I’ve basically stolen this idea from Shelby Knox’s webpage.
I, like many people, have always written down snippets of literature, or poetry, or quotes that have inspired me, made me think, and made me laugh.
Commonplace book: A writer’s personal collection of quotes, literary excerpts, and poems. Called a florilegium (“flowers of reading”) in the Middle Ages, commonplace books were especially popular during the Renaissance and into the 18th century.
Here is my ongoing collection.
“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” —Colette
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death” –Pearl S. Buck
She (Jacqueline Kennedy) remembered being asked by the president’s physician on board Air Force One if she wanted to change out of her blood-smeared suit into a pristine white dress that had been laid out on the presidential bed for her. “No,” she vehemently told him. “Let them see what they’ve done.”’ –Sam Kashner, Vanity Fair
“I’m living in a foreign country, but I’m bound to walk the line. Beauty walks on a razor’s edge someday I’ll make it mine. If I could only turn back the clock, to when God and Her were born…” –Bob Dylan, ‘Shelter From the Storm’
“The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference.” –Elie Wiesel
“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” –Goethe
In my death, I fall blindly,
Serenely deafened by the song of stars,
The breath of God.
I’m the ball at the end of Newton’s Cradle
And I kissed the waiting Earth.
–Lalah-Simone Springer, ‘crash and burn’
Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light.