My favorite quotes of all time.

Our love is all we have.

— Wilco, Jesus Etc.

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

— J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

I don’t know where I am, I don’t know where I been, but I know where I want to go.

— Bright Eyes, First Day of My Life

Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

When I was deep in poverty you taught me how to give.

— Bob Dylan, Wedding Song

if the damned gave you a road map then you’d know which way to go

— Modest Mouse, Spitting Venom

Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.

— Patti Smith, Gloria

I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” And the guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much how I feel about relationships. Y’know, they’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and, but, uh, I guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.

— Woody Allen, Annie Hall

Which is worse, hell or nothing? Only if we’re caught and punished can we be saved. ‘Burn the Louvre,’ the mechanic says, ‘and wipe your ass with the Mona Lisa. This way at least, God would know our names.’

— Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

My heart was aching, and my belief is that when things are bad, it’s better to make them worse.

— Emma Forrest, Thin Skin

I love you as the plant that never blooms, but carries within itself the light of hidden flowers. Thanks to your love, a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

— Pablo Neruda, XVII

You, me, and everything caught in the fire.

— Radiohead, You

You know, at one time, I used to break into pet shops to liberate the canaries. But I decided that was an idea way before its time. Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing… oh my, how the world still dearly loves a cage.

— Harold & Maude

There’s nothing like unrequited love to take all the flavor out of a peanut butter sandwich.

— Charlie Brown

There are too many ideas and too many people. And too many directions to go. I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something, is that is whittles the world down to a more manageable size.

— Adaptation

Judith looked all wrong. Her hair was pulled back tightly; she was wearing some cheap polka-dotted dress she’d bought at a thrift shop. Our meeting was all full of false starts. What’s going on at school? How is your painting? What did you do over spring break? What music are you listening to? Then it got into harder stuff. I took her hands. I grabbed at them greedily and held them in my lap. Why wasn’t I good enough? I asked. Why couldn’t I be closer to her than I was? What was I doing wrong? Why was I so bad at human commerce when it was the thing I wanted more than anything?

— Rick Moody, The Brightest Ring of Angels Around Heaven

She felt heightened in her own eyes, while knowing this sensation was not different from drunkenness, and that it would vanish like the ecstasies of drink, leaving her the next day even more shaky, even weaker at the core, deflated, possessing nothing within herself.

— Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

— Anaïs Nin

That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.

— Charles Bukowski

In a dream you are never eighty.

— Anne Sexton

We are the dead. Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie, here in Flanders Fields.

— John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

i love dogs better than anything else on earth, next to cigarettes & a couple of people.

— Jo Ann Beards, The Boys of My Youth

i wanted this one to be different. i wanted to think i would have liked her, in another time and place, another life. But i could see already that i wouldn’t have liked her, nor she me.

— Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Practice- that’s all it took. All a guy needed was a chance. Somebody was always controlling who got a chance, & who didn’t.

— Charles Bukowski, Ham On Rye

I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me, and my inquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self expression.

— Dylan Thomas

It don’t mean nothing, drive on.

— Johnny Cash, Drive On

I’d love to wear a rainbow everyday, & tell the world that everything’s okay. But until we start to make a move to make a few things right, you’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

— Johnny Cash, Man in Black

I am just a dreamer, but you are just a dream. You could have been anyone to me.

— Neil Young, Like A Hurricane

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

— Anne Sweeney

I have seen the future, brother, it is murder.

— Leonard Cohen, The Future

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten. Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain.

— Iron & Wine, Upward Over The Mountain

The window was wide, she could see the dogs come running, saying, wait, we swear
we’ll love you more and holy, Jezebel. it’s we, we that you are for- only.

— Iron & Wine, Jezebel

once my heart was filled with the love of a girl. i held her close but she faded in the night, like a poem i meant to write…

— Simon & Garfunkel, Leaves That Are Green

He taught me the meaning of pain. Pain without reason.

— Charles Bukowski, Born Into This

I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.

— Anaïs Nin

There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.

— Anaïs Nin

Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

— Anaïs Nin

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

— Anaïs Nin

“Go on take everything, i dare you to.
i told you from the start just how this would end when i get what i want and i never want it again.”

