Monday, April 25, 2016

Quoting Arizona

Come check out my updated page of quotes about Arizona! I’ve discovered dozens of old titles about my state on Google Books, including some from the 1800s when it was only yet a territory. There are such vibrant descriptions of the land, weather, and culture I couldn’t help but spend nearly all my free time these past couple of months reading and searching and harvesting! And I’m not even close to done with them all, but I’m just too thrilled and can’t wait to share.

Arizona Territory Seal 1863
Seal of the Territory of Arizona, 1863
Source: History of the Pacific States of North
America, Vol XII: Arizona and New Mexico,
by Hubert Howe Bancroft, 1888.
Modified by TG, 2016, using Aviary.
The newly revised page now has about 275 quotes and has leaped to the second largest page on the entire site, after the page of quotations about quotations.

You know what they say: Eat local, quote local. Several well-known locals are represented — Barbara Kingsolver, Zane Grey, Erma Bombeck, Don Dedera, Alice Cooper, Stephenie Meyer, Diana Gabaldon, etc, plus lesser-known but equally eloquent past and present Arizona residents, traveling writers, and novelists too.

When I was much younger, I used to think our desert was so ugly in comparison to most other places that were green and lush and alive and had less glaring light. But I’ve really come around to the special beauty of the rocks and cacti and sparser greens, especially after getting into photography in high school. And we really do have gorgeous sunrises, sunsets, clouds, and amazing springtime wildflowers and blossoms. Yes, the heat can be a little harsh but we get used to it. Politics aside (don’t get me started), I do love my home state and I truly hope you enjoy browsing the quotes as much as I enjoyed finding them. I will continue to add more as I find time for literary harvests. You can read the quotes here: www.quotegarden.com/arizona.html. Full-size versions of the below photos are available on Tumblr; see link below each photo.

Arizona quote from The Quote Garden on photo of Superstition Mountains
{view photo full size}
“Land of extremes. Land of contrasts. Land of surprises.
Land of contradictions.... That is Arizona.” ~State Guide, 1940
Photo: Lost Dutchman, Superstition Mountains, Arizona by
Terri Guillemets, 2010. Editing app: cameran collage
Arizona cactus quote from The Quote Garden on photo taken hiking Squaw Peak
{view photo full size}
“You know you’re an Arizona native when you
know every cactus by its face.” ~Terri Guillemets
Photo: View of Phoenix, Arizona from Squaw Peak, 2011,
by Terri Guillemets. Editing app: cameran collage
Arizona colors quote from The Quote Garden on photo of Phoenix sunrise
{view photo full size}
“If you thrill to vivid beauty
Go where the world was drawn;
At dawn watch the glowing palette
God wiped His brushes on.”
~Grace Shattuck Bail, 1968
Photo: Sunrise in Phoenix, Arizona, 2009, by Terri Guillemets.
(Poet is referring to the Painted Desert) Editing app: Fontmania
Arizona springtime cactus quote from The Quote Garden on Phoenix North Mountain photo
{view photo full size}
“Even the ugliest cactus plant becomes a thing of radiant beauty when
it comes under the miracle touch of spring.” ~Raymond Carlson, 1965
Photo: North Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, 2010, by
Terri Guillemets. Editing app: cameran collage
Arizona quote from The Quote Garden on photo taken at North Mountain in Phoenix
{view photo full size}
“Almost everyone in the world knows something about
Arizona, and some of it is even true.” ~Jim Turner, 2011
Photo: North Mountain Nature Trail, Phoenix, Arizona,
2010, by Terri Guillemets. Editing app: PathOn

“Arizona mesas are arid and barren—broad plateaus of wild, rugged, waterless deserts; the marvelous mountains are rugged, ragged, rough, red, and rude—barren to summit and bleak to every sense. The shadeless mesquite is not essentially handsome or inviting; the valde-verde tree, with its mockery of leafless branches, is not an object of delight; the clouds of hot alkali dust that arise are not agreeable to eye or taste... the numerous varieties of the grotesque cactus, from the little cotton-like bulb of the smallest that hugs the earth, to the monstrous columnar fungus that outlines itself against the sky, are not especially inviting specimens of the freaks in which dame Nature occasionally indulges. Yet, and yet, the wonderful atmosphere that bends above and embraces us, is the most marvelous of magicians.” ~Richard J. Hinton, “Over Valley and Mesa,” The Hand-Book to Arizona, 1877

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Within, without — withstand

Religion! What Is It?
by Reginald Heber (1783–1826)

’Tis not to go to church to-day,
To look devout, and seem to pray,
And ere to-morrow’s sun go down,
Be dealing scandal through the town.

