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A PORTRAIT A DAY KEEPS MYSELF SANE

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Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.”

Anatole France

When you are old, at evening candle-lit
beside the fire bending to your wool,
read out my verse and murmur, “Ronsard writ
this praise for me when I was beautiful.”
And not a maid but, at the sound of it,
though nodding at the stitch on broidered stool,
will start awake, and bless love’s benefit
whose long fidelities bring Time to school.
I shall be thin and ghost beneath the earth
by myrtle shade in quiet after pain,
but you, a crone, will crouch beside the hearth
mourning my love and all your proud disdain.
And since what comes to-morrow who can say?
Live, pluck the roses of the world to-day.

Pierre de Ronsard

Sometimes it’s a sort of indulgence to think the worst of ourselves. We say, ‘Now I have reached the bottom of the pit, now I can fall no further,’ and it is almost a pleasure to wallow in the darkness. The trouble is, it’s not true. There is no end to the evil in ourselves, just as there is no end to the good. It’s a matter of choice. We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we’re going.

Daphne du Maurier

Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing, and it becomes chronic in their sick minds.

Juvenal

There was, I think, a prevailing
impression common to the provincial mind, that his misfortune was
the result of the defective moral quality of his being a stranger.

Bret Harte

Very old are the woods;
And the buds that break
Out of the brier’s boughs,
When March winds wake,
So old with their beauty are—
Oh, no man knows
Through what wild centuries
Roves back the rose.”

Walter de la Mare

In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong.

Sarah Orne Jewett

You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

Ray Bradbury

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

Kenneth Grahame

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

Maurice Sendak