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Willa Cather quotes (showing 1-30 of 445)

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.”
Willa Cather
“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
“The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”
Willa Cather
tags: love
“Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”
Willa Cather
“I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“It's all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends?”
Willa Cather, My Mortal Enemy
“People live through such pain only once. Pain comes again—but it finds a tougher surface.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
“That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor. ”
Willa Cather
“Isn’t it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years.”
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
“Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“Some memories are realities and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.”
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
“Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet.”
Willa Cather
“The old man smiled. 'I shall not die of a cold, my son. I shall die of having lived.”
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree knows everything I ever think of when I sit here. When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything; I begin just where I left off.”
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
“What was any art but a mold to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself- life hurrying past us and running away, to strong to stop, too sweet to lose.”
Willa Cather
tags: art
“Success is never so interesting as struggle”
Willa Cather
“I was thinking, as I watched her, how little it mattered-- about her teeth, for instance. I know so many women who have kept all the things that she had lost, but whose inner glow has faded. Whatever else was gone, Antonia had not lost the fire of life.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister--anything a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“There was nothing but land; not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“The soul cannot be humbled by fasts and prayer; it must be broken by mortal sin to experience forgiveness of sin and rise to a state of grace. Otherwise, religion is nothing but dead logic.”
Willa Cather
“I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air. or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.”
Willa Cather, My Antonia
“People can be lovers and enemies at the same time, you know.”
Willa Cather, My Mortal Enemy
tags: love
“Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.”
Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
“But she still had that something which fires the imagination, could still stop one's breath for a moment by a look or gesture that somehow revealed the meaning in common things. She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last. All the strong things of her heart came out in her body, that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions. It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away. The light and air abot me told me that the world ended here: only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia
“That is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great. ”
Willa Cather

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My Ántonia My Ántonia
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