Poets make pets of pretty, docile words:
I love smooth words, like gold-enameled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish,
And tender ones, like downy-feathered birds:
Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds,
Come to my hand, and playful if I wish,
Or purring softly at a silver disk,
Blue Persian kittens, fed on cream and curds.
I love bright words, words up and singing early;
Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing;
Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees;
I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly,
Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees,
Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.
~ Elinor Hoyt Wylie (1885-1928)
It never seems to occur to anyone that each
reader is different, and that even those who might be said to
resemble each other will each bring an individual set of
experiences and references to their reading, and interpret and
misinterpret it according to these. ~ John Ashbery
No man means all he says, and yet very few say
all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
~ Henry Brooks Adams "The Education of Henry Adams"
Abuse of words has been the great instrument
of sophistry and chicanery of party, faction, and division of
~ John Adams
A synonym is a word you use when you can't
spell the word you first thought of.
~ Burt Bacharach
A word is a bud attempting to become a twig.
How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams.
The blank page gives the right to dream.
~ Gaston Bachelard
Words, as is well known, are the great foes of
~ Joseph Conrad
You can taste a word.
~ Pearl Bailey
Your words are my food, your breath my wine.
You are everything to me.
~ Sarah Bernhardt
For your born writer, nothing is so healing as
the realization that he has come upon the right word.
~ Catherine Drinker Bowen
A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow
with a sword.
~ Robert Burton "The Anatomy of Melancholy"
Short words are best and the old words when
short are best of all.
~ Winston Churchill
Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have
been committed under the spell of certain magic words or
~ James Bryant Conant
Leave Me Alone I'm Reading:
Finding and Losing Myself in Books
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality
is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of
words, you can control the people who must use the words.
~ Philip K. Dick
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
~ Emily Dickinson
If the word has the potency to revive and make
us free, it has also the power to bind, imprison and destroy.
~ Ralph Ellison
Every word was once a poem.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He pronounced some of his words as if they
were corks being drawn out of bottles.
~ Winston Graham
A word is not a crystal, transparent and
unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary
greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and
the time in which it is used.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Once a word has been allowed to escape, it
cannot be recalled.
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug
used by mankind.
~ Rudyard Kipling
We should have a great many fewer disputes in
the world if only words were taken for what they are, the signs
of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
~ John Locke
Your Words In Gold
In this Journal
Do not the most moving moments of our lives
find us all without words?
~ Marcell Marceau
Words and deeds are far from being one. Much
that is talked about is left undone.
Among my most prized possessions are words
that I have never spoken.
~ Orson Rega
It doesn't pay to say too much when you are
mad enough to choke. For the word that stings the deepest is the
word that is never spoke, Let the other fellow wrangle till the
storm has blown away, then he'll do a heap of thinking about the
things you didn't say.
~ James Whitcomb Riley
Words must surely be counted among the most
powerful drugs man ever invented.
~ Leo Calvin Rosten
Words sing. They hurt. They teach. They
sanctify. They were man's first, immeasurable feat of magic.
They liberated us from ignorance and our barbarous past.
~ Leo Calvin Rosten
Words are weapons, and it is dangerous . . .
to borrow them from the arsenal of the enemy.
~ George Santayana "Orbiter Scripta"
Man does not live by words alone, despite the
fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
~ Adlai Stevenson
If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is
as with sunbeams--the more they are condensed, the
deeper they burn.
~ Robert Southey
For words divide and rend
But silence is most noble till the end.
~ Algernon Charles Swinburne
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but
their echoes are truly endless.
~ Mother Teresa
Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.
~ William Makepeace Thackeray
Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall,
but wise words endure.
~ Edward Thorndike
It is the man who determines what is said, not
~ Henry David Thoreau
The difference between the almost right word
and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the
difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
~ Mark Twain
Don't use a big word where a diminutive one
This website generates visual trees of related
offers the complete texts of hundreds of classic literary
browsing on the Web. You can find public-domain reference books,
stories, drama, poetry, biographies,
science texts, and other works.
5 million American Documents