Michael > Michael's Quotes

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  • #1
    Richard Condon
    “Mason took in enough cannabis smoke to allow a Lipan Apache manipulating a blanket over it to transmit the complete works of Tennyson.”
    Richard Condon, Money Is Love

  • #2
    William F. Buckley Jr.
    “To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.”
    William F. Buckley

  • #3
    George Bernard Shaw
    “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
    George Bernard Shaw

  • #4
    John Dominic Crossan
    “. . . I still hold two truths with equal and fundamental certainty. One: the British did terrible things to the Irish. Two: the Irish, had they the power, would have done equally terrible things to the British. And so also for any other paired adversaries I can imagine. The difficulty is to hold on to both truths with equal intensity, not let either one negate the other, and know when to emphasize one without forgetting the other. Our humanity is probably lost and gained in the necessary tension between them both. I hope, by the way, that I do not sound anti-British. It is impossible not to admire a people who gave up India and held on to Northern Ireland. That shows a truly Celtic sense of humor.”
    John Dominic Crossan
    tags: irish

  • #5
    C.E. Murphy
    “In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

    In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.

    I liked the Irish way better.”
    C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman

  • #6
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    “Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally and if they would contribute mutually to each others' welfare.

    This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness and well-being. Therefore, let us explain as often as possible, and particularly at the departure of life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on fables and ideas which Science has long ago proven to be false.”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

  • #7
    Mark Twain
    “I can last two months on a good compliment.”
    Mark Twain

  • #8
    Amélie Nothomb
    “Le meurtre a ceci de comparable avec l'acte sexuel qu'il est souvent suivi de la même question : que faire du corps ?”
    Amélie Nothomb

  • #9
    Amélie Nothomb
    “God isn't chocolate, he's the encounter between chocolate and the palate capable of appreciating it.”
    Amelie Nothomb

  • #10
    “The serious writer must take serious vows....a vow of silence, except through his work. A vow of consistency, sticking with writing to the exclusion of other fields. A vow of ego-chastity, abstaining from adulation. A vow of self-regard, placing the self as writer before the self as personality.”
    L.E. Sissman

  • #11
    “Very few people know where they will die,
    But I do; in a brick-faced hospital,
    Divided, not unlike Caesarean Gaul,
    Into three parts; the Dean Memorial
    Wing, in the classic cast of 1910,
    Green-grated in unglazed, Aeolian
    Embrasures; the Maud Wiggin Building, which
    Commemorates a dog-jawed Boston bitch
    Who fought the brass down to their whipcord knees
    In World War I, and won enlisted men
    Some decent hospitals, and, being rich,
    Donated her own granite monument;
    The Mandeville Pavilion, pink-brick tent
    With marble piping, flying snapping flags
    Above the entry where our bloody rags
    Are rolled in to be sponged and sewn again.
    Today is fair; tomorrow, scourging rain
    (If only my own tears) will see me in
    Those jaundiced and distempered corridors
    Off which the five-foot-wide doors slowly close.
    White as my skimpy chiton, I will cringe
    Before the pinpoint of the least syringe;
    Before the buttered catheter goes in;
    Before the I.V.’s lisp and drip begins
    Inside my skin; before the rubber hand
    Upon the lancet takes aim and descends
    To lay me open, and upon its thumb
    Retracts the trouble, a malignant plum;
    And finally, I’ll quail before the hour
    When the authorities shut off the power
    In that vast hospital, and in my bed
    I’ll feel my blood go thin, go white, the red,
    The rose all leached away, and I’ll go dead.
    Then will the business of life resume:
    The muffled trolley wheeled into my room,
    The off-white blanket blanking off my face,
    The stealing secret, private, largo race
    Down halls and elevators to the place
    I’ll be consigned to for transshipment, cased
    In artificial air and light: the ward
    That’s underground; the terminal; the morgue.
    Then one fine day when all the smart flags flap,
    A booted man in black with a peaked cap
    Will call for me and troll me down the hall
    And slot me into his black car. That’s all.”
    L.E. Sissman

  • #12
    Alexander Jablokov
    “Death is real, irreversible, and awful. Do you want some advice? Don't wait until you're dead to try to communicate. Do it now. You still have a chance. Not a great one, but a better one than you will have. If you think it's hard to get your point across now, and that no one really understands what you're about, just try it when you're dead.”
    Alexander Jablokov, Brain Thief

  • #13
    Veronica Franco
    “We danced our youth in a dreamed of city, Venice, paradise, proud and pretty, We lived for love and lust and beauty, Pleasure then our only duty. Floating them twixt heaven and Earth And drank on plenties blessed mirth We thought ourselves eternal then, Our glory sealed by God’s own pen. But paradise, we found is always frail, Against man’s fear will always fail. ”
    Veronica Franco

  • #14
    Oscar Wilde
    “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
    Oscar Wilde

  • #15
    “There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us. I have observed for example that we all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter. ~Bat Masterson”
    Bat Masterson

