompleteness, and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be."
--Edgar Allen Poe

"The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death."
--Oscar Wilde

"Happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
-Leo Tolstoy

What are your favorites?


  1. Very good, LOVE the C.S. Lewis one. The Tolstoy one is interesting... I just read a review on the book they made from his wife's diaries. It seemed like from her perspective it was a miserable marriage...

  2. I am a quote junkie too! I'll add to the list:

    "Don't hide behind fake smiles, it's OK to not be alright." ~Paulo Coelho