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Favourite literary quotes and poetry

Guest Otmel Strangler

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Guest Otmel Strangler

So, being a bit animated and musing along with my fellow Dragons I started considering quotes and whatnot. I mean, we've already got a thread where we might spam music we listen to.

Heck, we even got a thread were we force people to listen to our shit BDSM style.

We even have a favourite lyric thread. So I figure there's at least some leverage there to make a quote thread. Now I don't want this thread to be full of shit you read in an "inspiring" caption on facebook, so please stick to shit you've read in a book and liked, man.

Doesn't have to be awe-inspiringly great, but whatever stuff you found clever or interesting, funny or tragic.

I'll start with the following from Bernard Borge's (aka. André Bjerke)The Lake of the Dead:

– Please, be as kind as to not psychoanalyze me, Mørk exclaimed.

Psychoanalyze yourself and your allies. In short: analyze the entire contemporary spiritual vacuum, but let me rest. What I mean is an opinion of my own, and it's completely indifferent to me whether you by the aid of the materialist conception of history, the theory of relativity and psychoanalysis combined may find that I have the vilest of motives. I detest the modern intellect. Consider how many a good, Norwegian wood has been destroyed in order to make books of it! Imagine a proud and ancient tree in the forest, a regal fir with the wind blowing through – a world of its own. And then one day a few pygmies arrive and hew it over, and send it to the city to become literature! God damn, I say, god damn! No, I'll certanly go down one day and lay a bomb under the Authors' Union.


Yukio Mishima Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Later, when I came to know Kashiwagi more intimately, I understood that he disliked lasting beauty. His likings were limited to things such as music, which vanished instantly, or flower arrangments, which faded in a matter of days; he loathed architecture and literature... Yet How strange a thing is the beauty of music! The brief beauty that the player brings into being transforms a given period of time into pure continuance; it is certain never to be repeated; like the existence of dayflies and other such short-lived creatures, beauty is a perfect abstraction and creation of life itself. Nothing is so similar to life as music...
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Guest ArcticStarling

Mine has to be Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen. A poem I was taught in middle school it is my all time favourite as it presents an negative view on the patriotic drive Britain was in the first world war.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro patria mori.

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Guest ArcticStarling

Haunting. Is this the poet you mentioned on TS? I should obviously add that poetry is also accepted!

Aye, Wilfred Owen .

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Guest Tompmal

A saying I sometime like to use that I heard:

Yesterday day is history

Tomorrow is a mystery

And today is a gift

That's why it's called the present

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  • Emerald

“I'll tell you something,' she said. 'I'm not sure I ever really liked him.'

Adam?' I said. 'I don't blame you.' 'Not Adam,' she said, struggling to swallow a greedily chomped chunk. 'God.”

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  • MVP

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

One that's more serious, from my favourite book:

“It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown I back, throat to the stars, "more like deer than human being." To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”

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Guest John Le Bear

Does this count?

-snip-, please, don't.

But seriously.

"A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally."

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."

-Oscar Wilde

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Guest Shākya

The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.

The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut

Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.

Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion

Lie still as the sun. The boa-constrictor’s coil

Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or

Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.

It might be painted on a nursery wall.

But who runs like the rest past these arrives

At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,

As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged

Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom—

The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,

By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear—

He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:

His stride is wildernesses of freedom:

The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.

Over the cage floor the horizons come.

- The Jaguar by Ted Hughes.

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-Will of God.. whatever you wanna call it.. you call it Jesus, call it Mohammed, call it goobybob, call it nuclear mind, call it blow the world up, call it your heart. Whatever you wanna call it, it's still music to me. It's there. It's the will of life.

-Who do you think I am, girl? If you could pick all the words of the vocabulary that your mother taught you, who do you think I am? And this is only a couple hours, can you imagine what it would be like a couple days with me? I live a hundred years a day.


The grand mind.

Edit: No, but actually, this gent continues to grow on me.

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Revelation 21:6. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

"The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival"


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  • Sapphire

Not really into poetry, but I really like this line:

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee"

I have actually heard this in a cartoon, but it is originally from a poem.

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  • MVP

"Skill and wits are nothing without a bit of luck."

-Shamera, "When Demons Walk" by Patricia Briggs.

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  • Emerald

Mine has to be Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen. A poem I was taught in middle school it is my all time favourite.

Studied this when I was at school two years ago. Loved the overall feeling of the poem and its message it tells us.

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People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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Some great quotes and poems here. I'll go with a poem by Stephen R.Donaldson

My heart has rooms that sigh with dust

And ashes in the hearth.

They must be cleaned and blown away

By daylight's breath.

But I cannot essay the task,

For even dust to me is dear;

For dust and ashes still recall,

My love was here.

I know not how to say Farewell,

When Farewell is the word

That stays alone for me to say

Or will be heard.

But I cannot speak out that word

Or ever let my loved one go

How can I bear it that these rooms

Are empty so?

I sit among the dust and hope

That dust will cover me.

I stir the ashes in the hearth,

Though cold they be.

I cannot bear to close the door,

To seal my loneliness away

While dust and ashes yet remain

Of my love's day.

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