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Quotations about Emotions
To give vent now and then to his feelings, whether of pleasure or discontent, is a great ease to a man's heart. ~Francesco Guicciardini
As yon mountains are crowned with unsullied snow, so should pure feeling crown the human soul, and be the source of fertilizing streams to the land of thought beneath. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation VI: A Quarry among the Hills," 1850 [Edith speaking
Frown.— Writing the confession of a bad passion with an eyebrow. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824
Eventually you come to realize that most people aren't looking for a fight but for someone to surrender to. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Yes, that's the worst of it. It's a desperately vexatious thing that, after all one's reflections and quiet determinations, we should be ruled by moods that one can't calculate on beforehand. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede
Most of what is said under excitement is regretted when we become ourselves again. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
~William Blake (1757-1827), "Auguries of Innocence"
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve... ~William Shakespeare [Othello, I, 1, Iago]
[S]he suffered a sort of poverty which is more difficult to bear than actual want, since money cannot lighten it, and the rarest charity alone can minister to it. Her heart was empty and she could not fill it; her soul was hungry and she could not feed it; life was cold and dark and she could not warm and brighten it, for she knew not where to go. ~Louisa May Alcott, "Through the Mist," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873
The barometer of his emotional nature was set for a spell of riot. ~James Joyce, "Counterparts," Dubliners, 1914
But my Thirty Years' War is over, and I die "with sword unbroken, and a broken heart." ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897 [quoting Heinrich Heine and spoken by the character Heine
Now I am not one of the most constant creatures alive myself, and am apt to run through the spectrum which has the blues at the bottom about once a week. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849-1877), letter to Kate Stephens
And many years went slowly by,
And his tired soul dragged heavily:
Earth's glowing joys came one by one,
Its griefs their shadow made;
There seemed no purpose in the sun,
No meaning in the shade,
Snowing till eve from morning prime
Without a hope of harvest time.
~James Hamilton, "The Shipwreck of St. Paul," c.1856
The sharpest sorrows are those which remain locked within our own breasts. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
And I am glad to see, that you have also put to flight the gloomy thoughts which used to haunt you. I like to see people cheerful and happy. What is the use of giving way to sadness in this beautiful world? ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, "The Evening and the Morning Star," 1839
Ah! this beautiful world!... Indeed, I know not what to think of it. Sometimes it is all gladness and sunshine, and Heaven itself lies not far off. And then it changes suddenly; and is dark and sorrowful, and clouds shut out the sky. In the lives of the saddest of us, there are bright days like this, when we feel as if we could take the great world in our arms and kiss it. Then come the gloomy hours, when the fire will neither burn on our hearths nor in our hearts; and all without and within is dismal, cold, and dark. Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, "The Evening and the Morning Star," 1839
[S]he grew numb with the intoxication of expectancy. ~Kate Chopin (1850–1904), The Awakening, 1899
It is within the experience of everyone that when pleasure and pain reach a certain intensity they are indistinguishable. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)
I cry sad words and
giggle happy thoughts.
It was the first time that she had ever stepped into the pain and passion of someone else's forgotten past. It awoke something within her that had always been there, but wrapped in the garb of childhood. ~Florence Bone (1875–1971), The Morning of To‑Day, 1907
Nobody ever really knows how much someone else is hurting. We could be standing next to someone who feels broken and we wouldn't know it. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2014 tweet, professorsunwolf.com
Now this is going to sucker punch you right in the feels factory. ~Dannielle Maguire, "Man shot five times by police walks again with little son's help," 2017
Then there was, after all, something to be said for feelings which had not their basis in material relationships. They were not mere phantasmagoria conjured up by silly people, by sentimental people, by women. Clever men, men of distinction, recognized them, treated them as of paramount importance. The practical, if not the theoretical, teaching of her life had been to treat as absurd any close or strong feeling which had not its foundations in material interests. ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888
If you don't manage your emotions, then your emotions will manage you. ~Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Transforming Anxiety
I have a poisoned flower in my heart. ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900
I stifle my heart, and awake in the night to hear it moaning. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: V," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Feelings are like toes! They have to breathe free or they'll stink to high heaven! ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata
Enthusiasm.— Spiritual intoxication. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824
We had before become acquainted with a scepticism terrifying, because terrified; which was nothing else than reason in despair; which resembled faith,—implied, contained, a species of faith,—a faith, shall I say, in the necessity of faith; which struggled against the darkness, and if conquered, cursed it. The scepticism of our days has no longer this character; men have fallen from despair to ennui: and when I speak of ennui, it is not that of an Attila embarrassed by his superfluous forces, and seeking employment for them; it is an impotent and rickety ennui, which has not even the remnants of energy necessary to prompt the getting out of self; no desire is keen enough, no impulse passionate enough, to vary its monotony; no grief sufficiently violent to awaken alarm or pity. The former scepticism walked on thorns; this sinks ankle-deep in mud. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
Guilt is always hungry — don't let it consume you. ~Terri Guillemets
We got married in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout. ~June Carter Cash
[Mrs. Snow] was, in spite of herself, beginning to tingle with a feeling perilously near to excitement. ~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912
Ere he returned, Madame descended and passed from the sparkling sunshine into the gloom of the portico, with a melancholy consciousness of the symbolic. For her spirit, too, had its poetic intuitions and insights... ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897
Sadness is dark stardust
in shadows of melancholy
waiting, waiting to glitter
in the light of happiness.
