Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Parke Godwin

American Journalist, Writer of Fiction, Fantasy and Historical Fiction

"The greatest pleasures of which the human mind is susceptible are the pleasures of consciousness and sympathy."

"The soul that perpetually overflows with kindness and sympathy will always be cheerful."

"Part of what we are is whom we’ve loved."

"The true source of cheerfulness is benevolence. The pursuits of mankind are commonly frigid and contemptible, and the mistake comes, at last, to be detected. But virtue is a charm that never fades. The soul that perceptually overflows with kindness and sympathy will always be cheerful."

"Love and hell are alike in that respect; they are what you bring to them. The script is yours; only the props are furnished."

"I’ve learned and unlearned all my life; it’s helped me to survive. There are no constants, nothing is immutable, only random circumstance from which our experience builds a coherent arc of life. And for that arc you have only to be truly done with one thing before moving to another. There’s an art in letting go."

"The day comes when love means something beyond a reflection of ourselves, when there is more behind than ahead and the house of mind is haunted in every chamber with old songs, old ghosts, old hopes."

"Where do the strong go to be weak?"

"There’s not a stone or leaf or life that men won’t put a name to. It gives them a nice safe box to collect things in. They get in the habit of collecting things and end up surprised at the weight they’re carrying. A dream they thought might fit someday, something bright and sweet like a woman, picked up for her shine and somehow never left or at least never forgotten. Or an ambition! There’s a fine item in any man’s bag. A great, glowing ambition. They never fade, never wear even when you’ve outgrown them. Always there to look at and remember and play might-have-been."

"Tomorrow belongs to those who can learn. For those who can’t, there’s only yesterday."

"I know why men lose sight of the face of God: because it is so close."

"Hear the language, this English, double-jointed as Bedivere's limbs. It only sounds awkward. In its ability to join one concept to another as with pegs, its dependent clauses, figures of speech and cadenced alliteration, a man can say one thing five ways and yet imply a sixth; can change meaning with an inflection, a pause or a deliberate misuse of a word, can mock, scorn and flay an opponent without uttering one overt insult."

"The greatest of all human benefits, that at least without which no other benefit can be truly enjoyed, is independence."

"There is nothing more allied to the barbarous and savage character than sullenness, concealment, and reserve."

"A while ago in real-time you saw the eagles. And you wished."

"And youth, though they see every day the cradle and grave shaped so alike, never believe death will happen to them. I told you it was a comedy."

"Honor should be on the inside, not like an iron shirt. A man can't grow that way."

"Between blow and pain, there is that instant of numbness, an unreal moment..."

"For one instant, I saw the stars close enough to touch. Closer than that, part of me. Are they really so far or just that we never reach for them?"

"Lovers have a language that can be lost--how to speak, how to touch, when to try."

"Perhaps a moment comes when must is to tired to fight and want breaks free to cry I am just once before the sun goes down."

"We play very dangerous games with life and no one knows our rules."

"See that day as I remember it. A day in June, River Severn rolling to the sea, diamonded with sunlight, gulls gliding over the quays on a mild breeze that lifted the Red Dragon standard over Camelot. A quiet enough day for the end of my world."

"You go through it like a dark room, you sweat, you fear, the fear passes, you come out of it and utter nothing but meaningless words about what you saw or felt."