The Quote Garden ™
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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, translated from the Italian by Ninian Hill Thomson
Old man — don't let's forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and that we obey them without knowing it. ~Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Melancholy sees the worst of things — things as they may be, and not as they are. It looks upon a beautiful face, and sees but a grinning skull. ~C.N. Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, 1862
Never let your emotions rule, but always let them testify. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Possibly more important, and certainly far more interesting, is the study of the influence of the mind, the will, and the emotions over the physical organism. "Soul is form and doth the body make," says Spencer. The experiments of Professor Elmer Gates and others prove that all mental and emotional changes result in corresponding chemical and nerve changes. Gates tells us that "all depressing or immoral emotions such as anger, jealousy, hate, avarice, lust, greed, worry, fear, etc., produce chemical conditions that are destructive to health and vitality and are a frequent cause of disease and early decay; while all the nobler emotions, such as mirth, joy, peace, hope, love, kindness, reverence, worship, faith, etc., produce chemical states that are highly conducive to health, vitality and longevity." ~Newton N. Riddell, "Influence of Mind Over Body," 1906
Joy comes to us like butterflies, but sorrow like wasps. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
Sorrow like rain makes roses and mud. ~Austin O'Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898
Our passions are true phœnixes: as the old burn out, the new straight rise up out of the ashes. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Don't be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just zap energy and waste time. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
She did not feel sad; she did not feel anything. She seemed to have moved into a quiet state beyond human emotion. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
Emotion turning back on itself, and not leading on to thought or action, is the element of madness. ~John Sterling
The feeling is often the deeper truth, the opinion the more superficial one. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Why do I sometimes let my emotions get the better of me? For the same reason I let it rain last Tuesday. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2018
And Lancelot stood on the shore, with an awful paleness in his face, as if the ghost of everything that might have made his life pure and noble was whispering woe to his soul forever. ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887 [Here the excerpt is describing a picture the character Lawrence's friend painted that befits Tennyson's idyllic poem "Elaine." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
She felt all her emotions to be drawn taut, as if the strings of her heart were being torn apart in a spiritual tug-of-war... ~R. A. Dick (Josephine A. Campbell Leslie, 1898–1979), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1945
Let your sorrow smile once in a while. ~Terri Guillemets
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 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
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
Zoe: Be reasonable.
Napoleon: Yeah, well, Zoe, reason is no match for pain. And I'm definitely not any match for mine. Not even close.
~Nine Perfect Strangers, "Wheels on the Bus," 2021, written for television by David E. Kelley, based on the 2018 novel by Liane Moriarty [S1, E7]
You can't fight emotion with reason. You must fight it with another emotion. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, But the Morning Will Come, 1949
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
Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
You promised, when you parted with the king,
To lay aside life-harming heaviness
And entertain a cheerful disposition.
~William Shakespeare, Richard II, c.1595 [II, 2, Bushy]
The first pressure of sorrow crushes out from our hearts the best wine; afterwards the constant weight of it brings forth bitterness, — the taste and stain from the lees of the vat. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), "Drift Wood, A Collection of Essays: Table-Talk," Prose Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1857
It is with our Passions, as it is with Fire and Water, they are Good Servants, but Bad Masters... ~"A Horse and an Asse," Fables of Æsop and other Eminent Mythologists: with Morals and Reflexions, by Roger L'Estrange, 1692
It is difficult to say which is the greatest evil — to have too violent passions, or to be wholly devoid of them... Without passion there can be no energy of character. Indeed, the passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways, and dangerous only in one — through their excess. ~C. N. Bovee
R. E. MORSE A veteran General who commands the largest army in the world. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
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
You lived on your nerves, exhaling emotion like breath. A beautiful sunset could stop you in your tracks. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016
I swallowed, feeling my pulse race, and gave silent thanks there were no eyewitnesses to my blushing, which could have set a cigar alight a foot away. ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind, 2001, translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves, 2004
Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you do so, you apologize for truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli
The great object of life is Sensation — to feel that we exist — even though in pain — it is this "craving void" which drives us to Gaming — to Battle — to Travel — to intemperate but keenly felt pursuits of every description whose principal attraction is the agitation inseparable from their accomplishment. ~Lord Byron, 1813
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, c.1604 [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 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
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 (1853–1938)
Blues ain't nothin' but a po' man's heart disease. ~African-American saying
If I let go, everything will break. ~Match, 2014, written by Stephen Belber, spoken by the character Lisa Davis
Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter the years of things unsaid and now unsayable — admissions, declarations, shames, guilts, fears — rose around them. ~Annie Proulx, "Brokeback Mountain," 1997
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
Anne stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when some great dread has been removed from it. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915
~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914
Happiness is lost by criticising it; sorrow by accepting it. ~Ambrose Bierce
It proves nothing. Must things be proved in order to be painful or pleasant? They need only be felt. ~Octave Mirbeau, "The Manuscript," The Torture Garden, 1899, translated from the French by Alvah C. Bessie, 1931
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
As souls float into a harbour of light,
When the voyage of life is done,
The ships sail into the bright
Gold track of the setting sun.
But the sea is never at peace,
And my heart is always sad;
Oh, when will the murmur of ocean cease,
And when will my soul be glad?
~Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell, The Lighthouse: A Novel, 1860
I felt like a tuning fork that when struck rang out loneliness instead of music. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016
[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)
Alas! thou talk'st like one who never felt
Th' impatient throbs longings of a soul...