Not every sanctimonious face,
Denotes the certain reign of grace;
A phiz, that seems to scowl at sin,
Oft veils hypocrisy within.

’Tis not to mark out duty’s walk,
Or of our own good deeds to talk;
And then to practice secret crime,
And to misspend and waste our time.

’Tis not for sects or creeds to fight,
And call our zeal the rule of right;
When all we wish is, at the best,
To see our church excel the rest...

It grieves to hear an ill report,
And scorns with human woes to sport;
Of others’ deeds it speaks no ill,
But tells of good or else is still...


“I believe the purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.” ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, c.1996

“I don’t never have any trouble in regulating my own conduct, but to keep other folks’ straight is what bothers me.” ~Josh Billings (1818–1885)

“Many of us believe that wrongs aren’t wrong if it’s done by nice people like ourselves.” ~Jason Rainbow, c.1979

“Our moral theorists seem never content with the normal. Why must it always be a contest between fornication, obesity and laziness, and celibacy, fasting and hard labor?” ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

“A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people’s vices and faults.” ~Henry Williams, Bishop of Carlisle, c.1928

“You would do well to trouble less about the actions of others, and to take a little more pains with your own. One ought to look a long time into one’s self before thinking of condemning others...” ~Molière, c.1666

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Monk's Cento on Man

The Poets' "Essay on Man"
A Literary Curiosity
Collected and arranged by James Monk
Circa 1873

What strange infatuation rules mankind! —T. Chatterton
What different spheres to human bliss assigned! —S. Rogers
To loftier things your finer pulses burn. —C. Sprague
If Man would but his finger nature learn. —R.H. Dana
What several ways men to their calling have! —B. Johnson
And grasp at life though sinking to the grave. —W. Falconer
Ask what is human life? The sage replies. —W. Cowper
Wealth, pomp and honor are but empty toys. —R. Fergusson
We trudge, we travel, but from pain to pain. —F. Quarles
Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main. —R. Burns
We only toil who are the first of things. —A. Tennyson
From labor health, from health contentment springs. —J. Beattie
Fame runs before us as the morning star. —J. Dryden
How little do we know that which we are! —Byron
Let none, then, here his certain knowledge boast. —J. Pomfret
Of fleeting joys too certain to be lost. —E. Waller
For over all there hangs a cloud of fear. —T. Hood
All is but change and separation here. —Steele
To smooth life's passage o'er its thorny way. —T. Dwight
Sum up at night what thou hast done by day. —G. Herbert
Be rich in patience, if thou in gudes be poor. —W. Dunbar
So many men do stoope to sights unsure. —G. Whitney
Choose out the man to virtue best inclined. —N. Rowe
Throw envy, folly, prejudice, behind. —J. Langhorne
Defer not till to-morrow to be wise. —W. Congreve
Wealth heaped on wealth nor truth nor safety buys. —S. Johnson
Remembrance worketh with her busy train. —O. Goldsmith
Care draws on care, woe comforts woe again. —M. Drayton
On high estates huge heaps of care attend. —Webster
No joy so great but runneth to an end. —R. Southwell
No hand applaud what honor shuns to hear. —J. Thomson
Who casts off shame should likewise cast off fear. —J.S. Knowles
Grief haunts us down the precipice of years. —W.S. Landor
Virtue alone no dissolution fears. —E. Moore
Time loosely spent will not again be won. —R. Greene
What shall I do to be forever known? —A. Cowley
But now the wane of life comes darkly on. —J. Baillie
After a thousand mazes overgone. —J. Keats
In this brief state of trouble and unrest. —B. Barton
Man never is, but always to be, blest. —A. Pope
How fading are the joys we dote upon! —J. Norris
Lo! while I speak the present moment's gone. —J. Oldham
Oh! thou eternal arbiter of things! —M. Akenside
How awful is the hour when conscience stings. —J.G. Percival
Conscience—stern arbiter in every breast. —J.A. Hillhouse
The fluttering wish on wing that will not rest. —D. Mallet
Time is the present hour; the past is fled. —J. Marsden
Oh! thou futurity—our hope and dread. —E. Elliott
This above all: to thin own self be true. —W. Shakespeare
Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so, too. —J. Denham
To those that list the world's gay scenes I leave. —E. Spenser
Some ills we wish for when we wish to live. —E. Young



