Best Monthly Quotations



"The lyric sound of laughter
Fills all the April hills,
The  joy-song of the crocus,
The mirth of daffodils."

- Clinton Scollard (1860-1932), American poet and writer of fiction
From the poem "April Music"

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning.  Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers."

- Erich Fromm (1900-1980), German  psychologist and philosopher
From Man for Himself, Chapter 3  [1947]


'With rushing winds and gloomy skies 
The dark and stubborn Winter dies:
Far-off unseen, Spring faintly cries.
Bidding her earliest child arise:

- Baynard Taylor (1825-1878), American poet, literary critic, travel author and diplomat
From the poem "March"

"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.  It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

- Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), English novelist and poet
From the novel Jane Eyre. published in 1847


"The February sunshine sleeps your boughs 
And tints the buds and swells the leaves within;
While the song-sparrow, warbling from her perch, 
Tells you that spring is near."

- William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), American poet and journalist
From the poem "Among the Trees," published in 1874

"If everything is imperfect in his imperfect world, love is most perfect in its imperfection."

- Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), Swedish screenwriter and film and theatre director
From the 1957 film The Seventh Seal


"We spend January 1st, walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives . . . not looking for flaws, but for potential."

Attributed to Ellen Goodman (1941-). American journalist

 "The cup of life is not so shallow
That we have drained the best
That all the wine at once we swallow
And lees make all the rest."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882),
American essayist, lecturer and poet
From 1827 journal entry reproduced in Emerson: The Mind on Fire [1995] 


"And the Grinch with his Grinch-feet cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) (1904-1991), American children's author and cartoonist
From How the Grinch Stole Christmas! [1957]

"A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this in this world, no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity."

- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), American First Lady, activist and diplomat
From You Learn by Living [1960]



"But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the wood for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them."

- Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), Canadian author, novelist, poet and diarist
From Anne of Windy Poplars, published in 1936

"It is truer today than when Alfred Nobel realized it a half-century ago, that peace must be paced by human  progress.  Peace is no mere matter of men fighting or not fighting.  Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity - a steadily better life.  If peace is to be secure, long-suffering and long starved, forgotten peoples of the world, the underprivileged and the undernourished, must begin to realize without delay the promise of a new day and a new life."

- Ralph Bunche (1904-1971), American political scientist, diplomat and civil rights leader
From Nobel Lecture "Some Reflections of Peace in Our Time" on December 11, 1950


"In October, a maple tree before your window lights up your room like a giant lamp.  Even on cloudy days, its presence helps to dispel the gloom."

- John Burroughs (1837-1921), American naturalist, conservationist and writer
From Leaf and Tendril, published in 1908

What use is it to slumber here?

What use is it to slumber here,
Though the heart be sad and weary?
What use is it to slumber here,
Though the day rise dark and dreary?

For that mist may break when the sun is high,
And this soul forget its sorrow,
And the rosy ray of the closing day
May promise a brighter morrow.

 Emily Brontë, (1818-1848), English novelist and poet


"If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied."

- Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist
As quoted in the The 12 best Questions to Ask Customers [2001], by Jim Meisenheimer

"September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours, but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.  The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of his brief life.  The bumblebee is busy among the clover blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the song birds, now silent or departed."

- Rowland E. Robinson (1833-1900), American farmer, artist, and author
From the poem "September Days"


"August is the slow, gentle month that stretches out the longest across the span of a year.  It yawns and lingers with the light in its palms."

- Attributed to  Victoria Erickson, poet, author and creative writing coach, based in Austin, Texas.

"Peace is never long preserved by weight of metal or by an armament race. Peace can be made tranquil and secure only by understanding and agreement fortified by sanctions.  We must embrace international cooperation or international disintegration.  Science has taught us how to put the atom to work.  But to make it work for good instead of for evil lies in the domain dealing with the principles of human dignity.  We are now facing a problem more of ethics than of physics."

- Bernard Baruch (1870-1965), American financier and statesman
From Baruch's Address to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, June 14, 1946


"And so with the sunshine and the great burst of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning  over again with the summer."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American writer
From The Great Gatsby [1925]

"By good nights I ought not to have so much
Put on me, but there seems not other way.
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it.
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As I can see no way out but through -
Leastways for me - and then they'll be convinced."

- Robert Frost (1874-1963), American poet
From the poem "A Servant to Servants" [1914]


"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."

- Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), British horticulturalist, garden designer, artist and writer
From her book Wood and Garden, published in 1899

"True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self, and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions."