— Hole, Violet

And your long time curse hurts but what’s worse
is this pain in here; I can’t stay in here
ain’t it clear that i just can’t fit
yes i believe it’s time for us to quit
When we meet again, introduced as friends,
Please don’t let on that you knew me when
I was hungry, and it was your world

— Bob Dylan, Just Like A Woman

Now your dancing child with his chinese suit
He spoke to me, i took his flute
Even though i wasn’t very cute to him, was i?
But i did it because you lied
& because he took you for a ride
Because time is on his side
& because i want you

— Bob Dylan, I Want You

Look at the sun sinkin’ like a ship
Ain’t that just like my heart babe,
When i kiss your lips?

— Bob Dylan, Meet Me In The Morning

Half the people can be part right all of the time, an’
Some of the people can be all right part of the time,
But all the people can’t be all right all of the time.
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
“I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.”
I said that.

— Bob Dylan, Talkin’ World War III Blues

She is good to me
and there’s nothing she doesn’t see
She knows where i’d like to be
but it doesn’t matter

— Bob Dylan, I Want You

We might die from medication but we sure killed all the pain.

— Bright Eyes, Lua

I am a lonely painter, I live in a box of paints. I’m frightened by the devil & drawn to those ones that ain’t.”

— Joni Mitchell, A Case of You

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy…”

— Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

— Winston Churchill

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

— Henry David Thoreau

I can’t find those church bells.

— Tori Amos, Playboy Mommy

We’ll meet again. Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.

— Johnny Cash, We’ll Meet Again

Lord have mercy on my rough & rowdy ways.

— The Head & The Heart, Down in the Valley

It’s everything that you want babe.
It’s everything that you need.
Soft and warm al the time, make you want it over and over.
Strong on the horizon,
But ends up bein really so sweet… oh so sweet.

— My Morning Jacket, Masterplan

She says, ‘oh, it’s so hard to love when love was your great disappointment.’

— Tori Amos, Rattlesnakes

Cheer up baby, it wasn’t always quite so bad.

— Modest Mouse, Spitting Venom

To say the things i want to say to you would be a crime.
To admit i’m still in love with you
after all this time
i’d rather let you touch my arm until you die.
Seduce me with your charms until i’m drunk on them go home and drink in bed
and never let myself love like that again.

— Sharon Van Etten, A Crime

We built our get away up in a tree we found.
We felt so far away but we were still in town.
Now I remember watching that old tree burn down
I took a picture that I don’t like to look at.

— Jack Johnson, Do You Remember

For a minute there i lost myself.

— Radiohead

she was consumed by 3 simple things:
drink, despair, loneliness; and 2 more:
youth and beauty

— Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers At Last

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman

— Anaïs Nin

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.

— Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

— Anaïs Nin

From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.

— Anaïs Nin

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.

— Anaïs Nin

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

— Anaïs Nin

Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

I never change, I simply become more myself.

— Joyce Carol Oates

What you call your personality, you know? –it’s not like actual bones, or teeth, something solid. It’s more like a flame. A flame can be upright, and a flame can flicker in the wind, a flame can be extinguished so there’s no sign of it, like it had never been.

— Joyce Carol Oates

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.

— Anne Sexton

Even without wars, life is dangerous.

— Anne Sexton

I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.

— Margaret Atwood

Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you’ve made.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

What we share may be a lot like a traffic accident but we get one another. We are survivors of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

I did not know how to paint or even what to paint, but I knew I had to begin.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

He considers me also a little fragile because artistic. I need to be cared for, like a potted plant.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

You don’t look back along time but down through it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing. Nothing goes away.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

In my dreams of this city I am always lost.

— Margaret Atwood

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

— Charles Bukowski

If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose

— Charles Bukowski

I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.

— Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell

We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting.

— Charles Bukowski

Great art is horseshit, buy tacos.

— Charles Bukowski

You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.

— Charles Bukowski, Women

I lie to myself all the time, but I never believe me.

— S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

Things are rough all over.

— S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.

— S.E. Hinton

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

— Ernest Hemingway

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.

— Gertrude Stein

‘You are all a lost generation,” Gertrude Stein said to Hemingway. ‘We weren’t lost. We knew where we were, all right, but we wouldn’t go home. Ours was the generation that stayed up all night.’

— James Thurber, Selected Letters

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

— Ernest Hemingway

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

— Ernest Hemingway

“Maybe…you’ll fall in love with me all over again.”
“Hell,” I said, “I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?”
“Yes. I want to ruin you.”
“Good,” I said. “That’s what I want too.”

— Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms

You know I like you best when you are lying through your teeth.

— Peggy Sue, Watchman

Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life.

— Vladimir Nabokov

It’s just when it’s summer in the city and you are long gone from this city, I start to miss you baby, sometimes.

