The voice is a human sound which nothing inanimate can perfectly imitate. It has an authority and an insinuating property which writing lacks. It is not merely so much air, but air modulated and impregnated with life.

Yes, there is a Nirvanah; it is leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem.

Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars. He who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from traveling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily time-worn yoke of their opinions.

All things are engaged in writing their history... Every act of the man inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.

Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where molt the wings which bear it farther than suns and stars. He who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from traveling with the souls of their men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time worn yoke of their opinions.

It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say.

If we want to know what happiness is we must seek it, not as if it were a part of gold at the end of the rainbow, but among human beings who are living richly and fully the good life. If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double Dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar gold button that has rolled under the cupboard in his bed room. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day. If you live only for yourself you are always an immediate danger of being bored to death with the repetition of your own views and interests. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. If your ambition has the momentum of an express train at full speed, if you can no longer stop your mad rush for glory, power, or intellectual supremacy, try to divert your energies into socially useful channels before it is too late.
For those who seek the larger happiness and greater effectiveness open to human beings there can be but one philosophy of life, a philosophy of constructive altruism. The truly happy man is always a fighting optimist. Optimism includes not only altruism but also social responsibility, social courage and objectivity. The good life demands a working philosophy as an orientating map of conduct. This is the golden way of life. This is the satisfying life. This is the way to be happy though human.

If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that rolled under the radiator, striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of each day.

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one's inner life. And that too is a deed.

And how is clarity to be achieved? Mainly by taking trouble and by writing to serve people rather than to impress them.

It takes a great deal of effort to make truth in writing so that the truth as one dreams it may have the best chance of being - not approached, not glimpsed - but better dreamed.

It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think.

Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments. Weaknesses overlooked in oral discussion become painfully obvious on the written page.

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.

When ambition enters, creativity disappears -- because an ambitious man cannot be creative, because an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. While he is painting he is looking ahead; he is thinking, 'When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?' When he is writing a novel, he is looking ahead. He is always in the future -- and a creative person is always in the present.

If your book doesn't keep you up nights when you are writing it, it won't keep anyone up nights reading it.

Faithfulness to the past can be a kind of death above ground. Writing of the past is a resurrection; the past then lives in your words and you are free.

What is the purpose of writing music? One is, of course, not dealing with purposes but dealing with sounds. Or the answer must take the form of a paradox: a purposeful purposeless or a purposeless play. This play, however, is an affirmation of life--not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and one’s desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord.

I've noticed a facinating phenomenon in my thiry years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelvant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don't really teach anyting except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the instituion overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers to care and do work very, very hard, the instituion is psychopathic -- it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.