July 2

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

With great power comes great responsibility. ~ Stan Lee
Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. ~ Hermann Hesse (born 2 July 1877)
When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do. ~ Hermann Hesse

There's no life
that couldn't be immortal
if only for a moment.

always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob
of the invisible door.
As far as you've come can't be undone.

~ Wisława Szymborska ~

There are gains for all our losses,
There are balms for all our pain:
But when youth, the dream, departs,
It takes something from our hearts,
And it never comes again.

~ Richard Henry Stoddard ~
Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another. ~ Hermann Hesse
Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know." ~ Wisława Szymborska
Every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created. ~ Hermann Hesse
Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of every consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
Everything that is thought and expressed in words is one-sided, only half the truth; it all lacks totality, completeness, unity.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
Whether you and I and a few others will renew the world someday remains to be seen. But within ourselves we must renew it each day, otherwise we just aren't serious. Don't forget that!
~ Hermann Hesse ~
Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams — like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves.
Each man's life represents the road toward himself, and attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path. No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that — one in an awkward, the other in a more intelligent way, each as best he can.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
I feared that the enemy might have nearly surrounded the Little Round Top, and only a desperate chance was left for us. My ammunition was soon exhausted. My men were firing their last shot and getting ready to "club" their muskets.
It was imperative to strike before we were struck by this overwhelming force in a hand-to-hand fight, which we could not probably have withstood or survived. At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough.
~ Joshua Chamberlain ~
For the sake of research,
the big picture
and definitive conclusions,
one would have to transcend time,
in which everything scurries and whirls.
~ Wisława Szymborska ~
Any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life.
~ Wisława Szymborska ~
Granted, in daily speech, where we don't stop to consider every word, we all use phrases like "the ordinary world," "ordinary life," "the ordinary course of events"… But in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world.
It looks like poets will always have their work cut out for them
~ Wisława Szymborska ~
The doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
All the tasks are in themselves small, but each one has to be carried out at its proper hour, and the day has far more tasks than hours. That is well; one would not want it to be different. But if we ever think, between classroom, archives, secretariat, consulting room, meetings, and official journeys — if we ever think of the freedom we possessed and have lost, the freedom for self-chosen tasks, for unlimited, far-flung studies, we may well feel the greatest yearning for those days, and imagine that if we ever had such freedom again we would fully enjoy its pleasures and potentialities.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
~ Hermann Hesse ~
The going's rough, and so we need the laugh
of bright incisors, molars of goodwill.
Our times are still not safe and sane enough
for faces to show ordinary sorrow.
~ Wisława Szymborska ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.



The world is a fine place and worth fighting for. ~ Ernest Hemingway, born that day

  • 3 ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:20, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • 2 121a0012 June 27, 2005 03:52 (UTC)
  • This quote has already been used as a quote of the day, in January 2005. Also, Hemingway's birthday is actually the 21st of July; he died on the 2nd.
  • 2 Zarbon 04:50, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

And only we few who remain unstripped of fur,
untorn from bone, unplucked of soaring feathers,
esteemed in all our quills, scales, tusks, and horns,
and in whatever else that ingenious protein
has seen fit to clothe us with,
we, my lord, are your dream,
which finds you innocent for now.
~ Wisława Szymborska

Nothing's a gift, it's all on loan.
I'm drowning in debts up to my ears.
I'll have to pay for myself
with my self,
give up my life for my life.
~ Wisława Szymborska

Anything in overdose will destroy your liver. I mean, look at cigarettes and look at liquor. Cigarettes says on the packet, this will kill you; it will cause cancer; and you're still smoking it. ~ José Canseco

  • 2 for humorous intent by Canseco. Zarbon 14:38, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 05:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

He who has an opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste of others, is a slave. ~ Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

  • 3 Zarbon 14:38, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 05:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

We have two lives about us,
Two worlds in which we dwell,
Within us and without us,
Alternate Heaven and Hell:—
Without, the somber Real,
Within, our hearts of hearts, the beautiful Ideal.
~ Richard Henry Stoddard ~

  • 3 Kalki 05:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 20:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Not what we would, but what we must
Makes up the sum of living;
Heaven is both more and less than just
In taking and in giving.
~ Richard Henry Stoddard ~

  • 3 Kalki 21:26, 1 July 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 00:05, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry that my voice was hard.
Look down on yourselves from the stars, I cried,
look down on yourselves from the stars.

~ Wisława Szymborska

  • 3 Kalki 16:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 18:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:07, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Whatever we might think of this measureless theater to which we've got reserved tickets, but tickets whose lifespan is laughably short, bounded as it is by two arbitrary dates; whatever else we might think of this world — it is astonishing. ~ Wisława Szymborska

After every war
someone has to tidy up.
~ Wisława Szymborska

Those who knew
what this was all about
must make way for those
who know little.
And less than that.
And at last nothing less than nothing.

~ Wisława Szymborska

We're extremely fortunate
not to know precisely
the kind of world we live in.
One would have
to live a long, long time,
unquestionably longer
than the world itself.

~ Wisława Szymborska

Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke. ~ Hermann Hesse

It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other's opposite and complement. ~ Hermann Hesse

A true seeker could not accept any teachings, not if he sincerely wished to find something. But he who had found, could give his approval to every path, every goal; nothing separated him from all of the other thousands who lived in eternity, who breathed the Divine. ~ Hermann Hesse

Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. ~ Hermann Hesse

These people were worthy of love and admiration in their blind loyalty, in their blind strength and tenacity. With the exception of one small thing, one tiny little thing, they lacked nothing that the sage and thinker had, and that was the consciousness of the unity of all life. ~ Hermann Hesse

Love does not entreat; or demand. Love must have the strength to become certain within itself. Then it ceases merely to be attracted and begins to attract. ~ Hermann Hesse

Love isn't there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure. ~ Hermann Hesse

It matters little that you suffer, so long as you feel alive with a sense of the close bond that connects all living things, so long as love does not die! ~ Hermann Hesse