— Regina Spektor, Summer in the City

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

— Marilyn Monroe

I love you as the plant that never blooms, but carries within itself the light of hidden flowers.

— Pablo Neruda

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

— Robert Frost

And do these dreams have any meaning?

— Bright Eyes, Something Vague

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.

— Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sure the world breeds monsters, but kindness grows just as wild…

— Mary Karr, The Liars Club

How much smaller the large places are once we’re grown up, when we have car keys and credit cards.

— Mary Karr, Lit

I’ve been thinking I’d like to be Daisy; I’d like to have someone like Gatsby stare at my house for whole years and never stop dreaming of me.

— Koren Zailckas, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

The problem with being a modern woman, I thought, as the front door swung wide, is that you have to pretend to be stronger than you are.

— Darcey Steinke, Suicide Blonde

The story of Adam and Eve has less to do with evil than the cosmic human sadness that relationships are never straightforward, never pure enough.

— Darcey Steinke, Suicide Blonde

The past was so past it hurt.

— Rick Moody

This moment will just be another story someday.

— Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.

— Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.

— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Great art is shit, buy tacos.

— Charles Bukowski

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

— Johnny Cash

You’re so beautiful to look at when you cry.

— Pavement, Shady Lane

Oh, darling, it’s so sweet you think you know how crazy I am.

— Fiona Apple, Fast As You Can

Everybody’s dying, it’s just a different disease.

— Elliott Smith, Pictures of Me

..I will comfort & console you, first of all I will gather you together again, you’re always so battered by the outside world.

— Anaïs Nin

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

— Banksy

“Darling,” you said, “We’re a train wreck.”
“Sweetheart,” I said, “Train wrecks always make the front page.”

— Ginny

I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.

— Sylvia Plath

. . . there is a wish in the heart of mankind to be distracted and confused. Truth is but one attraction, and not always the most powerful.

— Joyce Carol Oates, Rape: A Love Story

We sit silently in our living room. He watches the mute television screen and I watch him. The planes and ridges of his face are more familiar to me than my own. I understand that he wishes even more than I do that he still loved me.

— Jo Ann Beard, The Boys of My Youth

I wanted to know how ugly I could get, how ruined and ugly and spoiled, before they stopped trying to fuck me. I didn’t think they’d ever notice. Nobody had so far. Because I was still in the shape of a beautiful girl. Although I behaved like an ugly one.

— Emma Forrest, Thin Skin

She took her pattern of life from men but she was not a masculine woman. She demanded the freedom to change, to evolve, to grow. She was not a feminist at all but struggling against the feminine side of herself in order to maintain her integrity as an individual.

— Anaïs Nin

I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ”idea of them.”

— Anaïs Nin

Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?

— Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Lovers alone wear sunlight.

— e.e. cummings

We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?

— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

— Leo Tolstoy

We must not fear daylight just because it almost always illuminates a miserable world.

— René Magritte

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m Possible!’

— Audrey Hepburn

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

— Charles Bukowski

I am alone here in my own mind.
There is no map
and there is no road.
It is one of a kind
just as yours is.

— Anne Sexton

Live or die. But don’t poison everything.

— Anne Sexton

Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.

— Anne Sexton

Life is not rational; it is just mad and full of pain.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

We will be stronger for it, each of us, stronger with our love and our hate.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

We decided we should not run away together. I told him sadly, “You will lose me soon because you don’t love me enough.”

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

Strangers this road we are on, we are not two, we are one.

— The Kinks, Strangers

I feel my past like an unbearable weight on me, like a curse, the source of every movement I make, every word I utter.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

I told him a little of the storm I had been through in the past days. I felt like someone condemned to die and then suddenly paroled.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

— Buddha

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

— Groucho Marx

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

— e.e. cummings

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

and death i think is no parenthesis

— e.e. cummings

my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping
but
I shall go on living.

— Pablo Neruda

grief is a house
where the chairs
have forgotten how to hold us
the mirrors how to reflect us
the walls how to contain us

— Jandy Nelson, The Sky is Everywhere

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

— unknown epitaph

She could not mourn. She could no longer weep grasping the essence of annihilation, she wished only to cease, to be no more, as if sunk in some profound sleep devoid of wakening.

— Tanith Lee, Red As Blood

I wonder if the artist ever lives his life — he is so busy recreating it. Only as I write do I realize myself. I don’t know what that does to life.

— Anne Sexton

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

— Dalai Lama

Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.

