The following is a list of quotes that are memorable to me for one reason or another:

“Ooh baby baby, it’s a wild world./It’s hard to get by just upon a smile./”Ooh baby baby, it’s a wild world./I’ll always remember you like child girl.”

Cat Stevens (from “Wild World”)

“Let us go back a moment to the turn of the century.  If we pick up the Protestant Ethic as it was then expressed we will find it apparently in full flower.  We will also find, however, an ethic that had already been strained by reality.  The country had changed.  The ethic had not.”

William H, Whyte (from The Organization Man)

“Stay with me–do not take thy flight!/A little longer stay in sight!/Much converse do I find in thee,/Historian of my infancy!”

William Wordsworth (from “To A Butterfly”)

“On August 28, 2005, I sat in a kitchen in Malden, Missouri, watching televised images of my adopted hometown, New Orleans, sliding into chaos.”

Tom Piazza (from Why New Orleans Matters)

There is a vast difference between learning a few exercises and living a life of jazz.”

Rob Mackillop, musician and teacher

“It was kind of a ….We didn’t know where we were going.  We didn’t know what it was, but for some reason, it seemed like a good idea.  We got to this place, a joint, Fort Worth Texas.  Burnt out. Bombed out.  The roof wasn’t even on the place anymore.  And that’s when they decided to call it the Skyline Lounge.  And we got there and set up. A big place.  Huge.  A bar way at the back, and a big dance floor.  So we set up the first night, and we go down to the place to play.  And we go in there and there’s about, in this huge place, about three people in the audience: a one-armed go go dancer and a couple of drunk waiters.  A couple over here.  A couple over there.  And a fight starts.  There isn’t enough people in the place to get angry.  And we found out a few years later that it was Jack Ruby’s club.”

Robbie Robertson (from The Last Waltz)

“Don’t let the baby look up,” she warned, and turned away from talking to me, as if the open use of her voice exposed her more fatally to the rays.  Superstition, I thought, walking back through  my yard, clutching my child’s hand as tightly as a good-luck token.  There was no question in her touch  Day, night, twilight, noon were all wonders to her, unscheduled, free from all bondage of prediction.  The sun was being restored to itself and soon would radiate influence as brazenly as ever-and in this sense my daughter’s blind trust was vindicated.  Nevertheless, I was glad that the eclipse had passed, as it were, over her head; for in my own life I felt a certain assurance evaporate forever under the reality of the sun’s disgrace.

John Updike (from “Eclipse”)

“There lived in Westphalia, at the country seat of Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh, a young lad blessed by nature with the most agreeable manners.  You could read his character in his face.  He combined sound judgement with unaffected simplicity; and that, I suppose, was why he was called Candide.”

Voltaire (from Candide)

“And this is good old Boston,/The home of the bean and the cod,/Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots/And the Cabots talk only to God.”

John Collins Bossidy “On the Aristocracy of Harvard”

“I will proclaim to the world the deeds of Gilgamesh.  This was the man to whom all things were known; this was the king who knew the countries of the world.  He was wise, he saw mysteries and knew secret things, he brought us a tale of the days before the flood.  He went on a long journey, was weary, worn-out with labor, returning he rested, he engraved on a stone the whole story.”

The Epic of Gilgamesh (translated by N.K. Sandars)

“The Golf links lie so near the mill/That almost every day/The laboring children can look out/And see the men at play.”

Sarah Cleghorn “Quatrain”

“She had/A heart–how shall I say?–too soon made glad,/Too easily impressed; She liked whate’er/She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.”

Robert Browning (from “My Last Duchess”)

“She says, if I thought it would get any better I would shoot you, you/nut, you.  Then pats her hair/into place, and waits/for Uncle Jim’s deep-fired, all-fat, real gone/Whale steaks.

Robert Creeley (from “Naughty Boy”)

“‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ –that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

John Keats from (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”)

“Today I am small blue thing/Like a marble or an eye./With my knees against my mouth/I am perfectly round./I am watching you.”

Suzanne Vega (from “Small Blue Thing”)

“My father never wanted his children to know what he did for a living.  Dad worked in maintenance for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Plant C.  Perched on the shore of Lake Erie, it sucked him in at sunrise and spat him out at dusk.”

Connie Schultz (from “The Place My Father Didn’t Want Me to See” Parade Magazine Sunday, September 5, 2010)

“It never occurred to me in those days to write about Holly Golightly, and probably it would not now except for a conversation I had with Joe Bell that set the whole memory of her in motion again.”

Truman Capote (from Breakfast At Tiffany’s)

“My doctor kept warning me that I should take care of my hip and not make any tiring trips.  I decided I would learn to fly and this would eliminate so much traveling time on some of our long road trips.  I started taking flying lessons in 1958 and bought a plane.”

Earl Scruggs (from “Earl Scruggs – Biographical Notes” Earl Scruggs and the 5-String banjo)

“La La Loo de doo . . . Oh, Gawsh . . . Hey, buddy . . Hey, cumon back . . . la la la la . . . Dime fa a cuwa coffa?  Hey . . . la la la.”

Steve Martin (from “Almaden Summer” Cruel Shoes)

“I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.  I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother talking about, except that it had something to with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead.”

Jack Kerouac (from On the Road)

“The Coltrane and Hendrix that summer registered as pleasure for me of course, but they were a new kind of pleasure. It was destabilizing. It felt like there was something dangerous about their music – I literally got scared by their music the first time, and was trembling. Later on, I was able to pinpoint that fear: This was the confrontation with the sublime that philosophers like Kant and Schopenhauer had mapped out. You confront something that is greater than you and greater than what has until that point been safely contained in your worldview. This new greatness is unfamiliar, and your initial reaction is fear – fear of what is unknown, and also fear of something that is bigger and more powerful than you, something that could crush you.”

Brad Mehldau, Jazz Pianist

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”

Woody Allen, writer/director/jazz clarinetist

One Response to “Quotes”

  1. Nikki Says:

    “Whoso must be a man must be a non-conformist.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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