- Joseph Addison (1672-1719), English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician
From The Spectator (1711-1714) No. 15 (March 17, 1711)


"In the deepening spring of May, I had no choice but to recognize the trembling of my heart.  It usually happened as the sun was going down."

- Hanuki Murakami (1949-), Japanese novelist and short story writer
From the novel Norwegian Wood, published in 1987

Love and Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree -
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom more constantly?

The wild-rose briar is sweet in spring
The summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And  deck  thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.

- Emily Brontë, (1818-1848), English novelist and poet


"No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.  April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it."

Hal Borland (1900-1978), American author, journalist and naturalist
From "April's End," a New York Times editorial, April 29, 1956

"Easter is the only time when it's perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket."

- Attributed to Evan Esar (1899-1995), American humorist


"In March, the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground.

- John Steinbeck (1902-1968), American author
From East of Eden, published in 1952

"To call women the weaker sex is a libel, it is man's injustice to women.  If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed is woman less brute than man.  If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior.  Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage?  Without her, man could not be.  If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman.  Who can  make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?"

- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian lawyer, anti-colonial activist and political ethicist who led a non-violent campaign to achieve Indian independence from British rule.
From Young India, October 4, 1930


"Because in February the days were really getting longer and you could see it, if you really looked.  You could see how at the end of each day the world seemed cracked open and the extra light made its way across the stark trees, and promised.   It promised, that light, and what a thing that was."

- Elizabeth Strout (1956-), American novelist and author
From the novel Olive, Again [2019]

"Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each includes the other.
Love is an echo of the feelings of a unity between two persons, which is founded both on likeness and on complementary differences.  Without the likeness there would be no attraction; without the challenge of the complementary differences there could not be the closer interweaving and the inextinguishable mutual interest which is the characteristic of all deeper relationships."

- Felix Adler (1851-1933), German-American philosopher, professor of political and social ethics
From Life and Destiny [1913]


"January was a two-faced month, jangling like a jester's bells, crackling like snow crust, pure as any beginning, grim as an old man, mysteriously familiar yet unknown, like a word one can almost but not quite define."

- Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995), American novelist and short story writer
From the novel The Price of Salt [1952], later republished as Carol

"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough."

- Frank Crane (1861-1928), American writer, Presbyterian minister, speaker and columnist
As quoted in Business Education World [Volume 15, 1935, Page 172]


"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

- Albert Camus (1913-1960), French-Algerian philosopher, author, dramatist. and journalist
From Return to Tipasa [1954]

"The only freedom that deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others, or impede their efforts to obtain it."

- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), English philosopher and political economist

- From On Liberty [1859]


"It is the same with people as it is with riding a bike.  Only when moving can one comfortably maintain one's balance."

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist
From a letter that Einstein wrote to his son Eduard on February 5, 1930.  The quote is an English translation because the letter was written in German.  The exact quote is "Beim Menschem ist es wie beim Velo.  Nur wenn er faehrt, kann er bequem die Balance halten." 

"The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of.  The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July."

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher
Autumn: From the journal of Henry David Thoreau (ed. 1892).


"The time of the falling of leaves has come again.  Once more in our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds or the rains out of these delicate textures while we slept."

- John Burroughs (1837-1921), American naturalist, conservationist and writer
From Under the Maples, published posthumously by Clara Barrus in 1921

"Today's real borders are not between nations, but between powerful and powerless, free and fettered, privileged and humiliated.  Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another."

- Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Ghanaian diplomat and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006
Nobel Lecture, Oslo, Norway (December 10, 2001)


"Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year.  The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple."

- J.K. Rowling (1965-), British author
From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [2007]

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin, more even than death.  Thought is subversive  and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages.  Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid.  It sees man, a feeble speck, surrounded by unfathomable depths of silence; yet it bears itself proudly, as unmoved as if it were lord of the universe.  Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."

- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, author, logician and social critic
From Why Men Fight [1917]


"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet
From As You Like It, Touchstone (Act 5, Scene 1)

"The quiet August moon has come;
A slumberous silence fills the sky,
The fields are still, the woods are dumb
In glassy sleep the waters lie."

- William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), American poet and journalist
From the poem "A Summer Ramble," which appeared in The White Footed Deer and Other Poems, published in 1844


"But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding?  Probably because we always pine for what we do not have.  The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter."

- Joanna Franklin Bell, American author
From Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski, published in 2014

"I scarcely remember counting upon happiness.  I look not for it if it be not in the present hour - nothing startles me beyond the moment.  The setting sun will always set me to rights, or if a sparrow comes before my Window.  I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel."