— Anaïs Nin

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.

— Anaïs Nin

I want the impossible, I want to fly all the time, I destroy ordinary life, I run towards all the dangers of love as he ran towards all the dangers of war. He runs away, war is less terrifying to him than life…

— Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love

If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness. For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience and creation.

— Anaïs Nin

I am overflowing. I talk too much. I love too much. I want to work. I like the confusion in my head because a whirlpool of feelings confuses my mind and destroys its control. I want to live by my feelings. Artistically and humanly, they are of better quality than my analysis.

— Anaïs Nin

Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever.

— Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

— Coco Chanel

I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.

— Louisa May Alcott

I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them.

— Jane Austen

You live but once; you might as well be amusing.

— Coco Chanel

I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.

— Coco Chanel

There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.

— Leonardo da Vinci

To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.

— Allen Ginsberg

I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.

— Ray Bradbury

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

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?

— Virginia Woolf

Books are the mirrors of the soul.

— Virginia Woolf

What lies inside a cage of flames? The truth, the heart, but burned up before you can see it. Only traces remain in the ashes, a pattern you guess at or invent, an intangible thing that might leave a mark, but could just as easily blow away.

— Rene Steinke, The Fires

We intersect. He says he thanks every star that we existed on the same celestial plain. But here we are on earth, dirty, well used, a man-made throughway for intersecting dreams.

— Emma Forrest, Your Voice in My Head

I’m in love with someone good and kind and gentle, and he’s seen the darkness too, but somehow we’ve become each other’s light.

— Emma Forrest, Your Voice in My Head

Your own love story? Your paramour may have had lovers before you. But no one has ever loved him the way you do. No one has ever heard music. Not the way you hear it. The songs are beautiful vampires, asleep in your iPod, coming alive at night, aglow. You can have them on your hours, yours to conduct. Music shapes us and we shape it.

— Emma Forrest

I’m not crazy or dangerous,
just a bit eccentric and lonely.

— Emma Forrest, Your Voice in My Head

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

— Pablo Picasso

Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.

— Anonymous

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.

— Anaïs Nin

Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I’m living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you’re a woman.

— Joan Jett

I think I was born strong-willed. That’s not the kind of thing you can learn. The advantage is, you stick to what you believe in and rarely get pushed out of what you want to do.

— Joan Jett

He not busy being born is busy dying.

— Bob Dylan

Some people seem to fade away but then when they are truly gone, it’s like they didn’t fade away at all.

— Bob Dylan

Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges.

— Bob Dylan

Her heart sank into her shoes as she realized at last how much she wanted him. No matter what his past was, no matter what he had done. Which was not to say that she would ever let him know, but only that he moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I don’t care what they say after I’m dead. In fact, I hardly care what they say while I’m alive. I only write to help myself get through the weeks and the months and the years.

— Charles Bukowski

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

— Jelaluddin Rūmī

Thrown into life without experience, naïve, I feel that something has saved me. I feel equal to life.

— Anaïs Nin

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

— Mahatma Gandhi

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

— Albert Einstein

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

— Dalai Lama XIV

Always do what you are afraid to do.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

You never fail until you stop trying.

— Albert Einstein

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

— Lao Tzu

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

— Lao Tzu

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.

— Lao Tzu

Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.

— Bob Dylan

Follow your bliss. That which you love you must spend your life doing, as passionately and as perfectly as your heart, mind and instincts allow.

— George Lois

I think literature is best when it’s voicing what we would prefer not to talk about.

— Rick Moody

Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”

— The Princess Bride

There is something addictive about a secret.

— J. Edgar Hoover

Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable, and the one thing I’ve never been guilty of.

— Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire

Take a lover that looks at you like maybe you are magic.

— Frida Kahlo

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

— Thomas Edison

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

— Sylvia Plath

Anti-social behaviour is a trait of intelligence in a world full of conformists.

— Nikola Tesla

Don’t fear failure… in great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

— Bruce Lee

Only the dead have seen the end of the war.

— Plato

Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

— Dalai Lama

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

— Nelson Mandela

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

— Pablo Picasso

The trouble is, you think you have time.

— Buddha

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?

— Danielle LaPorte

No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.

— Aristotle

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

— Abraham Lincoln

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

— Buddha

If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.

— Ernest Hemingway

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.

— Ernest Hemingway

The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really try to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really try to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.

— Ernest Hemingway

The most important things are the hardest to say.

