Favourite quotes

Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
1,219
1,439
Finland
One that often comes to mind when reading political debates on the internet is by Bertrand Russell: "Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd."

Another one that has stuck with me for a long time comes from Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
 
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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

"The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him."

"If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity."
Xunzi
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
18,749
19,701
The Misty Mountains
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

"The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him."

"If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity."
Xunzi
No.2 hits home.
 
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elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,322
482
Cornwall UK
"it is nice to be important but it is important to be nice" - John Templeton

"I'll slap you so hard even Google won't be able to find you!" - Unknown origin but said to me by my fiancee on occasion.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,172
8,973
Vilano Beach, FL
Given the news he passed away today, this feels proper:

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”

― Harlan Ellison

 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,546
10,604
Given the news he passed away today, this feels proper:

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”


― Harlan Ellison

I remember being told this as a kid by a teacher. Not the same quote but along the lines of you're living in the moment. You won't be remembered by anyone past your grandchildren unless you're very famous. And even then, who really remembers those who made a major impact on history? No one.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,592
34,144
The Far Horizon
I remember being told this as a kid by a teacher. Not the same quote but along the lines of you're living in the moment. You won't be remembered by anyone past your grandchildren unless you're very famous. And even then, who really remembers those who made a major impact on history? No one.
Those who write the records - usually, but not always, the victors - do remember.

A more powerful version of the same sentiment comes from the pen of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley with his spellbinding (to me, at least) poem, Ozymandias:

"I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
 
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Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,393
10,075
Given the news he passed away today, this feels proper:

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”

― Harlan Ellison
Very nice.
 
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mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,351
6,291
The Anthropocene
Those who write the records - usually, bt not always, the victors - do remember.

A more powerful version of the same sentiment comes from the pen of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley with his spellbinding (to me, at least) poem, Ozymandias:

"I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
I always loved this one.
 
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chown33

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Aug 9, 2009
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Since we're sharing poetry about death, I'll point to Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death".

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.​

I enjoy its metaphor, its mental imagery, and its friendly meter.

I also like that it shares its meter with another of my favorites: The Walrus and The Carpenter:

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.​

It's kind of fun to mix and match verses from both, and see how things turn out:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
"Oh, Oysters come and walk with us!",
The Walrus did beseech.​

The Walrus becomes Death (how apropos), we become oysters (with shoes, but no feet), and everyone is out for a pleasant walk along a briny beach (although there are obvious differences in what each regards as "pleasant"). There's probably a literary paper lurking there.

For the most part, Meter is preserved, although Rhyme suffers greatly, while Absurdity grins and waggles its eyebrows, and the Muses roll their eyes and say, "Whatever...".
 
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Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,393
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Since we're sharing poetry about death, I'll point to Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death".

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.​
After Dickinson died her sister (and brother maybe??) opened an old trunk in Emily’s bedroom. Inside were stacks of Emily’s poems bound in strips of lace. They read through them and titled each with the first line of each poem. :)

Something amusing about the bulk of her work is that they can be read to the beat of the theme to Guilligan’s Island. Lol.
[doublepost=1530311574][/doublepost]My favorite contemporary American poet is Mary Oliver. Since the topic is death, her When Death Comes is among my favorites.
 
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chown33

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Something amusing about the bulk of her work is that they can be read to the beat of the theme to Guilligan’s Island. Lol.
I think the Muses did a collective face-palm over that, and Euterpe threw up a little in her mouth.

My favorite contemporary American poet is Mary Oliver. Since the topic is death, her When Death Comes is among my favorites
I just read it; good choice. Player wins +3 redemption points.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,546
10,604
Those who write the records - usually, but not always, the victors - do remember.

A more powerful version of the same sentiment comes from the pen of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley with his spellbinding (to me, at least) poem, Ozymandias:

"I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Actually, I wasn't inferring that specifically, but your point still stands. Anyway, who is that? You're the fifth person who's brought up Ozymandias to me in the last five days, and the one person who did it online. The rest were in person. As someone who doesn't read poetry or understand it much, who is Shelley? Is he or was he famous?

