Quotes About Words

Quotes tagged as "words" (showing 211-240 of 2,912)
Henry David Thoreau
“A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; -- not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tom Waits
“I’ve always been a word guy, I like weird words and I like American slang and all that and words that are no longer being used… I like to drag them out of the box and wave them around… this is an interesting one, it’s amazing how in addition to punctuation just a little pause in the wrong place can just completely transform the meaning of something.”
Tom Waits

Anne Rice
“How pathetic it is to describe these things which can't truly be described.”
Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire

Anne Sexton
Words

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems

Isabel Allende
“At times I feel as if I had lived all this before and that I have already written these very words, but I know it was not I: it was another woman, who kept her notebooks so that one day I could use them. I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously. ... That's why my Grandmother Clara wrote in her notebooks, in order to see things in their true dimension and to defy her own poor memory.”
Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Virginia Woolf
“The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.”
Virginia Woolf, The Second Common Reader

Maggie Stiefvater
“I wanted a library like this...[] A cave of words that I'd made myself.”
Maggie Stiefvater, Forever

John Green
“And we're such language-based creatures that to some extent we cannot know what we cannot name. And so we assume it isn't real. We refer to it with catch-all terms, like crazy or chronic pain, terms that both ostracise and minimise. The term chronic pain captures nothing of the grinding, constant, ceaseless, inescapable hurt. And the term crazy arrives at us with none of the terror and worry you live with.”
John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Rene Denfeld
“I would think for hours how strange it was that some parts of words are silent, just like some parts of our lives. Did the people who wrote the dictionaries decide to mirror language to our lives, or did it just happen that way?”
Rene Denfeld, The Enchanted

Virginia Woolf
“The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Beverly  Lewis
“Books are like friends to me. Words come alive on the page.”
Beverly Lewis

Virginia Woolf
“Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.”
Virginia Woolf, Street Haunting

Vladimir Nabokov
“Literature, real literature, must not be gulped down like some potion which may be good for the heart or good for the brain — the brain, that stomach of the soul. Literature must be taken and broken to bits, pulled apart, squashed — then its lovely reek will be smelt in the hollow of the palm, it will be munched and rolled upon the tongue with relish; then, and only then, its rare flavor will be appreciated at its true worth and the broken and crushed parts will again come together in your mind and disclose the beauty of a unity to which you have contributed something of your own blood.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian Literature

“When you have nothing to say, say nothing.”
Charles Caleb Colton

Naomi Shihab Nye
“It is really hard to be lonely very long in a world of words. Even if you don't have friends somewhere, you still have language, and it will find you and wrap its little syllables around you and suddenly there will be a story to live in.”
Naomi Shihab Nye, I'll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK?: Tales of Driving and Being Driven

Pierce Brown
“I look at him for a moment. Words are a weapon stronger than he knows. And songs are even greater. The words wake the mind. The melody wakes the heart. I come from a people of song and dance. I don’t need him to tell me the power of words. But I smile nonetheless.”
Pierce Brown, Red Rising

A.S. Byatt
“Vocabularies are crossing circles and loops. We are defined by the lines we choose to cross or to be confined by.”
A.S. Byatt

Amit Kalantri
“To assess the quality of thoughts of people, don't listen to their words, but watch their actions.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Billy Collins
“I see all of us reading ourselves away from ourselves,
straining in circles of light to find more light
until the line of words becomes a trail of crumbs
that we follow across a page of fresh snow”
Billy Collins, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems

Israelmore Ayivor
“People appear like angels until you hear them speak. You must not rush to judge people by the colour of their cloaks, but by the content of their words!”
Israelmore Ayivor

“Language does have the power to change reality. Therefore, treat your words as the mighty instruments they are - to heal, to bring into being, to remove, as if by magic, the terrible violations of childhood, to nurture, to cherish, to bless, to forgive - to create from the whole cloth of your soul, true love.”
Daphne Rose Kingma

José Saramago
“Words have their own hierarchy, their own protocol, their own artistic titles, their own plebeian stigmas.”
José Saramago, Death with Interruptions
tags: words

Elias Canetti
“There are books, that one has for twenty years without reading them, that one always keeps at hand, that one takes along from city to city, from country to country, carefully packed, even when there is very little room, and perhaps one leafs through them while removing them from a trunk; yet one carefully refrains from reading even a complete sentence. Then after twenty years, there comes a moment when suddenly, as though under a high compulsion, one cannot help taking in such a book from beginning to end, at one sitting: it is like a revelation. Now one knows why one made such a fuss about it. It had to be with one for a long time; it had to travel; it had to occupy space; it had to be a burden; and now it has reached the goal of its voyage, now it reveals itself, now it illuminates the twenty bygone years it mutely lived with one. It could not say so much if it had not been there mutely the whole time, and what idiot would dare to assert that the same things had always been in it.”
Elias Canetti, The Human Province

Rabih Alameddine
“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time.”
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman

Vashti Quiroz-Vega
“Words! What power they hold. Once they have rooted in your psyche, it is difficult to escape them. Words can shape the future of a child and destroy the existence of an adult.
Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.”
Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Hermann Hesse
“Among the many worlds which man did not receive as a gift of nature, but which he created with his own mind, the world of books is the greatest. Every child, scrawling his first letters on his slate and attempting to read for the first time, in so doing, enters an artificial and complicated world; to know the laws and rules of this world completely and to practice them perfectly, no single human life is long enough. Without words, without writing, and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity. And if anyone wants to try to enclose in a small space in a single house or single room, the history of the human spirit and to make it his own, he can only do this in the form of a collection of books.”
Hermann Hesse, My Belief

Jeffrey Eugenides
“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words.
I don't believe in "sadness", "joy", or "regret".
Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that is oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions.”
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Philip Roth
“My God! The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn't just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you've got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren't only bombs and bullets —no, they're little gifts, containing meanings!”
Philip Roth

Annie Dillard
“It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale.”
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Amit Ray
“Take care of your words and the words will take care of you.”
Amit Ray

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