"Love does not dominate, it cultivates.  And that is more."

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German writer, poet, philosopher and scientist
From Das Märchen [1795], as translated by Hermann J. Weigand in Wisdom and Experience [1949]


"The worst families are those in which the members never really speak their minds to one another; they maintain an atmosphere of unreality, and everyone always lives in an atmosphere of suppressed ill-feeling."

- Walter Bagehot, British journalist, essayist, businessman
From The English Constitution (ed. 2, 1872), introduction


"The important thing is not to stop questioning.  One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.  It is enough if one merely comprehends a little of the mystery every day.  The important thing is not to stop questioning: never lose a holy curiosity."

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist
From statement to William Miller, as quoted in Life magazine,
(May 2, 1955)

"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

- Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British writer
From A Room of One's Own (essay first published in 1929)


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover."

- H. Jackson Brown Jr. (1940 - ), American author
From P.S. I Love You, Rutledge Press, 1990

"Happy, happy Christmas that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the traveller back to his own fireside and quiet home!"

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English writer and social critic 
From The Pickwick Paper [1836]


“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”

- Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), American poet and novelist
From The Underground Journals of Sylvia Plath

"Finish every day and be done with it. For manners and for wise living it is a vice to remember. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. To-morrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."

- Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882),
American essayist, lecturer and poet

According to James Elliot Cabot's Memoir of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1888), Emerson wrote those words "To one of his daughters who was away from home, at school."


"It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all."

- J.K. Rowling (1965 - ), British author
From her Harvard University address, 2008

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. "

- Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), American author and poet
From Eleonora, a short story, first published in 1842 in Philadelphia in the literary annual The Gift.


“We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...It has no day.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American writer
From This Side of Paradise

"The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long

And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall"

- From the song "Autumn Leaves"
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), American singer/songwriter

Johnny Mercer

"Autmn Leaves" is the English version of a popular French song called "Les Feuilles mortes" ("The Dead Leaves").  The song was composed by Joseph Kosma and the French lyrics were written by French poet Jacques Prévert (1900-1977).

Jacques Prévert

Here are the French lyrics to  "Les Feuilles mortes" by Jacques Prévert

"C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants désunis"


“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” 

- T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), American-born British poet
From "Four Quartets"       

"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

Allen Saunders
John Lennon
- According to The Yale Book of Quotationsthis phrase was coined by American journalist and cartoonist Allen Saunders (1899-1986) in 1957.  British singer/songwriter John Lennon (1940-1980) popularized the words in the lyrics of his song "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)."  

- Joanne

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