Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
Most people think of peace as a state of Nothing Bad Happening, or Nothing Much Happening. Yet if peace is to overtake us and make us the gift of serenity and well-being, it will have to be the state of Something Good Happening.
I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.
It's hard to know when to respond to the seductiveness of the world and when to respond to its challenge. If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
The city is like poetry; it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.
Creation is in part merely the business of forgoing the great and small distractions.
The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.
In a man's middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people- people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.
Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy.
Make the work interesting and the discipline will take care of itself.
The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is himself he is approaching, no other; and he should begin by turning resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style - all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.
Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
Use the smallest word that does the job.
I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.
You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.
Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.
You're terrific as far as I am concerned.
I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating.
To achieve style, begin by affecting none.
Semi-colons only prove that the author has been to college.
Advice to young writers wo want to get ahead without any annoying delays: don't write about Man, write about a man.
But we have received a sign, Edith - a mysterious sign. A miracle has happened on this farm... in the middle of the web there were the words 'Some Pig'... we have no ordinary pig." "Well", said Mrs. Zuckerman, "it seems to me you're a little off. It seems to me we have no ordinary spider.
new york provides not only a continuing excitation but also a spectacle that is continuing.
I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.
Americans are willing to go to enormous trouble and expense defending their principles with arms, very little trouble and expense advocating them with words. Temperamentally we are ready to die for certain principles (or, in the case of overripe adults, send youngsters to die), but we show little inclination to advertise the reasons for dying.
All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.
Only a person who is congenially self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays
Be obscure clearly! Be wild of tongue in a way we can understand.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.
From morning till night, sounds drift from the kitchen, most of them familiar and comforting. . . . On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it; it dries the wet sock, it cools the hot little brain.
A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer... He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring.
Once in everyone's life there is apt to be a period when he is fully awake, instead of half-asleep.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.
I believe in dreams. People should have faith in the songs poets sing.