Notable Quotes

This page will ALWAYS be under construction since I'm always reading new books

I'm fascinated when a writer is able to PEG an idea right on the nose. I'm even more impressed when he or she does just that in a memorable phrase...something I can quote. Because of this fascination, I'm always marking up the books I read, making notations, and trying to memorize a good quote. Yeah, I know, I'm a nerd, but, hey, what else are English teachers good at doing?!

Well, I hope you like what you find here, and I hope that some of these quotes will make some sort of impact, or, at least, inspire you to THINK about what they are saying. They are profound in many cases, and in others they are simply definitive of life as many of us know it. So read the quotes, REALLY think about them, and enjoy. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, don't hesitate to write.


"And all the while I sit and think/ of times that came before,/ I listen for returning feet,/ and voices at my door." J.R.R. Tolkien

"'War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend...'" Tolkien The Two Towers

"We are not now that strengh which in old days/ Moved Earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;/ One equal temper of heroic hearts,/ made weak by time and Fate, but strong in will/ To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." Alfred Lord Tennyson "Ulysses"

"He clasps the crag with crooked hands;/ Close to the sun in lonely lands,/ Ringed with the azure world, he stands./ The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls: / He watches from his mountain walls, / And like a thunderbolt he falls." Tennyson "The Eagle"

"What men call gallantry, and gods adultry,/ Is much more common where the climate's sultry." Lord Byron "Don Juan"

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang, but with a whimper." T.S. Eliot "The Hollow Men"

"He was destined to learn his own wisdom apart from others or to learn the wisdom of others himself wandering among the snares of the world." - James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

"And then I looked at the stars, and considered how awful it would be for a man to turn his face up to them as he froze to death, and see no help or pity in all the glittering multitude." - Charles Dickens Great Expectations

"'I'll tell you,' said she, in the same hurried passionate whisper, 'what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquetioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter - as I did!'" - Charles Dickens Great Expectations

"'Of course,' I add, 'the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people's minds. It's best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you're safe. That doesn't leave you very much to believe in, but that's scientific too.'" Robert Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world." Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"Perhaps his aloneness was the result of his intelligence. Perhaps it was the cause. But the two were always together. An uncanny solitary intelligence." Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

"She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from her." F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it. Then there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. The sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population." Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature

"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again." Emerson Nature

"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,--that is genius." Emerson Self-Reliance

"Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist." Emerson Self-Reliance

"The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough." Emerson Nature

"[Transcendentalists] wish a just and even fellowship, or none." Emerson The Transcendentalist

"I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me. I would write on the lintels of the door post, Whim. I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation." Emerson Self-Reliance

"'You are quoting Snoopy the Dog, I believe?'
' I'll quote the truth wherever I find it, thank you.'" Richard Bach Illusions

"You teach best what you most need to learn." Bach Illusions

"You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past." Bach Illusions

"He was dying of his need to say what he knew, and nobody cared enough to listen." Bach Illusions

"'Do you think that maybe if you say impossible over and over again a thousand times that suddenly hard things will come easy for you?'" Bach Illusions

"'Listen,' he said, 'it's important. We are all. Free. To do. Whatever. We want. To do.'" Bach Illusions

"Lord, what fools these mortals be." William Shakespeare "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

"Alas, poor duke, the task he undertakes/ Is numb'ring sands and drinking oceans dry;" Shakespeare "Richard II"

"For God's sake let us sit upon the ground/ And tell sad stories of the death of kings:" Shakespeare "Richard II"

"Life is a tale told by an idiot/ Full of sound and fury." Shakespeare "Macbeth"

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws/ scuttling across the floors of silent seas." T.S. Eliot "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

"And even suffering and grieving is better than nothing; there is only one thing worse than not being alive, and that's shame. But you cant be alive forever, and you always wear out life long before you have exhausted the possibilities of living." Faulkner Go Down, Moses

"He looked crazy in the face, like somebody that had done slipped away from a crazy house and that knew he wouldn't have much time before they come and got him." William Faulkner Light in August

"'Sho,' Byron said. ' I reckon that being good is about the easiest thing in the world for a lazy man.'" Faulkner Light in August

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm in my right mind. Then it passes over and I'm as lucid as before." Samuel Beckett Endgame

