Quote Box

A community quote collection!

IMG_1310When I was fifteen, I traveled to Poland with my mom, and came back with this hand-carved gem of a box. The minute I had it, I knew what it was for: words. I wanted a treasure chest full of quotes, sayings, and great passages from literature. IMG_1313_2My little box is beginning to get full of all my random, hand-written scraps, so I’m expanding it here. I’ll add to the box here every so often, but I really want you to join in the fun. Leave me a comment with your favorite quotes, thoughts, musings, or whatever from your beloved writers. We’ll fill a treasure chest of thought.

  • I’m a writer, I give the truth SCOPE! Chaucer, in A Knight’s Tale
  • I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Henry David Thoreau
  • We are dwellers in a divine universe where no desires are in vain – if only they be large enough. George MacDonald
  • ...and in some of the people of the town and community surrounding it, one of the characteristic diseases of the twentieth century was making its way: the suspicion that they would be greatly improved if they were somewhere else. Wendell Berry
  • Those scenes of solitude from which the hand of nature have never been lifted, affect the mind with a more deep-toned emotion than aught which the hand of man has touched. Amid them the consequent associations are of God the Creator, they are His undefiled works; and the mind is cast into contemplation of eternal things. Thomas Cole
  • Said Gawain, gay of cheer,
    Whether fate be foul or fair,
    Why falter I, or fear?
    What should man do but dare
    ? Gawain and the Green Knight
  • If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Henry David Thoreau
  • I have never found a book long enough, or a cup of tea large enough to suit my taste. C.S. Lewis
  • Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars; to be satisfied with your posessions; to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts; to covet nothing that is your neighbor’s except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners; to think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends…and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit. These are the little guideposts on the footpath to peace. Henry Van Dyke
  • Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm, I say to Thee, ‘Lord, why am I here? What is there here to stir my gifts to growth?What great thing can I do for others-I who am captive to this dreary toil?’ And seven times a day Though answerest, ‘I cannot do without thee. Once did My Son live thy life, and by His faithfulness did show My mind, My kindness, and My truth to men. But now He is come to My side, and thou must take His place.’ Hebridean Altars
  • The true ideal is not opposed to the real but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it. James Russell Lowell
  • There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky. There is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul. –Victor Hugo
  • A rare objectivity and insight can be imparted regarding this world’s struggle for spiritual integrity. In the land of Faerie, the reader may see his small battles writ large in the wars of titans or elves and understand, for the first time, his own worth. -Michael O’Brien
  • Philip Sherrard has written that “creation is nothing less than the manifestation of God’s hidden being.” This means that we, and all other creatures live by a sanctity that is inexpressibly intimate, for to every creature the gift of life is a portion of the breath and spirit of God. -Wendell Berry
  • “Then and again and always,” went on Syme, like a man talking to himself, “that has been for me the mystery of Sunday, and it is also the mystery of the world. When I see the horrible back, I am sure the noble face is but a mask. When I see the ace but for an instant, I know the back only a jest. Bad is so bad that we cannot but think good an accident. God is so good, we feel certain that evil could be explained.” –G.K. Chesterton in The Man Who Was Thursday
  • There are not two Gods, one jealous, whom we must fear, and one merciful in whom we must place our hope. Our hope does not consist in pitting one of these gods against the other, bribing one to pacify the other. The Lord of all justice is jealous of His prerogative as the Father of Mercy, and the supreme expression of His justice is to forgive those whom no one else would ever have forgiven. –Thomas Merton in No Man is an Island
  • Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar, sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernible as a song or melody. It is all far off still and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening today. -Alfred Delp
  • Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. -G.K. Chesterton
  • Both men fell silent. “Let me guess what you’re thinking,” said Blue. “Is this story so beautiful that a man could kill for it? That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it?” “I don’t know,” said Ka. “Then think about it,” said Blue, and he left the room. -Orhan Pamuk in Snow
  • One resounding theme in Tolkien’s works is that when people lose hope, when they give in to despair, they lose the ability, or strength, or motivation to choose good over evil. Thus, if our moral choices are of great importance, then so is our hope. –Matthew Dickerson in Following Gandalf
  • I am thinking of Achilles grief, he said. That famous, terrible grief. Let me tell you boys something. Such grief can only be told in form. Maybe it only really exists in form. Form is everything. Without it, you get nothing but a stub-toed cry, sincere maybe, for what that’s worth, but with no depth or carry. No echo. You may have a grievance, but you do not have grief- and grievances are for petitions, no poetry. –Robert Frost in Tobias Wolfe’s Old School
  • I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. -Louisa May Alcott
  • In that time of grief, and discouragement and defeat- it comes clear to me now- all that my father was and would be depended on my mother. I can see how near he came to turning loose all that he held together, and how, with my mother’s help, he preserved the possibility of our life here. He quieted himself, lived, stayed on, and bore what he had to bear. With my mother’s help, he kept alive in his life, our lives as they would be. -Andy Catlett in Wendell Berry’s A World Lost
  • If I were a writer, I’d want to talk about everything that people didn’t talk about. –Necip in Pamuk’s Snow
  • The ideal of great contemplatives, the end of their long education, is to become “modes of the Infinite.” Filled with an abounding sense of the Divine Life, of ultimate and adorable reality, sustaining and urging them on, they wish to communicate the revelation, the more abundant life they have recieved. –Evelyn Underhill in Mysticism
  • “But I don’t want any situation. I want to be left in peace,” said Harriet. “Oh! But you are not a peaceful person. You’ll always make trouble. Why not fight it out on equal terms and enjoy it? Like Allen Breck, I’m a bonny fighter,” said Wimsey. –Dorothy Sayers

9 responses to “Quote Box

  1. gwen

    Reading your thoughts and proud of you……sitting here in Earlington with Larla. gwennie

  2. evidentialist

    I myself was the good son, so to speak, the one who never left his father’s house—even when his father did, a fact which surely puts my credentials beyond all challenge. I am one of those righteous for whom the rejoicing in heaven will be comparatively restrained. And that’s all right. There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?

    Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, p. 238

  3. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

    -Victor Hugo

  4. Sarah

    I love these quotes. Thank you all for adding them. Keep it up!

  5. Pingback: Today, I love… « Itinerant Idealist

  6. John

    Might I be bold enough to offer four?

    A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning. —James Dickey

    I try every day to write great poetry as I tried when I was 14. … What else is there to do?—Donald Hall

    I believe that whatever degree of talent I possess is a gift and must be treated as such. To misuse one’s talent, to be cavalier about it, to set it aside because of fear or sloth is unpardonable.—James Lee Burke

    Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. —John Wesley

  7. northwoodsnomad

    “A surrendered heart produces good behavior but good behavior does not always produce a surrendered heart.” Pastor Brady Boyd

  8. northwoodsnomad

    Benjamin Franklin said, ‘If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.’

  9. You can if you want to,that’s your choice.

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