Circe Quotes

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Circe Circe by Madeline Miller
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Circe Quotes Showing 1-30 of 433
“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“He showed me his scars, and in return he let me pretend that I had none.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“It is a common saying that women are delicate creatures, flowers, eggs, anything that may be crushed in a moment's carelessness. If I had ever believed it, I no longer did.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I thought once that gods are the opposite of death, but I see now they are more dead than anything, for they are unchanging, and can hold nothing in their hands.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I thought: I cannot bear this world a moment longer. Then, child, make another.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I would say, some people are like constellations that only touch the earth for a season.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“So many years I had spent as a child sifting his bright features for his thoughts, trying to glimpse among them one that bore my name. But he was a harp with only one string, and the note it played was himself.

“You have always been the worst of my children,” he said. “Be sure to not dishonor me.”

“I have a better idea. I will do as I please, and when you count your children, leave me out.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“The thought was this: that all my life had been murk and depths, but I was not a part of that dark water. I was a creature within it.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“You threw me to the crows, but it turns out I prefer them to you.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“You cannot know how frightened gods are of pain. There is nothing more foreign to them, and so nothing they ache more deeply to see.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“That is one thing gods and mortals share. When we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“When I was born, the word for what I was did not exist.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I will not be like a bird bred in a cage, I thought, too dull to fly even when the door stands open.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“You are wise,” he said.

“If it is so,” I said, “it is only because I have been fool enough for a hundred lifetimes.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“Yet because I knew nothing, nothing was beneath me.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“You can teach a viper to eat from your hands, but you cannot take away how much it likes to bite.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“He was another knife I could feel it. A different sort, but a knife still. I did not care. I thought: give me the blade. Some things are worth spilling blood for.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I had been old and stern for so long, carved with regrets and years like a monolith. But that was only a shape I had been poured into. I did not have to keep it.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life's precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband's pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children's skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations. I do not forget either my father and his kind hanging over us, bright and sharp as swords, aimed at our tearing flesh. If they do not fall on us in spite and malice, then they will fall by accident or whim. My breath fights in my throat. How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom? I rise then and go to my herbs. I create something, I transform something. My witchcraft is as strong as ever, stronger. This too is good fortune. How many have such power and leisure and defense as I do? Telemachus comes from our bed to find me. He sits with me in the greensmelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years. Circe, he says, it will be all right. It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean it does not hurt. He does not mean we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“I asked her how she did it once, how she understood the world so clearly. She told me that it was a matter of keeping very still and showing no emotions, leaving room for others to reveal themselves.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
We are sorry, we are sorry.

Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“It was my first lesson. Beneath the smooth, familiar face of things is another that waits to tear the world in two.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“The truth is, men make terrible pigs.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“But gods are born of ichor and nectar, their excellences already bursting from their fingertips. So they find their fame by proving what they can mar: destroying cities, starting wars, breeding plagues and monsters. All that smoke and savor rising so delicately from our altars. It leaves only ash behind.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“Witches are not so delicate.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“He liked the way the obsidian reflected his light, the way its slick surfaces caught fire as he passed. Of course, he did not consider how black it would be when he was gone. My father has never been able to imagine the world without himself in it.”
Madeline Miller, Circe
“But of course I could not die. I would live on, through each scalding moment to the next. This is the grief that makes our kind choose to be stones and trees rather than flesh.”
Madeline Miller, Circe

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