A lover does not live by vulgar time:
Believe me, Portius, in my Lucia's absence
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden;
And yet, when I behold the charming maid,
I'm ten times more undone, while hope and fear,
And grief, and rage, and love, rise up at once,
And with variety of pain distract me...
~Joseph Addison, Cato, 1713
Ricciardo hid his face in his hands and wept, almost suffocated by passionate emotion. ~Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (1797–1851), "A Tale of the Passions; or, the Death of Despina," 1822 [a little altered —tg]
A man ashamed of his humble birth is never alone, because all good people are ashamed of him for being ashamed. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor
But the fog on the river is thick, Margot,
And the fog in my brain is as bad.
The sky and my heart are both like lead,
And the old world seems so sad.
~Jean Wright, "A Fool on a Roof: Et in Arcadia Ego"
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
Kenneth Tynan: What is your major vice?
Orson Welles: Accidia — the medieval Latin word for melancholy, and sloth. I don't give way to it for long, but it still comes lurching at me out of the shadows.
~Playboy interview, 1967
I missed Darlene so much that it felt like a fever. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
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
...the deepest principle of Human Nature is the craving to be appreciated... ~William James
Hanging my head and my heart with it, that you sorrowed alone... ~Emily Dickinson
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
And the ocean's moan was full of my own pain... ~John Robinson Jeffers, "And the Stars"
You hate me and I hate you,
And we are so polite, we two!
But whenever I see you I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
It spits and sparkles in stars and balls,
Buds into roses, and flares and falls.
Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.
I shine in the windows and light up the trees,
And all because I hate you, if you please.
And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.
Golden lozenges and spades,
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
As you mount you flash in the glossy leaves.
Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.
~Amy Lowell, "Fireworks," 1915
Amy Lowell was upon the surface a New Englander and a spinster. But inside everything was molten like the core of the earth... Given one more gram of emotion, she would have burst into flame and been consumed to cinders. ~Heywood Broun, 1925 [a little altered —tg]
I am much more than one emotion. An emotion is something that comes, stays for some while, and will have to go away. I don’t have to die just because of one emotion. I know I can handle an emotion with the practice of mindful deep breathing. I have survived emotions before. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Parting of the Ways," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000 [Albus Dumbledore —tg]
The same emotions are in man and woman, but in different tempo; on that account man and woman never cease to misunderstand each other. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Helen Zimmern
Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work. ~Aldous Huxley
Guilt, grief, regret
cut deeper than
of the soul itself
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
She spends anxious hours
leaning on her windowsill,
tense and distracted,
on the edge of her soul...
~Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), translated from the French by A. Poulin, Jr., 1979
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
There were times when I could feel my soul turning a delicate blue. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915
Do I write too seriously? if so, forgive me. A girl can't snicker all the time. ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901
It is not true that heavy sorrows diminish our sensibility to trifling pains. ~Madame Swetchine, translated by Harriet W. Preston
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
...with a truly righteous amen upon his lips. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Quaint Crippen, 1896
Sorrow almost resents love, it is so inflamed. ~Emily Dickinson, 1878
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
[Mrs. Snow] was, in spite of herself, beginning to tingle with a feeling perilously near to excitement. ~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912
It seemed to me that my heart would burst with the anguish of finding that what was to me so plain and so all-important, was to them meaningless, and that I was powerless to make it other. So hot had been my heart that I had thought to melt an iceberg with its glow, only to find at last the overmastering chill seizing my own vitals. It was not enmity that I felt toward them as they thronged me, but pity only, for them and for the world. ~Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000–1887, 1888
My mind is a seed packet of assorted wildflowers — I get happiness and sadness and whatever else pops up. ~Terri Guillemets
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
...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
The emotions are part of the wound. ~Terri Guillemets, "In pieces," 1995
Melancholic madness strapped to your chest and you have no way of releasing the fear. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2011
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
I feel something like a powerful oppression, like an immense fatigue after marching and marching across fever-laden jungles, or by the shores of deadly lakes... and I am flooded by discouragement, so that it seems I shall never be able to escape from myself again. ~Octave Mirbeau, "The Garden," The Torture Garden, 1899, translated from the French by Alvah C. Bessie, 1931
Sometimes we can't let go of the pain because we think it's the only thing holding us together. ~Terri Guillemets
...having planted her little thorn to rankle in [his] heart... ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887
...in a voice that cut like the hiss of a snake he spoke slowly and deliberately. He was all sober now; the drunkenness of brain and blood was lost, for the time, in the strength of his cold passion. ~Bram Stoker, The Man, 1905
Guilt sticks like glue. ~Terri Guillemets
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
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, @katnguyen12, November 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden
As we all crave something to protect, so we long to feel ourselves protected. We are all infants before the Infinite... ~T.W. Higginson
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
You know when I was depressed I said I didn't want to live? Well, I'll tell you something — I didn't want to die. ~The Sopranos, "Isabella," 1999, written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess [S1, E12, Tony Soprano —tg]
I hated him with a passion so deep, sometimes it felt like love. ~Terri Guillemets
All emotion is involuntary when genuine. ~Mark Twain
A lot of top guys have dark moods. That Winston Churchill drank a quart of brandy before breakfast. Napoleon, he was a moody [f#@%], too. ~Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, The Sopranos, "Isabella," original airdate 28 March 1999, spoken by the character Silvio Dante
Let grief and guilt stay not too long as houseguests. ~Terri Guillemets
Last saved 2021 Oct 17 Sun 12:36 PDT