A cento of fifty-two authors. Well-played, Jas!  «tεᖇᖇ¡·g»

Deming's Cento on Life

Circa 1868, originally published in the San Francisco Times. The following poem is a compilation of lines selected by Mrs. H. A. Deming, from thirty-eight authors. It is said to have taken her one year of research to find and fit all the pieces to create this cento on Life:—

     E. Young:
Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour?
     Dr. Johnson:
Life's a short summer—man a flower.
      A. Pope:
By turns we catch the vital breath and die—
     M. Prior:
The cradle and the tomb, alas! too nigh.
     Dr. Sewell:
To be is far better than not to be,
     E. Spenser:
Though all man's life may seem a tragedy.
     S. Daniel:
But light cares speak when mighty griefs are dumb;
     W. Raleigh:
The bottom is but shallow whence they come.
     H.W. Longfellow:
Your fate is but the common fate of all;
     R. Southwell:
Unmingled joys here to no man befall.
     W. Congreve:
Nature to each allots his proper sphere,
     C. Churchill:
Fortune makes folly her peculiar care.
     Rochester:
Custom does not often reason overrule,
     J. Armstrong:
And throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.
     J. Milton:
Live well how long or short—permit to heaven,
     P.J. Bailey:
They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.
     Abp. Trench:
Sin may be clasped so close we cannot see its face
     W. Somerville:
Vile intercourse where virtue has not place.
     J. Thomson:
Then keep each passion down, however dear,
     Byron:
Thou pendulum, betwixt a smile and tear.
     T. Smollett:
Her sensual snares let faithless pleasures lay,
     G. Crabbe:
With craft and skill—to ruin and betray.
     P. Massinger:
Soar not too high to fall, but stoop to rise,
     A. Cowley:
We masters grow of all we despise.
     J. Beattie:
O then remove that impious self-esteem,
     W. Cowper:
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream.
     W. Davenant:
Think not ambition wise because 'tis brave,
     T. Gray:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
     N.P. Willis:
What is ambition? 'tis a glorious cheat,
     J. Addison:
Only destructive to the brave and great.
     J. Dryden:
What's all the gaudy glitter of a crown?
     F. Quarles:
The way to bliss lies not on beds of down.
     R. Watkyns:
How long we live, not years but actions tell,
     R. Herrick:
That man lives twice who lives the first life well.
     W. Mason:
Make them while yet ye may your God your friend,
     A. Hill:
Whom Christians worship, yet not comprehend.
     R.H. Dana:
The trust that's given guard and to yourself be just,
     W. Shakespeare:
For, live we how we can, yet die we must.



Now that's what I call the ultimate mash-up quotation!  «tεᖇᖇ¡·g»

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A happy girl indeed

Gosh, does my family know me or what? Gift I received...

How to Quote Shakespeare in Everyday Life by Michael Denomme, 2015, and Victorian-style pen
How to Quote Shakespeare in Everyday Life
by Michael Denomme, and Victorian-style pen

Back cover of How to Quote Shakespeare in Everyday Life by Michael Denomme, 2015
Back cover of How to Quote Shakespeare
in Everyday Life
by Michael Denomme, 2015

Gushing with Enthusiasm [p.168]
“O, rejoice
Beyond a common joy, and set it down
With gold on lasting pillars.”
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest (V.i.206-208)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brault at midnight

Perhaps if I go to sleep thinking this, I’ll be able to start living it by morning.

“Long ago I decided that if I get a second life, I will be beautiful and clever and rich, and that has allowed me to focus on this life.” —Robert Brault

Monday, November 16, 2015

Westin’s quoteposal & merry me!

It had been a while since I checked in on Wes Eehn’s YouTube channel to see what new quote videos he’d created, and something made me think of it recently so I headed over there only to sadly discover that he hasn’t posted in quite some time. But as he explained in his most recent upload, real life and the need to make an actual financial living had come calling.

After that video, though, what I discovered just made my day! This brilliant guy proposed to his girlfriend using love quotes. I have to say I’m just blown away. How perfect!

I haven’t thought much about marriage proposals in over twenty years, which is when I got married. But just a few days ago I came across an old book from the late nineteenth century, How Heroes of Fiction Propose and How Heroines Reply, of an anonymous compiler. It has all sorts of excerpts from fine literature, and I excitedly put it aside hoping to be able to read it soon.