~Terri Guillemets, "Love shine, pray love shine"
Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf. ~Jonatan Mårtensson
Body tired, brain tired, soul benumbed, heart aching, a wornout human drops into a seat. With shut eyes the day is reviewed and life darkens in its shadow—in short, there is an eclipse. ~Leigh Norval, "Fagged and Fresh," Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine, May 1885
Clouds open up into rain,
You too should release your pain.
...that freshness of feeling, that delicate honor which shrinks from wounding even a sentiment... ~George Eliot, Adam Bede
Covers the cold loneliness of our flesh
In the unshared bed...
~Earl Mohn, "Chorus of the Wives of the Sons of John Brown," Theatre Arts Monthly, 1937
A screaming song is good to know in case you need to scream ~Ruth Krauss (1901–1993), Open House for Butterflies, 1960
Guilt is a blanket of stones. ~Terri Guillemets
Mrs. Vance looked thunder for a moment, but smoothing out her forehead, she made a concession. ~William Gilmore Simms, "Home Sketches, or, Life Along the Highways and Byways of the South," in The Literary World, 1852 November 20th
I'm a silvery lined cloud
Drifting slowly through deep blue
Glowing on the edges
Inside a rain-drenched hue.
~Terri Guillemets, "Silver lining," 2011
Melancholic madness strapped to your chest and you have no way of releasing the fear. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet
I feel an army in my fist. ~Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), The Robbers, translated from German
Sometimes we can't let go of the pain because we think it's the one thing holding us together. ~Terri Guillemets
Herzog is dull, he is unendurably dull.... Yet the novel succeeds. There is its mystery. One reads it with compassion.... Bored by Herzog, still there is a secret burning of the heart. One's heart turns over and produces a sorrow. Hardly any books are left to do that.... Something goes on in Herzog's eye. It says: I am debased, I am failed, I am near to rotten, and yet something just as good and loving resides in me as the tenderest part of your childhood. ~Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians, 1969
...having planted her little thorn to rankle in [his] heart... ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887
I had fallen; abased and thick with thorns the path I now must tread!
Wounded, I have trod it. Lower, year by year,
It slopes, ever loudlier I can hear
Voices of memories, loves, remorses, roll
And echo interblend amid my soul,
Reeling toward darkness where even death might shudder while it stole.
~Edgar Fawcett, "At a Window," Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891
The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. ~Albert Einstein
Perhaps apathy is a wave of emotions too afraid to burst out of the darkness into the bright light of day. ~Terri Guillemets
At noon I feel as though I could devour all the elephants of Hindostan, and then pick my teeth with the spire of Strasburg cathedral; in the evening I become so sentimental that I would fain drink up the Milky Way without reflecting how indigestible I should find the little fixed stars, and by night there is the Devil himself broke loose in my head and no mistake. ~Heinrich Heine, "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855 #INFJ
Give thanks to the moments you feel loved and love the moments on which you feel. ~Katie Nguyen, November 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
From this bleak world, into the heart of night,
The dim, deep bosom of the universe,
I cast myself. I only crave for rest;
Too heavy is the load. I fling it down.
~Amy Levy, "A Minor Poet," c.1884
As none can see the wind but in its effects on the trees, neither can we see the emotions but in their effects on the face and body. ~Terri Guillemets
All emotion is involuntary when genuine. ~Mark Twain
When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion. ~Dale Carnegie