- John Keats (1795-1821), English poet
Letter to Benjamin Bailey, November 22. 1817


"It was June. and the world smelled of roses.  The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."

- Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980), American author
From Betsy-Tacy and Tibb, first published in 1941   

"Whoever does not talk to his father never knows what his grandfather said."

- Paul Rusesabagina (1954-), Rwandan politician
As Quoted in An Ordinary Man [2006], Chapter 10


"Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on."

- Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German poet, writer and literary critic
From "Book of Songs, New Spring, No. 5"

"All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.  No man does.  That is his."

- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish essayist, novelist, playwright and poet 
From The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 1 


"Nothing erases the past.  There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness.  That is all, but that is enough."

- Ted Chiang (1967-), American science fiction writer
From the short story "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," originally published in Fantasy and Science Fiction [2007]

"But it is a sort of April-weather life we lead in this world.  A little sunshine is generally the prelude to a storm."

- William Cowper (1731-1800), English poet and hymnwriter
From Letters of William Cowper: Chosen and Edited with a Memoir and a Few Notes


"Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn."

- Lewis Grizzard (1946-1994), American writer and humorist.
Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You, first published in  1979

"Ring the bells that still ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"

- Leonard Cohen (1934-2016). Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist
Lyrics from the song Anthem


"The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river is dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), American poet and educator
From the poem "Afternoon in February"

"She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in  her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which heaven to gaudy day denies."

- Lord Byron (George Gordon) (1788-1824), British Romantic poet, peer
From "She Walks in Beauty,"  first published in 1815


"People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others."    

- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French philosopher, writer, mathematician, physicist and theologian
From Pensées ("Thoughts"), first published in 1669

"The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.
It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.
It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,
Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound."

- Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), American poet and author
From the poem "No Possum, No Sop, No Taters," first published in New Poems 1943: An Anthology of British and American Verse


"There  is no ideal Christmas, only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions."

- Bill McKibben (1960- ), American author, environmentalist and journalist
From Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas [1998|

"The crisp path through the field in this December snow, in the deep dark, where we trod the buried grass like ghosts on dry toast."

- Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet and writer
From Quite Early One Morning, broadcast on the BBC


"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."

-  Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and historian 
From the poem "Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field"  [1808]

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."

- George MacDonald, (1824-1905), Scottish author of poetry, fairy tales and fantasy novels
From The Marquis of Lossie [1877]


"Success ultimately rests on small things, lots of small thing.  Leaders have to a feel for small things - a feel for what is going in the depths of an organization where small things reside.  The more senior you become, the more you are isolated by pomp and staff, and the harder and more necessary it becomes to know what is going on six floors down.  One way is to leave the top floor and its grand accoutrements and get down into the bowels for real.  Don't tell anyone you are coming."

- Colin Powell (1937-2021), American politician, diplomat and four-star general
From It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership [2012]

"It's a beautiful fall day.  Gentle wind teases stubborn autumnal leaves.  Some defy the gentle wind and sway.  A taunting dance.  Come with me and look at the magnificence of the last dance."

- Fidelis O. Mkparu (1959- ), Nigerian-born, Harvard-trained cardiologist and author
From Love's Affliction [2015]


"There comes a day each September when you wake up and know the summer is over and fall has arrived.  The slant of the sun looks different  and something is in the air - a coolness, a hint of frosty mornings to follow."

- Ann Rinaldi (1934-2021). American author, novelist
From Time Enough for Drums [1986]

"Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs."

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist

Posthumously published, as quoted in Albert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives (by Gerald James Holton, Yehuda Elkana)


"August was nearly over, the month of apples and falling stars, the last carefree month for the school children.  The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear - the first sign of advancing autumn."

- Viktor Nekrasov (1911-1987), Russian writer, journalist and editor

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."

- Harold Wilson (1916-1995), British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice.
From Speech to the Consultive Assembly of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France, January 23, 1967


"Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.  Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines."

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher
From Walden, first published in 1854

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

- Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American abolitionist, author, orator and reformer
From his Speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Emancipation of the District of Columbia, April 1886


"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

- Will Rogers (1879-1935), American actor, cowboy, humourist, entertainer and social commentator
Unsourced quotation widely attributed to Will Rogers

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June."

- Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), Canadian author, novelist, poet and diarist
From Anne of the Island, first published 1915


"'For all the sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: It might have been!'"

- John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), American Quaker poet
From the poem "Maud Muller" [1856]

"It was the month of May and there was warm sunshine dripping through the holes between the clouds, like the sky was a broken blue bowl and a child was trying to keep honey in it."