"'No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence-that which makes its truth, its meaning-in subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream-alone...'" Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness

"It is impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what Horror means. Horror. Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of Horror. Horror and Moral Terror are your friends; if they are not, then they are enemies to be feared...they are truly enemies." Apocalypse Now

"The impulse is being called reactionary now, but lovers of Middle-earth want to go there. I would myself, like a shot." Peter Beagle - Preface to The Fellowship of the RIng

"For in the end it is Middle-earth and its dwellers that we love...I said once that the world he charts was there long before [Tolkien], and I still believe it...he found them a place to live, a green alternative to each day's madness here in a poisoned world. We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams." Beagle

"Are you aware what weapon you are loading,/ To what that teasing talk is quietly leading?" W.H. Auden

"But if no classics as in Chaucer's day,/ At least my modern pieces shall be cheery/ Like English bishops on the Quantum Theory." Auden Letter to Lord Byron

"Others because you did not keep/ That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;/ Yet always when I look death in the face,/ When I clamber to the heights of sleep,/ Or when I grow excited with wine,/ Suddenly I meet your face." W.B. Yeats "A Deep-Sworn Vow"


"Sing with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow the Good Lord will take you away." Aerosmtih "Dream On"

"Looking beyond the embers, of bridges glowing behind us, to a glimpse of how great it was on the other side." Pink Floyd "High Hopes"

"All of my life I've been searching, hanging on; turn the corner, never know what I'd find. But now I'm back again, like I never went away. Let me in, I'm through with wasting my time." Phil Collins "Inside Out"

"You will survive being bested/ somebody fine/ will come along/ make me forget about loving you./ At the Southern Cross." Crosby, Stills & Nash "Southern Cross"

"I wish the real world would just stop hassling me." - Matchbox 20 "Real World"

"He's haunted by the memory of a lost paradise/In his youth or dreams he can't be precise/He's chained forever to a world that's departed." Pink Floyd "Sorrow"

"I'm just another writer, still trapped within my truths/A hesitant prize fighter still trapped within my youth." - Dan Hill "Sometimes When We Touch"

"How long 'til my soul gets it right/Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?" - Indigo Girls "Galileo"

"Then drowned in desire, our souls on fire/I led the way to the funeral pyre...A momentary lapse of reason/That binds a life for life/A small regret, you won't forget,/There'll be no sleep in here tonight." - Pink Floyd "One Slip"

"I woke last night to the sound of thunder/How far off I sat and wondered/Started humming a song from 1962/Ain't it funny how the night moves/When you just don't seem to have as much to lose/Strange how the night moves." - Bob Seger "Night Moves"

"My mind goes back to a girl I met some years ago/Who told me/Just hold on loosely/But don't let go/If you cling too tightly you're gonna lose control." - 38 Special "Hold on Loosely"

"Then it comes to you how it all slips away/Youth and beauty are gone one day/No matter what you dream or feel or say/It ends in dust and disarray." - Bob Seger "The Fire Inside"

"You say that I'm the boy who can make it all come true/Well I'm tellin ya that I don't know if I know what to do." - John Mellencamp "Ain't Even Done with the Night"

"To martyr yourself to caution/Is not going to help at all/ Because there'll be no safety in numbers/ When the right one walks out of the door." - Pink Floyd "Lost for Words"

"A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys/ Painted wings and giants' rings make way for other toys." - Peter, Paul and Mary "Puff the Magic Dragon"

"I know you're only protecting yourself/ I know you're thinking of somebody else/ Someone who hurt you/ But I'm not above/ Making up for the love/ You've been denying you could ever feel/ I'm not above doing anything/ To restore your faith if I can" - Billy Joel "Innocent Man"

"Some people hope for a miracle cure/ Some people just accept the world as it is/ But I'm not willing to lay down and die" - Billy Joel "Innocent Man"

"In every heart there is a room/ A sanctuary safe and strong/ To heal the wounds from lovers past/ Until a new one comes along" - Billy Joel "And So It Goes"

"Now with the wisdom of years I try to reason things out/ And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts/ Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for/ I won't be righteous again/ I'm not that sure anymore" - Billy Joel "Shades of Grey"There are a LOT more quotes to come. This is a tedious task trying to find ALL the passages I've marked, but it will get done, so check back!