And now this totally cool quoteprosal! It’s less than 8 minutes, so if you’re interested in quotes and the heart-stirring emotions that come with young love and marriage proposals, do check it out: youtube.com/watch?v=CINqkaRK28U


“There comes a moment in the life of almost every man when, his heart beating like a Nasmyth hammer, with faltering voice and his brain in a whirl, he takes fate in his hands, and tremblingly asks one of the gentler sex to be his—wife. Some men there are—but how few!—who go into ‘popping the question’ in a business-like way, that simply leaves romance out in the cold and Cupid freezing to death. But better the young fellows who propose in the red-hot flush of love. The master writers of fiction show us, that even though every girl is aware that her adorer is about the put the fateful question, she is seldom able to control her agitation and that even the ‘wee, sma’ word,’ ‘Yes,’ is very difficult to pronounce. She says ‘Yes’ with all the fervor that one word can convey coming direct from the heart. The noblest offer a man can make a woman is marriage, and woe to those who offer it lightly! The lamp lighted at the fateful moment spell-binds the young, and burns with radiance on into middle life.” ~Introduction to How Heroes of Fiction Propose and How Heroines Reply, 1890, paraphrased and a little altered

Ah, Monsieur Eehn, how you’ve quote-pierced my proverbial heart.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gout quotes: poetic metre & sore feet

Recently I greatly enlarged my collection of quotations about gout — I now have nearly 150 quotes, which is by far the largest compilation on the Web and from what I’ve found thus far, possibly the largest anywhere. Most sites that do have a few quotes on the subject, I’ve noticed use the same 5 or 6 and that’s just about it, then we hit the end of the internet. So I spent many hours digging through forgotten literature from past centuries and have come away with lots of fantastic excerpts — prose and poetry, medical and personal, educational and entertaining, serious and sarcastic. And there is so much more out there to harvest, but I had to stop somewhere. My eyes are worn out and need a rest. But as soon as my reading vigour returns, I will add more as I find them. Check out the quotes here: www.quotegarden.com/gout.html

Ellwanger gout quote on Bunbury vintage gout artwork
George H. Ellwanger 1897 gout quotation on
Origin of the Gout by Henry William Bunbury, c.1786
National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland
Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Modified t.g. 2015

“The excruciating agonies which Nature inflicts on men (who break her laws) to be represented as the work of human tormentors; as the gout, by screwing the toes. Thus we might find that worse than the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition are daily suffered without exciting notice.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, journal, 1837

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Baudelaire drunk on poetry

Charles Baudelaire drunk on poetry
Charles Baudelaire, self-portrait, 1848,
in Baudelaire: A Study by Arthur Symons, 1918.
Drawing modified 2015 by Terri Guillemets,
using Cameran Collage iPod touch app.

“Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually.

“Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken.

“And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock, will answer you: ‘It is the hour to be drunken! Be drunken, if you would not be martyred slaves of Time; be drunken continually! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.’”

—Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), “Be Drunken,” translated from French by Arthur Symons

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sit-down desks and stand-up quotes

Sitting is the new smoking, on vintage photo
Man sits in his library, stamped 1912.
Courtesy: simpleinsomnia on Flickr.
Used under Creative Commons license.
Photo modified & meme'd by TG.
Having just passed the one-year anniversary of changing over from a sitting desk to a standing one, thought I'd showcase my page of quotations about sitting and standing. I love my tall desk so much that I can't imagine ever going back to sitting. Investing in a pair of Dansko shoes has allowed me to work on my feet for hours at a time. Without them, I seem to get sore legs around the two-hour mark. And as a bonus, I've dropped about ten pounds over the past year without changing my diet or exercise habits.

People have been issuing warnings for quite a long time about the dangers of sitting too much. Some of the quotations that I found by digging around in Google Books go back to the 1600s. And there are references to standing desks dating back to the 1700s books. I even picked up a good one from a Benjamin Franklin letter: "my sitting too much at the desk having already almost killed me..."

