edith sitwell Quotes
Edith Sitwell QuotesDate of Death: 1964-12-09 (Wednesday, December 9th, 1964)
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- Let us speak of our madness. We are always being called mad. If we are mad - we and our brothers in America who are walking hand in hand with us in the vanguard of progress - at least we are mad in company with most of our great predecessors and all the most intelligent foreigners. Beethoven, Schumann, and Wagner, Shelley, Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth were all mad in turn. We shall be proud to join them in the Asylum to which they are now consigned.
- I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty... But I am too busy thinking about myself.
- I have taken this step because I want the discipline, the fire and the authority of the Church. I am hopelessly unworthy of it, but I hope to become worthy.
- My poems are hymns of praise to the glory of life.
- As for the usefulness of poetry, its uses are many. it is the deification of reality. It should make our days holy to us. The poet should speak to all men, for a moment, of that other life of theirs that they have smothered and forgotten.
- The poet is a brother speaking to a brother of 'a moment of their other lives' - a moment that had been buried beneath the dust of the busy world.
- I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.
- The trouble with most Englishwomen is that they will dress as if they had been a mouse in a previous incarnation... they do not want to attract attention.
- My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.
- A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.
- Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?
- I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.
- I am one of those unhappy persons who inspire bores to the greatest flights of art.
- Hot water is my native element. I was in it as a baby, and I have never seemed to get out of it ever since.
- The busy chatter of the heat Shrilled like a parakeet; And shuddering at the noonday light The dust lay dead and white As powder on a mummy's face, Or fawned with simian grace Round booths with many a hard bright toy And wooden brittle joy: The cap and bells of Time the Clown That, jangling, whistled down Young cherubs hidden in the guise Of every bird that flies; And star-bright masks for youth to wear, Lest any dream that fare - Bright pilgrim - past our ken, should see Hints of Reality.
- Tall windows show Infinity; And, hard reality, The candles weep and pry and dance Like lives mocked at by Chance. The rooms are vast as Sleep within; When once I ventured in, Chill Silence, like a surging sea, Slowly enveloped me.
- Within your magic web of hair, lies furled The fire and splendour of the ancient world; The dire gold of the comet's wind-blown hair; The songs that turned to gold the evening air When all the stars of heaven sang for joy.
- White as a winding sheet, Masks blowing down the street: Moscow, Paris London, Vienna - all are undone. The drums of death are mumbling, rumbling, and tumbling, Mumbling, rumbling, and tumbling, The world's floors are quaking, crumbling and breaking.
- Oh how the Vacancy Laughed at them rushing by. 'Turn again, flesh and brain, Only yourselves again! How far above the ape Differing in each shape, You with your regular Meaningless circles are!'
- Still falls the Rain - Dark as the world of man, black as our loss - Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails Upon the Cross.
- Still falls the Rain At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross. Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us -
- Still falls the Rain - Still falls the Blood from the Starved Man's wounded Side: He bears in His Heart all wounds, - those of the light that died, The last faint spark In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad uncomprehending dark...
- The great gold planet that is the mourning heat of the Sun Is greater than all gold, more powerful Than the tawny body of a Lion that fire consumes Like all that grows or leaps... so is the heart More powerful than all dust.
- The flames of the heart consumed me, and the mind Is but a foolish wind.
- Remember only this of our hopeless love That never till Time is done Will the fire of the heart and the fire of the mind be one.
- Mother or Murderer, you have given or taken life - Now all is one!
- Our hearts seemed safe in our breasts and sang to the Light - The marrow in the bone We dreamed was safe. . . the blood in the veins, the sap in the tree Were springs of Deity.
- The living blind and seeing Dead together lie As if in love . . . There was no more hating then, And no more love; Gone is the heart of Man.
- The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.
- Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.
- Vulgarity is, in reality, nothing but a modern, chic, pert descendant of the goddess Dullness.
- I'm not the man to baulk at a low smell, I'm not the man to insist on asphodel. This sounds like a He-fellow, don't you think? It sounds like that. I belch, I bawl, I drink.
- There are people, also, who cannot believe that beauty and gaiety are a part of goodness. When we think of cruelty, we must try to remember the stupidity, the envy, the frustration from which it has arisen.
- I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
- People are usually made Dames for virtues I do not possess.
- I wouldn't dream of following a fashion... how could one be a different person every three months?
- The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves.
- I am resigned to the fact that people who don't know me loathe me. Perhaps it is because I am a woman writing poetry. It must be annoying to a man who wants to write to see this horrid old lady who can.
- Good taste is the worst vice ever invented.
- I'm afraid I'm being an awful nuisance.
- Small things I handled and caressed and loved. I let the stars assume the whole of night. But the big answers clamoured to be moved Into my life. Their great audacity Shouted to be acknowledged and believed.
- It is a part of the poet's work to show each man what he sees but does not know he sees.
- I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. ... I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. ... I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
- Her tall figure, swathed in black, looking like some strange eccentric bird... she seemed like an ageing princess come home from exile.
- Each of them is inhabited by a bland demon, as the German metaphysicians used to call that which gets into a man and makes him creative, not so forcibly that it turns them away from criticism, but valid enough to give them the right to speak with the authority of artists.
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