A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.
A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.
A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.
A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes.
A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body – the wishbone.
A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.
A poet never takes notes. You never take notes in a love affair.
A successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman.
Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going. Not against: with.
And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
Being the boss anywhere is lonely. Being a female boss in a world of mostly men is especially so.
But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.
By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
College is a refuge from hasty judgment.
Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.
Education doesn’t change life much. It just lifts trouble to a higher plane of regard.
Education is hanging around until you’ve caught on.
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me.
Freedom lies in being bold.
Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
Hell is a half-filled auditorium.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
Humor is the most engaging cowardice.
I alone of English writers have consciously set myself to make music out of what I may call the sound of sense.
I always entertain great hopes.
I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn.
I go to school the youth to learn the future.
I had a lovers quarrel with the world.
I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.
I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.
I never dared to be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.
I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few in the whole history of the world who was not carried away by power.
I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
I’d just as soon play tennis with the net down.
I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed.
If one by one we counted people out For the least sin, it wouldn’t take us long To get so we had no one left to live with. For to be social is to be forgiving.
If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.
If you don’t know how great this country is, I know someone who does; Russia.
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
It’s a funny thing that when a man hasn’t anything on earth to worry about, he goes off and gets married.
Let him that is without stone among you cast the first thing he can lay his hands on.
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
Modern poets talk against business, poor things, but all of us write for money. Beginners are subjected to trial by market.
Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.
My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.
No memory of having starred atones for later disregard, or keeps the end from being hard.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
Nobody was ever meant, To remember or invent, What he did with every cent.
Nothing can make injustice just but mercy.
One aged man – one man – can’t fill a house.
Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.
Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.
Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.
Pressed into service means pressed out of shape.
Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.
Space ails us moderns: we are sick with space.
Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.
Take care to sell your horse before he dies. The art of life is passing losses on.
Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes the pressure off the second.
The artist in me cries out for design.
The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I’m against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.
The best way out is always through.
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.
The chief reason for going to school is to get the impression fixed for life that there is a book side for everything.
The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.
The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother’s always a Democrat.
The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom… in a clarification of life – not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.
The greatest thing in family life is to take a hint when a hint is intended-and not to take a hint when a hint isn’t intended.
The jury consist of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
The middle of the road is where the white line is – and that’s the worst place to drive.
The only certain freedom’s in departure.
The only way round is through.
The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term maintenance of power is not violence in all the forms deployed by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all the forms in which the dominated acquiesce in their own domination.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it’s egotism.
There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.
There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.
They would not find me changed from him they knew – only more sure of all I thought was true.
Thinking isn’t agreeing or disagreeing. That’s voting.
To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.
To be social is to be forgiving.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Two such as you with such a master speed, cannot be parted nor be swept away, from one another once you are agreed, that life is only life forevermore, together wing to wing and oar to oar.
We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.
What we live by we die by.
Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.
You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider.
You can’t get too much winter in the winter.
You don’t have to deserve your mother’s love. You have to deserve your father’s.
You have freedom when you’re easy in your harness.