Between friends, differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their trivia

Good can imagine Evil; but Evil cannot imagine Good.

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.

Learn from your dreams what you lack.

It's frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.

The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.

'Healing,' Papa would tell me, 'is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.'

No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.

As a rule it was the pleasure haters that became unjust.

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.

Every American poet feels that the whole responsibility for contemporary poetry has fallen upon his shoulders, that he is a literary aristocracy of one.

It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ.

It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.

History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.

A tremendous number of people in America work very hard at something that bores them. Even a rich man thinks he has to go down to the office everyday. Not because he likes it but because he can't think of anything else to do.

In a world of prayer, we are all equal in the sense that each of us is a unique person, with a unique perspective on the world, a member of a class of one.

You owe it to all of us all get on with what you're good at.

I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.

We must love one another or die.

No hero is mortal till he dies.

Men will pay large sums to whores for telling them they are not bores.

In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them.

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.

No opera plot can be sensible for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

Anyone who has a child today should train him to be either a physicist or a ballet dancer. Then hell escape.

Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

We all have these places where shy humiliations gambol on sunny afternoons.

One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.

A poets hope to be like some valley cheese local but prized elsewhere.

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

Music is the best means we have of digesting time.

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell.

We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.

The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.

If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me.

All that we are not stares back at what we are.

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.

One cannot review a bad book without showing off.

Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say.

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.

No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games.

Goodness is easier to recognize than to define.

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.