Jeff > Jeff's Quotes

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  • #1
    Mark Twain
    “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
    Mark Twain

  • #2
    Mark Twain
    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
    Mark Twain

  • #3
    Charles Bukowski
    “Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.”
    Charles Bukowski

  • #4
    Walter M. Miller Jr.
    “You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”
    Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

  • #5
    G.K. Chesterton
    “It is well sometimes to half understand a poem in the same manner that we half understand the world.”
    G.K. Chesterton

  • #6
    William F. Buckley Jr.
    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
    William F. Buckley Jr.

  • #7
    Billy Collins
    Marginalia

    Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
    skirmishes against the author
    raging along the borders of every page
    in tiny black script.
    If I could just get my hands on you,
    Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
    they seem to say,
    I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

    Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
    Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
    that kind of thing.
    I remember once looking up from my reading,
    my thumb as a bookmark,
    trying to imagine what the person must look like
    who wrote "Don't be a ninny"
    alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

    Students are more modest
    needing to leave only their splayed footprints
    along the shore of the page.
    One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
    Another notes the presence of "Irony"
    fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

    Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
    Hands cupped around their mouths.
    Absolutely," they shout
    to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
    Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
    Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
    rain down along the sidelines.

    And if you have managed to graduate from college
    without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
    in a margin, perhaps now
    is the time to take one step forward.

    We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
    and reached for a pen if only to show
    we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
    we pressed a thought into the wayside,
    planted an impression along the verge.

    Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
    jotted along the borders of the Gospels
    brief asides about the pains of copying,
    a bird singing near their window,
    or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
    anonymous men catching a ride into the future
    on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

    And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
    they say, until you have read him
    enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

    Yet the one I think of most often,
    the one that dangles from me like a locket,
    was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
    I borrowed from the local library
    one slow, hot summer.
    I was just beginning high school then,
    reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
    and I cannot tell you
    how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
    how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
    when I found on one page

    A few greasy looking smears
    and next to them, written in soft pencil-
    by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
    whom I would never meet-
    Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love.”
    Billy Collins, Picnic, Lightning

  • #8
    Ayn Rand
    “If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?"

    I…don't know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?"

    To shrug.”
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged



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