So what are you waiting for. Untake your seat and head on over to the quotes! www.quotegarden.com/sitting-standing.html

Standing desk, circa 1875
Standing desk, circa 1875. Image digitized by Google Books.
"Of Uncle Max our chief recollections consist in going with our nurse to pay him a little visit every morning after our early breakfast, and before proceeding for our daily walk. This practice continued with little intermission for many years, from the time when we were too small to be trusted alone, until we were fourteen or fifteen years old. I can scarcely remember an occasion on which we did not find dear Uncle Max with a long pipe in his mouth, writing at a high stand-up desk; but the pen was laid down at once, and for half an hour he gave himself up to us. After that there was often a good romp, Uncle Max going down on all-fours and letting us ride round the room on his back, sometimes pretending that he was an elephant, and thereby getting a sly puff to keep alight his long pipe, which did duty as his trunk." ~A.H. Engelbach, Two Campaigns: A Tale of Old Alsace, c.1875

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quotations about October

Quotes about October
image: TuckDB Ephemera [modified t.g.]
“October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.” ~John Sinor

“Oh, hazy month of glowing trees,—
And colors rich to charm our eyes!
Yet—not less fair than all of these
Are Mother’s fragrant pumpkin pies!”
~L. Bennett Weaver & H. Cowles LeCron

“May God bless us in the year upon which we are just entering! October is our January...” ~Henry Ward Beecher


Happy autumn, everyone! Just a reminder there’s a page of quotations and poetry excerpts about the month of October, at The Quote Garden. I recently added a few more gems from a couple of excellent old books. Click here to read them all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

A Study Upon the Proverbial One-Eyed Man

“[I]n the street of the totally blind, the one-eyed man is called clear-sighted, and the infant is called a scholar.” ~Midrash Rabbah, c. 4th–5th century
Source details: translated into English under the editorship of H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, 1939

“Inter cæcos, regnat strabus. In regione cæcorum rex est luscus.” (Among the blind the squinter reigns. In the country of the blind, one-eyed man is king.) ~Proverbs quoted by Desiderius Erasmus, c.1514
Source details: Adagiorum Chiliades, 1514. William Barker, in The Adages of Erasmus, 2001, notes: “Among the blind, the cross-eyed man is king.... Erasmus picked up an uncorrected form of the Greek from Apostolius 7.23.” Another similar from Erasmus: “Among beggars, he who has only a little money is a Croesus.”

“His Latin tongue doth hobbyl
He doth but clout and cobbel
In Tullis facultie
Called humanitie
Yet proudly he dare pretend
How no man can him amend
But haue ye not heard this
How an one eyed man is
Wel sighted, when
He is among blynd men.”
~John Skelton, 1522
Source details: “Why come ye not to Court,” in Pithy, Pleasaunt, and Profitable Workes of Maister Skelton, Poete Laureate, to King Henry the VIIIth, 1736

“In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” ~English proverb, early 16th century
Source details: A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by Morris Palmer Tilley, 1950, and The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 1970

“Entre los ciegos el tuerto es Rey...” (Among the blind a one-eyed man is king.) ~F. Pedro de Vega, 1606
Source details: Declaracion de los Siete Psalmos Penitenciales — “...santos que resplandece como Estrellas, otros como la Luna, otros como el Sol pero es esta la diferencia...” Often quoted as Spanish proverb as well: En pais de los ciegas el tuerto es rey.

“In the kingdom of blind men, the one eyed is king.” ~Proverb quoted by George Herbert, 1640
Source details: Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc.

“Among the blind the one-eye'd blinkard reigns,
So rules among the drownèd he that drains.”
~Andrew Marvell, 1665
Source details: Character of Holland

“The Egyptians seem to have verified the Proverb, That he that has but one Eye, is a Prince among those that have none.” ~William Wotton, 1694
Source details: “Of the History and Mathematicks of the Ancient Egyptians,” Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning

“Unoculus inter cæcos.” (A one-eyed man among the blind.) ~Latin phrase, c.1780
Source details: “A man whose very slender abilities are perceptible only when among the grossly ignorant.” ~A Dictionary of Select and Popular Quotations, Which are in Daily Use; Taken from the Latin, French, Greek, Spanish, and Italian Languages; translated into English, with Illustrations, Historical and Idiomatic, by D.E. MacDonnel, third edition, 1818. This Latin phrase has been in use since at least 1780, as quoted by James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 1791.

“The blind of an eye is a king among the blind.” ~Gaelic proverb, c.1785
Source details: Mackintosh’s Collection of Gaelic Proverbs, and Familiar Phrases; Englished A-new, 1819, first published 1785. Name is published today as Donald Macintosh.

“[F]or, in a nation of blind people, a one-eyed man would be king.” ~William Mudford, 1809
Source details: Nubilia in Search of a Husband

“‘Parmi les aveugles un borgne est roi,’ says the French proverb...” ~Walter Scott, 1814 (Among the blind a one-eyed man is king.)
Source details: Waverley; or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Alternate French wording: “En la terre des aveugles celui qui n'a qu'un ceil y est roi.”