  • #16
    Lionel Trilling
    “Our culture tends "to regard the mere energy of impulse as being in every mental and moral way equivalent and even superior to defined intention." Instead we should consider "an idea that once was salient in western culture: the idea of "making a life", by which was meant conceiving human existence, one's own or another's, as if it were a work of art upon which one might pass judgment.... This desire to fashion, to shape, a self and a life has all but gone from a contemporary culture whose emphasis, paradoxically enough, is so much on self.”
    Lionel Trilling

  • #17
    Lionel Trilling
    “We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us. ”
    Lionel Trilling

  • #18
    Phyllis McGinley
    “Ah, snug lie those that slumber beneath conviction's roof.
    Their floors are sturdy lumber, their windows weatherproof.
    But I sleep cold forever, and cold sleep all my kind,
    For I was born to shiver in the draft from an open mind.
    Born nakedly to shiver in the draft of an open mind.”
    Phyllis McGinley

  • #19
    Phyllis McGinley
    “Sin has always been an ugly word, but it has been made so in a new sense over the last half-century. It has been made not only ugly but passé. People are no longer sinful, they are only immature or underprivileged or frightened or, more particularly, sick.”
    Phyllis McGinley

  • #20
    Phyllis McGinley
    “A mother's hardest to forgive.
    Life is the fruit she longs to hand you
    Ripe on a plate. And while you live,
    Relentlessly she understands you.”
    Phyllis McGinley

  • #21
    William Saroyan
    “The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”
    William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories

  • #22
    Seamus Heaney
    “The main thing is to write
    for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust
    that imagines its haven like your hands at night
    dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.
    You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
    Take off from here.”
    Seamus Heaney, Station Island

  • #23
    Seamus Heaney
    “Human beings suffer,
    They torture one another,
    They get hurt and get hard.
    No poem or play or song
    Can fully right a wrong
    Inflicted and endured.

    The innocent in gaols
    Beat on their bars together.
    A hunger-striker's father
    Stands in the graveyard dumb.
    The police widow in veils
    Faints at the funeral home.

    History says, don't hope
    On this side of the grave.
    But then, once in a lifetime
    The longed-for tidal wave
    Of justice can rise up,
    And hope and history rhyme.

    So hope for a great sea-change
    On the far side of revenge.
    Believe that further shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracle
    And cures and healing wells.

    Call miracle self-healing:
    The utter, self-revealing
    Double-take of feeling.
    If there's fire on the mountain
    Or lightning and storm
    And a god speaks from the sky

    That means someone is hearing
    The outcry and the birth-cry
    Of new life at its term.”
    Seamus Heaney

  • #24
    Seamus Heaney
    “Now it’s high watermark
    and floodtide in the heart
    and time to go.
    The sea-nymphs in the spray
    will be the chorus now.
    What’s left to say?

    Suspect too much sweet-talk
    but never close your mind.
    It was a fortunate wind
    that blew me here. I leave
    half-ready to believe
    that a crippled trust might walk

    and the half-true rhyme is love.”
    Seamus Heaney, The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes

  • #25
    Seamus Heaney
    “If self is a location, so is love:
    Bearings taken, markings, cardinal points,
    Options, obstinacies, dug heels, and distance,
    Here and there and now and then, a stance.”
    Seamus Heaney, District and Circle

  • #26
    “No matter how awful it is to be sitting in this
    Terrible magazine office, and talking to this
    Circular-saw-voiced West side girl in a dirt-
    Stiff Marimekko and lavender glasses, and this
    Cake-bearded boy in short-rise Levi’s, and hearing
    The drip and rasp of their tones on the softening
    Stone of my brain, and losing
    The thread of their circular words, and looking
    Out through their faces and soot on the window to
    Winter in University Place, where a blue-
    Faced man, made of rags and old newspapers, faces
    A horrible grill, looking in at the food and the faces
    It disappears into, and feeling,
    Perhaps, for the first time in days, a hunger instead
    Of a thirst; where two young girls in peacoats and hair
    As long as your arm and snow-sanded sandals
    Proceed to their hideout, a festering cold-water flat
    Animated by roaches, where their lovers, loafing in wait
    To warm and be warmed by brainless caresses,
    Stake out a state
    Of suspension; and where a black Cadillac 75
    Stands by the curb to collect a collector of rents,
    Its owner, the owner of numberless tenement flats;
    And swivelling back
    To the editorial pad
    Of Chaos, a quarter-old quarterly of the arts,
    And its brotherly, sisterly staff, told hardly apart
    In their listlessly colored sackcloth, their ash-colored skins,
    Their resisterly sullenness, I suddenly think
    That no matter how awful it is, it’s better than it
    Would be to be dead. But who can be sure about that?”
    L.E. Sissman

  • #27
    Bob Marley
    “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
    Bob Marley

  • #28
    “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
    Linda Grayson

  • #29
    Alfred Tennyson
    “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.”
    Alfred Tennyson

  • #30
    Molly Ivins
    “As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in office.”
    Molly Ivins

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