- Chris Cleave (1973- ), British writer and journalist
From The Other Hand [2008], released in 2009 as Little Bee in Canada and the U.S.


"During the rainstorms of April
the oyster rises from the sea
and opens its shell -
rain enters it -
when it sinks the raindrops
become the pearl."

- Anne Sexton (1928-1974), American poet
From the poem "The Sermon of the Twelve"

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me. 

- Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), American poet
"'Hope' is the Thing with Feathers" - (314) from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson


"It was March.  The days of March creeping gently on like something that man couldn't hinder and God wouldn't hurry."

- Edna Bagnold (1889-1981), British author and playwright
From National Velvet [1935]

"If you want to know the value of one year, just ask a student who failed a course.
If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet.
If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus.
If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident.
If you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics."

- Marc Levy (1961-), French novelist
From If Only It Were True (French: Et si c'etait vrai...)


"A rising tide lifts all boats."

- This proverb has been attributed to John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th president of the United States. Kennedy used it in a 1963 speech to defend himself against criticisms that a dam he was building was a pork  barrel project.  Although the phrase has been applied to free market policies, in recent years it has been used to highlight economic inequalities.

"February is the border between
winter and spring."

- Terri Guillemets (pen name), American writer and quotation anthologist
From Years [2002]


"In one sense choice is possible, but what is not possible is not to choose.  I can always choose, but I must know that if I do not choose, that is still a choice."

- Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), French philosopher and writer
From Existentialism and Humanism, first published in 1946

"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.  Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."

- Thomas Mann 1875-1955), German novelist and short story writer
From The Magic Mountain [1924] (English translation by H.T. Lowe-Porter)



"And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look
Behind, from where we came
And go round and round, in the circle game"

- Joni Mitchell (1943- ), Canadian singer-songwriter
Lyrics from the song "The Circle Game" [1967]

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show."

- Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), American visual artist
Quoted in Wyeth's 2009 obituary in The Guardian


 In November, the earth is growing silent.  It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures.  The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets."

- Cynthia Rylant (1954- ), American author and librarian
From In November [2000]

"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."

- Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), Irish poet and playwright
From The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes [1991]


"October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon, more clearly seen.  It is the distant hills once more in sight and the enduring constellations above them once again."

- Hal Borland (1900-1978), American author, journalist and naturalist
From Sundial of the Seasons [1964]

"Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying. 'I will try again tomorrow.'"

- Mary Anne Radmacher (1957-), American writer and artist
From poem written in 1985


"September:  it was the most beautiful of words, he'd always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret."

- Alexander Theroux (1939 - ), American novelist and poet
From Darconville's Cat, a novel published in 1981

"No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty ideas.  The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.  It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and cliches and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders."

- Edward Bernays (1891-1995), Austrian-born American publicist
From Propaganda [1928]



"The trick is to enjoy life  Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead." 

- Marjorie Pay Hinckley (1911-2004), American author, Mormon leader 


"Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd president of the United States
From a radio address (Oct 26, 1939), as reported in The Baltimore Sun (October 2, 1939)


HARLEM (A Dream Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over -
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes (1901-1967), American
poet, social activist, novelist, playwright 
and columnist

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

- John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (1834-1913), English banker, politician, philanthropist, scientist and polymath
From The Use of Life [1894]


"In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different."

- John Steinbeck (1902-1968), American author
From The Winter of Our Discontent, published in 1961


"At midnight, in the month of June, 
I stand beneath the mystic moon."

- Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1949), American writer, poet and editor 
From the poem "The Sleeper," originally published in 1831


Very Early Spring

The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up in the sky --
So many white clouds -- and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches, he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the golden tears . . . .
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble 
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.

- Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), 
New Zealand poet and short story writer

"Ah! my heart is weary waiting
Waiting for the May,
Waiting for the pleasant rambles
Where the fragrant hawthorn brambles,
With the woodbine alternating,
Scent the dewy way.
Ah! my heart is weary,
Waiting for the May."

- Denis Florence MacCarthy (1817-1882), Irish poet, translator and biographer
From the poem "Summer Longings"


"Spring is made of solid, fourteen-karat gratitude, the reward for the long wait.  Every religious tradition from the northern hemisphere honors some form of April hallelujah, for this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bag return to joy after a season of second thoughts."

- Barbara Kingsolver (1955 - ), American, novelist, essayist and poet
From Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life [2007]

"the sweet small clumsy feet of April came into the ragged meadow of my soul."

