Saturday, 6 January 2018

Kahlil Gibran

Source: Priapro40 on Deviant Art

Kahlil Gibran
Born: 6 January, 1883 - Lebanon
Died: 10 April 1931 - New York, U.S.A.

visual artist

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have found the soul walking upon my path." For the soul walks upon all paths.
- The Prophet (1923) - never been out of print

My enemy said to me, "Love your enemy." And I obeyed him and loved myself.
- Spiritual Sayings of Kahlil Gibran 

When Life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.
- Sand and Foam (1926)

Monday, 1 January 2018

Arthur Hugh Clough

Source: Poetry Foundation

Arthur Hugh Clough
Born: 1 January, 1819 - Liverpool, U.K.
Died: 13 November, 1861 - Florence, Italy

assistant to Florence Nightingale

Truth is a golden thread, seen here and there
In small bright specks upon the visible side
Of our strange being’s party-coloured web.
- The Thread of Truth (1839)

Grace is given of God, but knowledge is bought in the market;
Knowledge needful for all, yet cannot be had for the asking.
- The Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich, Pt. IV (1848)

No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency.
- The Latest Decalogue, l. 3-4 (1862)

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Roy Sydney Porter

Roy Sydney Porter
Born: 31 December, 1946 - London, UK
Died: 3 March, 2002 - St Leonards-on-Sea, UK

historian - wrote or edited over 100 books

I wish to explore what mad people meant to say, what was on their minds. Their testimonies are eloquent of their hopes and fears, the injustices they suffered, above all of what it was like to be mad or to be thought to be mad … My points of reference, therefore, are language, history and culture.
In the culture of madness ‘reality’ and ‘representations’ endlessly played off each other. What a crazy world in which the poor had to pretend to be mad in order to get a crust!
Every age gets the lunatics it deserves.
- A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane (1987)

The emergence of this high-tech scientific medicine may be a prime example of what William Blake denounced as 'single vision', the kind of myopia which (literally and metaphorically) comes from looking doggedly down a microscope. Single vision has its limitations in explaining the human condition; this is why Coleridge called doctors 'shallow animals', who 'imagine that in the whole system of things there is nothing but Gut and Body'.
- The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity (1997)

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Rudyard Kipling

Source: Explore Haileybury

Rudyard Kipling
Born: 30 December, 1865 - Bombay, India
Died: 18 January, 1936 - London England

short story writer
war correspondent - Boer War, South Africa
Nobel Prize winner - 1907

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
- If (1896)

If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.
Epitaphs of War - Common Form (1914-18)

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
- Recessional (1897)
- Originally published in the Times of London for Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee

I keep six honest serving-men: 
(They taught me all I knew) 
Their names are What and Where and When 
And How and Why and Who.
- Just So Stories - The Elephant's Child (1902)

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray 
He was unquestionably one of the least productive and yet, besides William Collins (1721-1759), 
the predominant poetic figure of the middle decades of the 18th century.
 Born: 26 December, 1716 - London
Died: 30 July, 1771

classical scholar
professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

THE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
 The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
 The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
 And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
- Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751)

Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows, 
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm 
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; 
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; 
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, 
That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
- The Bard (1757)

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
- The Progress of Poesy (1754)
NOTE: Many record the last line as a single quote:
Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.

Monday, 25 December 2017

William Collins

Source of Image

William Collins
Born: December 25, 1721 - England
Died: June 12, 1759
(He was institutionalised in 1754 with mental illness)


With eyes raised up, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sate retired
And from her wild sequestered seat
In notes by distance made more sweet
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul.
- The Passions, An Ode for Music (1774)

Too nicely Jonson knew the critic's part;
Nature in him was almost lost in Art.
- To Sir Thomas Hammer on his Edition of Shakespeare (1743)
(Sir Thomas Hammer (1677–1746) was a member of parliament from 1701 to 1727,
and was appointed speaker in 1714.)

25th December 1863, William Makepeace Thackeray died in London

Monday, 2 January 2017

Isaac Asimov

Source of image

Isaac Asimov
Born: January 2nd, 1920 - Petrovichi, Russia
Died: April 6th, 1992 - New York City, U.S.

short story writer
non-fiction writer

Any planet is 'Earth' to those that live on it.
There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save.
Of course there are worlds. Millions of them! Every star you see has worlds, and most of those you don't see.
- Pebble in the Sky

The first problem of living is to minimize friction with the crowds that surround you on all sides.
- The Caves of Steel

You show me someone who can't understand people and I'll show you someone who has built up a false image of himself.
It seems to me, Golan, that the advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy.
- Foundation's Edge

Isn't it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us - and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run.
- The Secret of the Universe

You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason---if you pick the proper postulates.
- I, Robot
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