The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Silence

Related Quotes      Solitude      Speaking      Nature      Music      Listening

NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

How impressive is the eloquence of silence! Sweet indeed is the voice of woman—the fire-side song of those, who are near and dear to us. Sweet, the sounds of morning and evening twilight. Sweet, the million melodies continually floating over the bosom of Nature. But there are hours in the life of every man when the music of silence is dearer to him than all. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

True Silence is the rest of the Mind, and is to the Spirit, what Sleep is to the Body, Nourishment and Refreshment. It is a great Virtue; it covers Folly, keeps Secrets, avoids Disputes, and prevents Sin. ~William Penn (1644–1718), Fruits of a Father's Love: Being the Advice of William Penn to His Children, Relating to their Civil and Religious Conduct, Written Occasionally Many Years Ago, and Now Made Publick for a General Good, By a Lover of His Memory, 1726  ["He being Dead yet Speaketh." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Silence is the true friend that never betrays. ~Confucius

An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind. ~Walter Bagehot

Silence is a source of great strength.  ~Lao Tzu

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.  ~John Lahr

The silent man is the only consistent man. ~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893

Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.  His anxiety subsides.  His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.  ~Jean Arp

I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.  ~Richard Steele

Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation.  ~James Thurber

Now all my teachers are dead except silence.  ~W.S. Merwin

The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963

unplug iPod
music stops abruptly
cricket song instead
~Dr. SunWolf,

All noise is waste.  So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low.  Wait for attention and then you low words will be charged with dynamite.  ~Elbert Hubbard

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm... As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.  ~André Kostelanetz

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

I don't know how to express myself in words. What I feel is not translatable. I express myself better through silence. ~Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), A Breath of Life: Pulsations, written 1974–1977, published posthumously 1978, edited by Olga Borelli and Benjamin Moser, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz, 2012  [Author —tg]

They captured in their ramble all the mysteries and magics of a March evening. Very still and mild it was, wrapped in a great, white, brooding silence — a silence which was yet threaded through with many little silvery sounds which you could hear if you hearkened as much with your soul as your ears. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives.... each silence has a character of its own. ~Kent Nerburn, "The Eloquence of Silence," Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life, 1998

The silence of a winter morning is sharper than the silence of a summer dawn. The silence of a mountain pass is larger than the silence of a forest glen. ~Kent Nerburn, "The Eloquence of Silence," Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life, 1998

God's poet is silence!  His song is unspoken
And yet so profound, and so loud, and so far,
That it thrills you and fills you in measures unbroken—
The unceasing song of the first morning star....
~Joaquin Miller, from "The True Poet," In Classic Shades, And Other Poems, 1890  (see also "Isles of the Amazons," 1872, "as far as a star...")

Silence is a fence around wisdom. ~German proverb

Silence is wisdom's sentinel. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom: Silence. ~Walter Bauer

The silent man is the best to listen to. ~Japanese proverb

Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.  ~Thomas Carlyle

You hesitate to stab me with a word, and know not — silence is the sharper sword.  ~Samuel Johnson

Silence is medication for sorrow.  ~Arab Proverb

To silence another, first be silent yourself.  ~Latin Proverb

Silence was never written down.  ~Italian Proverb

Silence is exhilarating at first - as noise is - but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.  ~Edward Hoagland

      One of the reasons I like the very late night and very early morning hours is that they are quieter. The sounds of civilization dwindle to an almost inaudible hum.... This is the best time for writing or thinking. Even when I have been awake for most of the day and should, by all normal measures, be physically and mentally exhausted, my brain seems energized by the relative quiet.
      It is, in fact, something of a mystery to me that I can think at all straight in noisy places. Perhaps my belief that I do is an illusion; I may be thinking straight only in comparison to everyone else who is trying to think in the midst of distracting din. Perhaps, too, the world is as crazy as it is – and becoming crazier – because we are attempting to use our brains in a noisy world that is becoming noisier. It is something to ponder, in the relative quiet of the hours between midnight and first light. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," "In Search of Quiet," June 2005

Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.  ~Peter Minard

Silence is a text easy to misread.  ~A.A. Attanasio

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

There is something in the nature of silence which affects me deeply. Why it is I know not; but I do know that I love to be alone at such an hour as this. I love to forget the outward world and hold communion with the beings of the mind. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

Our greatest gift is the thunder of Silence. ~Joel Goldsmith

Everybody should be quiet near a little stream and listen ~Ruth Krauss (1901–1993), Open House for Butterflies, 1960

Silence is more musical than any song.  ~Christina Rossetti

Nothing is more useful than silence.  ~Menander of Athens

Good as is discourse, silence is better and shames it.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Circles"

Silence is the parent of wise thoughts, — the mark of a well composed mind. ~John Hunt, 1771

He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.  ~Elbert Hubbard

All my days have I grown up among the Sages and I have found naught better for a man than silence. ~Rabban Gamaliel

Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily.  ~Gwendolyn Bennett

Silence is the mother of truth.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

What shall I say to you?  What can I say
Better than silence is?  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The deepest rivers make least din, the silent soule doth most abound in care.  ~William Alexander

Honk if you hate noise pollution.  ~Author unknown, as seen on a bumper sticker

Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.  ~D.M. Thomas

We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence.  ~Proverb

All was silent as before -
All silent save the dripping rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Noise:  a stench in the ear.  ~Ambrose Bierce

If he who does not know kept silent, discord would cease. ~Socrates

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace.  You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.  ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.  ~Josh Billings

Keep watch over your mouth, lest it bring you to grief.  ~Ahiqar the Assyrian

There are times when silence has the loudest voice. ~Leroy Brownlow

If you can't get quiet enough to hear yourself, your life is too loud. ~Terri Guillemets

Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Let me silent be,
For silence is the speech of love,
The music of the spheres above.
~Richard Henry Stoddard

Unfortunately, the whole house loved him so that it had already, for half an hour earlier, been out of the morning feathers of which the greatest wings of dreams are made. Amidst the din of carriage-chains, dogs, and cockerels, he tore his tender heart away from eyes that were all love, and, as the beating of the former and the melting of the latter annoyed him, all grew still worse; for external noise stills the inner tumult of the soul. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865

The best answer to anger is silence.  ~Author Unknown

The primary virtue is: hold your tongue;
who knows how to keep quiet is close to God.
~Cato, translated from Latin

Some days, we just need to turn the quiet up.  ~Dr. SunWolf,

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make time for quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud. ~Author Unknown

You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind. ~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

When all the noise is gone there is only God. ~Author Unknown

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa

The truth is, I borrowed that phrase ["invisible strength"] from my mother, who used to say something like it to me whenever I was whining out loud.  She'd say, "Fang pi bu-cho, cho pi bu-fang," which is commonly uttered by Chinese parents, and which translates approximately to: "There's more power in silence."  What my mother intended that I understand, however, was precisely this: "No one wants to hear you make a big stink over nothing, so shut up."  The strict linguist might want to note that the literal translation of that Chinese phrase runs along these noble lines: "Loud farts don't smell, the really smelly ones are deadly silent."  ~Amy Tan, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, 2004, published by Penguin Group

Silence is also speech.  ~Proverb

Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.  ~Author Unknown

Silence allows you to watch your mind and become aware of the thoughts that you may be acting on unconsciously. When you see the thoughts, you can make a conscious choice to act on the thought or change your mind, instead of going along with the noise. I have seen people who don't want to look at themselves keep going until something happens that makes them stop — a sickness or an accident — but it gives them that reflective, quiet space where they can face what is difficult in their mind. We each have a unique purpose to fulfill in this life and inklings can come in those quiet moments. ~Swami Radhananda

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Last saved 2021 Apr 19 Mon 11:32 PDT

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