A commonplace book is where notable extracts from other works are recorded.

Almost all poetry is a failure because it sounds like somebody saying, Look, I have written a poem.

        - Charles Bukowski

A writer’s obituary should read he wrote books then he died. 

         - William Faulkner. 

Must a man open a grave to find a woman to love? 

          - The Mummy (1936)


You can get too stressed from being too stressed. 

          - Patricia Neumann


Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.

       - John Steinbeck, East of Eden


I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

         - Rosa Parks


We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.

       - Stephen King


Democracy's a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it's no longer democracy, is it? It's something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism.

        -Sam Shepard


I don’t write music to tell you how to feel, but to tell you it’s time to feel.

        -Hans Zimmer


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 

         - Mary Oliver


Optimism is an antidote to anxiety.

          - Dr. Michael Gervais


Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

         - Inara


Every man who ever got a statue made of him is one kind of a son of a bitch or another. 

          - Firefly


This is how science works, it has nothing to do with feelings, it’s just about curiosity. 

        - Jon Larsen


I think the point of a song is to just say something that’s true, or that expresses an idea that reflects something that’s true, whether it’s a truth about human nature or about the way people bullshit one another.  

        - Lyle Lovett


if you’d never met a human and suddenly encountered one, you’d be inclined to worship this creature.

        - CS Lewis


I have a friend who listens to conversations the way congregants listen to sermons in charismatic churches — with amens, and approbations. The effect is magnetic.

        - David Brooks


Humans need to be heard before they will listen.

        - Amanda Ripley


To influence actions, you need to give people a sense of control.

        - Tali Sharot


Sometimes I wish I were a nurse, or I was out marching. Is music enough? But that's what I have give. That's the way I can express my love.

        - Meredith Monk


If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

        - Haruki Murakami


Dirt is destiny.

        - Dave Montgomery 

There is a certain impulse in all writers to want to please. You have to give up wanting to please.

        - Dorothy Allison


No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don't.

        - Stephen King, The Stand


All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.

        - James Baldwin


“The terror and consternation of the Presidential couple may be imagined by anyone who has ever loved a child, and suffered that dread intimation common to all parents, that Fate may not hold that life in as high a regard, and may dispose of it at will. In “Selected Civil War Letters of Edwine Willow,” edited by Constance Mays.”

        — Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders


The Negro, who has long exemplified the humanities in his very existence, is being rewarded with inhumanity.

        - Sonny Rollins, liner notes, Freedom Suite. 


If a song can’t be written in 20 minutes, it ain’t worth writing.

        - Hank Williams

When I practice, I need to listen very critically and analytically to what I am doing. Practicing involves experimentation and working often in small sections at a variety of different speeds – with frequent stops.  Performing is all about letting go of self consciousness, getting into a flow state and communicating the message of the music to the listener. Essentially practicing is more a thinking activity, and performance a feeling one.

        - Artur Rubinstein


Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.

        - Warren Buffet


The purpose of technique is to free the unconscious.

        - David Mamet

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

        — The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


Pain is the truth; all else is doubt

        - Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee


All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog.

        — Franz Kafka


A man should have the ability to go up in a hurtling piece of machinery and put his hide on the line and then have the moxie, the reflexes, the experience, the coolness to pull it back in the last yawning moment — and then go up again the next day, and the next day, and every next day.         - The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe


The library is, with its careworn and temporary offerings, as lovely and as poignant a reminder of our actual human condition as the tides or a forest in fall. 

        - Ben Dolnik


A song success must have easy phrasing and it must be within the range--one octave--of the average singer's voice. A hit, too, must have one haunting, unforgettable phrase. I don't think the name of a song has anything whatever to do with its ultimate success unless, of course, it's a comedy song and then the title plays a big part.

        - Irving Berlin


Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.

        — Lewis B. Smedes.


I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.

        — Beryl Markham


In his disturbance; when his darling sons,

Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse

Their frail original and faded bliss,

Faded so soon. Advise, if this be worth

Attempting, or to sit in darkness here

Hatching vain empires.

        - Paradise Lost, Book II (372)

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy.  That is, the search for a truly superior moral justification for selfishness.

        - John Kenneth Galbraith


I think the more the listener can contribute to the song, the better; the more they become part of the song, and they fill in the blanks. Rather than tell them everything, you save your details for things that exist. Like what color the ashtray is. How far away the doorway was. So when you’re talking about intangible things like emotions, the listener can fill in the blanks and you just draw the foundation.

        — John Prine


Without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel

        - Alexander Hamilton The Federalist No. 74.


Jesus understood that what ultimately changes people’s lives are relationships rather than rule books, mercy rather than moral demands. 

         - Peter Webber


... the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.

         — The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison


I warn you against believing that advertising is a science.

         - Bill Bernbach 


If you don’t want anyone to know anything about you, don’t write anything.

         ― Peter Townshend


Life is too short to sacrifice so much of it, to living with a bastard.

         - Bill Bernbach 


A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

         - Winston Churchill


It takes a tremendous amount of work to educate citizens to resist the powerful pull of believing what they already believe, or what others around them believe, or what would make sense of their own previous choices.

         - Timothy Synder. 

For Black people in this country there is no legal code at all. We’re still governed by the slave code.

         - James Baldwin


You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

         — Martin Luther King, Jr.


If you live in the real world all the time it can be kind of boring.

         - Senator Patrick Leahey. 


I saw Picasso at a party or an opening or something crowded and awful in New York. I spoke to him. I repeated what I had written in my letter: How do we do it? What do we do when the images and the words do not come forth? How do we survive? How do we remain artists? He looked at me with those glorious eyes, snapped back that shiny, bald head and told me that we are not artists; "we do not concern ourselves with 'art.' We are workmen, day laborers--who happen to work with paints and clay and actors, and curtains part on occasion to display what we do. Tell the truth as you know it. Art may happen; it may not. We are not owed its presence.            

         - Tennessee Williams

I have the artist torture thing going on, too, where I'm a little conflict-seeking because it's creative. I like to feel sad sometimes. And I like to feel happy. I really like to feel. It's inspiring to me.

          - Miley Cyrus 


Mark Twain had a real understanding of the difference between the word on the page and delivering it on a platform You have to leave out a lot of adjectives. The performer is an adjective.

          - Hal Holbrook

People who want to understand democracy should spend less time in the libraries with Aristotle and Socrates, and more time on the buses and in the subways.

         - Simeon Strunsky

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