“‘A one eyed man is a king amongst the blind,’ says an old French proverb, so were you in your time, but kings and lights, capitals and candles are very different in our enlightened age...” ~E.M., 1824
Source details: “Answer from a Gas Light to an Old Lamp,” The European Magazine and London ReviewNovember 1824

“A one-eyed man is a king among the blind.” ~Oriental proverb, c.1824
Source details: “Oriental Proverbs: Part II,” A Collection of Proverbs, and Proverbial Phrases, in the Persian and Hindoostanee Languages, compiled and translated, chiefly, by the late Thomas Roebuck, 1824

“[H]e repeated very frequently and always with a profounder note of derision that exploded proverb: ‘In the Country of the Blind the One-eyed Man is King....’ Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds... either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh.... But he heeded these things no longer, but lay quite still there, smiling as if he were content now merely to have escaped from the valley of the Blind, in which he had thought to be King.” ~H.G. Wells & Plato mash‑up quotation
Source details: Wells’ “The Country of the Blind,” 1904 and 1939, and Plato’s narration of Socrates in the allegory of the cave, from The Republic, Book VII, c. 380 BCE

“But, in the land of the blind,
where the one-eyed man is king,
when he wears the emperor’s new clothes,
he can get away with it.”
~David R. Slavitt, c.1999
Source details: "Exception," Falling from Silence: Poems, 2001

“If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922–2007)
Source details: unconfirmed


Monoculus miscellany — literary luscus, tuerto truisms, borgne bon mots, purblind proverbs, monops meditations, monophthalmic mottoes:

“Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
The truth appears so naked on my side
That any purblind eye may find it out.”
~William Shakespeare, c.1592
Source details: Henry VI, Part I [II, 4], Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester)

“Better to have one eye than be blind altogether.” ~English Proverb, c.1670
Source details: A Collection of English Proverbs by John Ray, 1670

“Let him that hath but one eye keepe it well...” (Qui n’a qu’un oeil bien le garde.) ~French proverb, c.1611
Source Details: A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues compiled by Randle Cotgrave, 1611

“He that has but one Eye, had need look well to That.” ~Proverb, restated
Source details: Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British collected by Thomas Fuller, 1732

“A one-eyed man, who has not a film over the eye, conceals any sort of villany.” ~Spanish proverb, c.1609
Source details: Translated by John Collins, 1823. (Tuerto, y no de nube, sola piel gran mal encubre. Or, Tuerto y no de nube, no hay maldad que no encubre.) Refranes o Proverbios Castellanos Traduzidos en Lengua Francesa por César Oudin, 1609.

“He that winketh with one eye, and seeth with the other,
I would not trust him, though he were my brother.”
~English Proverb, c.1670
Source details: A Collection of English Proverbs by John Ray, 1670

“When my friends are blind of one eye, I look at them in profile.”
~Joseph Joubert (1754–1824)
Source details: Some of the "Thoughts" of Joseph Joubert, translated from French by George H. Calvert, 1866

“An one-eyed woman is beautiful among blind women.”
~Kashmiri Proverb
Source details: A Dictionary of Kashmiri Proverbs & Sayings, J. Hinton Knowles, 1885

“To learn about eye protection, ask someone who has one.”
~Author Unknown


Thank you to Bob for the inspiration to do this research.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

You have to believe in happiness

“You have to believe in happiness,
Or happiness never comes.
I know that a bird chirps none the less
When all that he finds is crumbs.

You have to believe the buds will blow,
Believe in the grass in the days of snow.
Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing,
On his darkest day he believes in Spring.

You have to believe in happiness—
It isn’t an outward thing.
The Spring never makes the song, I guess,
As much as the song the Spring.

Aye, many a heart could find content
If it saw the joy on the road it went,
The joy ahead when it had to grieve,
For the joy is there—but you have to believe.”

—Douglas Malloch (1877–1938)

My mom had memorized this poem as a child and can still recite it to this day. We were talking memories recently, and that's how I came to know about it. After looking up to find the original source, I am a bit hesitant to quote, showcase, or celebrate this author because of his involvement with and poetic tributes to the lumbering industry; however, that time has passed and a good poem is a good poem. May the birds of happiness forever have a tree to chirp from!

The image and poem are both from the same time period, approximately 1928. My mom grew up in the 1950s, so clearly it was still in circulation around then, although it seems to have dropped off since the mid-'60s.

Birds of Happiness
image: TuckDB Ephemera [modified t.g.]