— Stephen King

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

— Martin Luther King

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

— Unknown

When I see you, the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There’s nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops, and it is a beautiful place, and there is only you.

— James Frey

Memory was a curse, yes, he thought, but it was also the greatest gift. Because if you lost memory you lost everything.

— Anne Rice, Blood And Gold

Did you ever look back at some moment in your past and have it suddenly grow so vivid that all the intervening years seemed brief, dreamlike, impersonal—the motions of a May afternoon surrendered to routine?

— Roger Zelazny, Doorways in the Sand

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole goddamned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves.

— Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye

I hated them because they had something I had not yet had, and I said to myself, I said to myself again, someday I will be as happy as any of you, you will see.

— Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye

We sat on a park bench and chewed the gum and I thought, well, now I have found something, I have found something that is going to help me, for a long time to come. The park grass looked greener, the park benches and the flowers were trying harder.

— Charles Bukowski

I am a collection of dismantled almosts.

— Anne Sexton

I am queen of all my sins forgotten.

— Anne Sexton

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.

— Anaïs Nin

You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book, or you take a trip, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.

— Anaïs Nin

Please understand that I’m in full rebellion against my own mind, that when I live, I live by impulse, by emotion, by white heat.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

You cannot save people, you can only love them.

— Anaïs Nin

I’m a neurotic in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.

— Anaïs Nin

Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.

— Anaïs Nin

You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate and what’s written in the stars.

— Anaïs Nin

When I look at your face, I want to let go and share your madness, which I carry inside of me like a secret and cannot conceal any more.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry & June

Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful, and good things are.

— Anaïs Nin

I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women are in me.

— Anaïs Nin

He was now in that state of fire that she loved. She wanted to be burnt.

— Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus

Someday I’ll be locked up for love insanity. ‘She loved too much.’

— Anaïs Nin

A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What else can you do for anyone but inspire them?

— Bob Dylan

Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.

— Leonardo da Vinci

beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone

— Charles Bukowski, The Genius of the Crowd

Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.

— Peter Ustinov

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.

— Abraham Lincoln

Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.

— Vine Deloria, Sioux

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.

— Nikola Tesla

Without great solitude no serious work is possible.

— Pablo Picasso

And here in my isolation I can grow stronger. Poetry seems to come of itself, without effort, and I need only let myself dream a little while painting to suggest in it.

— Paul Gauguin

My work is always better when I am alone and follow my own impressions.

— Claude Monet

The artist is a strange being. I think it’s safe to say that a real artist is conscious of having a personal singularity that is partly a blessing and partly a curse. An artist enjoys and suffers from isolation. As solitude, isolation can nurture. It can also destroy.

— Peter Schjeldahl

I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.

— Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary

In myself, too many things have perished which, I imagined, would last forever.

— Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

All we need is someone to let us in.

— Anne Sexton, Hurry Up Please It’s Time

People are always telling me I’m tough. Maybe because I’ve survived so much. The only time I’m tough in my own mind is when I’m seized by a poem and then determined to conquer it and let it live its own peculiar life. All my toughness goes into my writing.

— Anne Sexton, A Self Portrait in Letters

I only feel close to people who arouse my energy, who make enormous demands of me, who are capable of enriching me with experience, pain, people who do not doubt my courage, or my toughness.

— Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol.1: 1931-1934

I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.

— Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol.1: 1931-1934

Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.

— Anne Sexton, The Witch’s Life

My life was hurrying, racing tragically toward its end. And yet at the same time it was dripping so slowly, so very slowly now, hour by hour, minute by minute. One always has to wait until the sugar melts, the memory dies, the wound scars over, the sun sets, the unhappiness lifts and fades away.

— Simone de Beauvoir, The Woman Destroyed

The “real me” lives in words, not in what words mean; it lives in what letters and words do and show, not in what they hide

— Anne Sexton, A Self Portrait in Letters

Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they’ll make your soul impervious to the world’s soft decay.

— Janet Fitch, White Oleander

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

— Marcel Proust

Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

— Marcel Proust

People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains – a cup of strong hot coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone – just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.

— Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered ‘different.’ She did not suffer too much.

— Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

We loved with a love that was more than love.

— Edgar Allen Poe

The artist’s life is the best life… if you can get through the first forty years.

— Thomas Hart Benton, Painter

I paint every day. Sometimes I hate painting, but I keep at it, thinking always that before I croak I’ll really learn how to do it – maybe as well as some of the old painters.

— Thomas Hart Benton

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

— William Gibson