- Edwin Estlin Cummings (e.e. cummings) (1894 - 1962), American poet, author, essayist, playwright painter 
From the poem "If I have made, my lady, intricate"


MARCH is the month of expectation,
The things we do not know,
The Persons of prognostication
Are coming now.
We try to sham becoming firmness,
But pompous joy
Betrays us, as his first betrothal
Betrays a boy.

- Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), American poet
From Complete Poems [1924], Part Five: The Single Hound, XLVIII (originally published 1914)

"Well done is better than well said."

- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American writer, philosopher, politician and inventor
From Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737


On the wind in February
Snowflakes float still,
Half inclined to turn to rain,
Nipping, dripping, chill.
Then the thaws swell the streams
And swollen rivers swell the sea -
If the winter ever ends
How pleasant it will be!

- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), English poet
From the poem A Year's Windfalls [1866]

"The believer humanly comprehends how heavy the suffering is, but in faith's wonder that it is beneficial to him, he devoutly says: It is light.  Humanly, he says: It is impossible, but he says it again in faith's wonder that what he humanly cannot understand is beneficial to him.  In other words, when sagacity is able to perceive the beneficialness, then faith cannot see God; but when in the dark night of suffering sagacity cannot see a hairbreadth ahead of it, then faith can see God, since faith sees best in the dark."

- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Danish philosopher, theologian, social critic and author
From Uplifting Discourses in Various Spirits [1847]


"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.  Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."

- Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German novelist, short story writer, essayist, Nobel Prize in Literature (1929)

From The Magic Mountain [1924]


The night is darkening round me,

The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

- Emily Brontë, (1818-1848), English novelist and poet


"Happiness in this world, when it comes, come incidentally.  Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us to a wild-goose chase, and is never attained.  Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness, without dreaming of it; but likely enough it is gone the moment we say to ourselves, 'Here it is!' like the chest of gold that treasure-seekers find."

- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), American novelist and short story writer
From Passages from the American Note-books of Nathaniel Hawthorne [1868], Volume 2 of 2, (Excerpt occurred between passages dated November 21, 1851 and April 13, 1852), Published by Smith, Elder and Co., London

"It was snowing.  It was always snowing at Christmas.  December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers.  But there were cats."

- Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet and writer
From A Child's Christmas in Wales, first published in 1954


"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.' . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), American First Lady, activist and diplomat
From This is My Story [1937]

"November is usually such a disagreeable month . . . as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it.  This year is growing old gracefully . . . just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles.  We've had lovely days and delicious twilights."

- Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), Canadian author, novelist, poet and diarist
From Anne of Avonlea [1909]


"October is a symphony of permanence and change."

- Bonaro W. Overstreet (1902-1985), American author, poet and psychologist
From Signature: New and Selected Poems [1978]

"When women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice until they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do.  Then, they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it.  If it fails, they generously give her the whole."

- Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), American novelist, short story writer and poet
From Little Women [1868]


"He must be a poor creature that does not repeat himself.  Imagine the author of the excellent piece of advice, "Know thyself," never alluding to that sentiment again during the course of a protracted existence!  Why, the truths a man carries about with him are the tools, and do you think a carpenter is bound to use the same plane but once to smooth a lofty board with, or to hang up his hammer after it has driven its first nail?  I shall never repeat a conversation, but an idea often.  I shall use the same types when I like, but not commonly the same stereotypes.  A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.  It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of association." 

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894), American physician, writer and poet
From The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 and 1858

"September is the month of maturity; the heaped basket and the garnered sheaf.  It is the month of climax and completion.  September!  I never tire of turning it over and over in my mind.  It has warmth, depth and colour.  It glows like old amber."

- Patience Strong (1907-1990), British poet
From The Glory of the Garden


"Nothing is original.  Steal from anywhere that resonates or fuels your imagination.  Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.  Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul.  If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.  Authenticity is invaluable, originality is non-existent."

- Jim Jarmusch (1953 - ), American film director, screenwriter and producer
From MovieMaker Magazine #53, Winter, January 22, 2004

"August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.  The odd uneven time."                                                                              

- Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), American poet and novelist
From journal entry, August 1952


"Do not consider yourself deprived because your dreams were not fulfilled; the truly deprived have never dreamed."

- Marie von Ebner- Eschenbach (1830-1916), Austrian writer, known for her psychological novels
From Aphorisms

"The Summer looks out from her brazen tower,
Through the flashing bars of July."

- Francis Thompson (1859-1907), English poet, writer and mystic
From the poem "A Corymbus For Autumn"