I'm not a follower of superstition, but constantly hearing the name Ozymandias in less than a week is ridiculous to say the least. And just a hint of creepy. Maybe some divine spirit is trying to tell me something.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,592
34,144
The Far Horizon
Actually, I wasn't inferring that specifically, but your point still stands. Anyway, who is that? You're the fifth person who's brought up Ozymandias to me in the last five days, and the one person who did it online. The rest were in person. As someone who doesn't read poetry or understand it much, who is Shelley? Is he or was he famous?

I'm not a follower of superstition, but constantly hearing the name Ozymandias in less than a week is ridiculous to say the least. And just a hint of creepy. Maybe some divine spirit is trying to tell me something.
Er, yes, @Zenithal: Percy Bysshe Shelley is famous. Very famous. And even when he lived, he was famous. And he hung out with, was married to, and married into, famous families, individuals and people.

His dates: 1792-1822 - a touch of the old James Dean stuff, there, in that he died dramatically (and thus, eternally) young, drowning while boating in Naples in 1822.

He was a famous poet, (one of the most famous poets, along with Keats and Byron - both of whom he knew - Byron was a friend - of what became known as the "Romantic movement"), a political radical and writer.

Much of his poetry remained unpublished (but widely known - and enormously influential, both as poetry and as philosophy - he wrote about non-violence, - even during his life, but especially afterwards) in his life, but became extraordinarily influential and popular.

In general, in poetry, my personal tastes run less to Romanticism (except occasionally, in politics) than to poetry influenced by more modern sensibilities, but I think Oxymandias a spell-binding masterpiece, short, bleak, brilliant and almost terrifying in its political and historical insight. And extremely modern in sentiment and poetic execution. You wouldn't think that this was written two hundred years ago.

He was born into the actual aristocracy - and became a member of the cultural aristocracy. As a youth, he was expelled from Oxford for atheism, and what we would now term political radicalism.

His second wife was Mary Shelley (Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) - daughter of the radicals and writers and thinkers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft (who herself wrote Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the first feminist tract in the 1790s); and Mary Shelley was herself the author of a rather well-known work called Frankenstein.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,546
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Thank you for the write-up. I suppose I'll give his works a try even though I don't like poetry. I know who his wife, Mary Shelley, was. Hard to overlook that one. The name crossed my mind earlier this week but I figured it was simply a common name in its time. Cheers
 
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Conutz

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2014
226
126
Joburg
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.
~ Jim Collins

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it - boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
~ Goethe
 
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LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
6,288
34,406
Catskill Mountains
My favorite contemporary American poet is Mary Oliver. Since the topic is death, her When Death Comes is among my favorites.
I like in that one this line

"I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument."
But I'm far less less gracious in so many ways, and so I imagine sometimes that my last words will more likely be along the lines of "no, wait!"
 
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Lioness~

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2017
1,187
1,114
I love Rumi

"When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety; If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it."

-----

“I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.”

-----

"The Wound is the place where the Light enters you"

-----
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,592
34,144
The Far Horizon
I love Rumi

"When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety; If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it."

-----

“I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.”

-----

"The Wound is the place where the Light enters you"

-----
I received a gift of Rumi (an exquisite illustrated version) recently and am slowly reading my way through it; beautiful.
 
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Lioness~

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2017
1,187
1,114
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

- Helen Keller
 
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LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
6,288
34,406
Catskill Mountains
I have always liked these lines for their blending of acceptance and implicit hope:

Send me out into another life
lord because this one is growing faint
I do not think it goes all the way

-- W.S.Merwin, in "Words of a Totem Animal"​
 
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nouveau_redneck

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2017
551
866
From the book Métro 2033.


Sombre ? Ici ? Toujours. Partout il fait sombre. La grand obscurité… viendra… et elle recouvrira le monde et son règne… sera éternel.
 
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