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Brevity Quotes

RELATED QUOTES

"Brevity never fatigues; therefore, brevity is always a welcome guest." - Theophile Gautier

"Brevity - the sister of talent." - Anton Chekhov

"Brevity is a great charm of eloquence." - Cicero

"Aiming at brevity, I become obscure." - Horace

"Brevity is the sister of talent." - Anton Chekhov

"Brevity is the soul of wit." - William Shakespeare

"Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon." - Edsger Dijkstra

"Brevity is a great charm of eloquence." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie." - Dorothy Parker

"If brevity is the soul of wit then brevity and levity are the whole of it." - Michael R. Burch

"Infancy is what is eternal, and the rest, all the rest, is brevity, extreme brevity." - Antonio Porchia

"No weapons are more potent than brevity and simplicity." - Katherine Cecil Thurston

"Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction...." - Hosea Ballou

"Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity." - William Zinsser

"My four articles of faith: clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity." - William Zinsser

"Brevity in writing is the best insurance for its perusal." - Rudolf Virchow

"Brevity: To say at once whatever is to be said." - Georg C Lichtenberg

"Discriminating brevity is a law of the right biographic method." - Sidney Lee

"You evidently feel that brevity is the soul of widowhood." - Saki

"Brevity is the body and soul of wit." - Jean Paul

"Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction." - Hosea Ballou

"You evidently feel that brevity is the soul of widowhood." - Hector Hugh Munro

"There is need of brevity, that the thought may run on." - Horace

"Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn't it?" - Stephen King

"Filter your pain through the brevity of this life and the unending beauty of the next." - Max Lucado

"Let those who thoughtfully consider the brevity of life remember the length of eternity." - Thomas Ken

"Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator." - Cicero

"For the sake of brevity, we will always represent this number 2.718281828459... by the letter e." - Leonhard Euler

"Every epigram should resemble a bee; it should have sting, honey, and brevity." - Marcus Valerius Martial

"Brevity is very good, when we are, or are not, understood." - Samuel Butler (poet)

"Despair of all recovery spoils longevity, And makes men's miseries of alarming brevity." - Lord Byron

"For brevity is very good, Where we are, or are not understood." - Samuel Butler (poet)

"In the pleading of cases nothing pleases so much as brevity." - Pliny the Younger

"Every epigram should resemble a bee; it should have sting, honey, and brevity." - Martial

"If human lives be, for their very brevity, sweet, then beast lives are sweeter still..." - Isobelle Carmody

"Let us return to 'no'. It has the charm of brevity." - Sharon Lee

"The brevity of human life gives a melancholy to the profession of the architect." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole, its body brevity, and wit its soul." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Many things prevent knowledge, including the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life" - Protagoras

"Why the brevity? Because I'd rather people read my book twice than only half-way through" - Mohsin Hamid

"The greatest surprise in life to me is the brevity of life." - Billy Graham

"Breath and brevity are sisters; the long-winded is an enemy who muffles your heartbeat." - Shirley Geok-lin Lim

"Brevity is very good, When we are, or are not understood." - Samuel Butler

"Brevity may be the soul of wit, but not when someone's saying I love you." - Judith Viorst

"Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

"What is a epigram? A dwarfish whole. Its body brevity, and wit its soul." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Brevity may be the soul of wit, but not when someone's saying "I love you." - Judith Viorst

"He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whose book full of them?" - Marcus Valerius Martial

"He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whose book full of them?" - Martial

"It was almost funny. Life seemed downright accidental in its brevity, and death a punch line to a lousy joke." - Maureen Johnson

"[S]ince brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief." - William Shakespeare

"This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures." - Rudyard Kipling

"I saw one excellency was within my reach - it was brevity and I determined to obtain it." - John Jay

"it is the brevity of life which makes it tolerable; its experiences have value because they have an end." - Winifred Holtby

"This is going to take a while. I'm a fantasy author. We have trouble with the concept of brevity." - Brandon Sanderson

"Good similes depend upon close observation. They depend upon brevity and wit....They have to fit in context." - James J. Kilpatrick

"Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief." - William Shakespeare

"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity." - Jean De La Bruyere

"...when a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor." - William Strunk Jr

"Children should not be coddled in their intellectual training any more than in their physical; and though the studies should be made interesting the interest should arise out of the studies themselves. We have bred a generation that cannot digest anything intellectual but tablets of peptonized food. One sees that in the popular papers with their brevity, still increasing in brevity as far as brevity can increase, and in the capacity for thought of our rulers." - Arthur Lynch

"A great many people who spend their time mourning over the brevity of life could make it seem longer if they did a little more work." - Don Marquis

"Premeditation of thought and brevity of expression are the great ingredients of that reverence that is required to a pious and acceptable prayer." - Robert South

"Brevity is the best recommendation of a speech, not only in the case of a senator, but in that, too; of an orator." - Cicero

"Brevity in writing is what charity is to all other virtues - righteousness is nothing without the one, nor authorship without the other." - Sydney Smith

"a great many people who spend their time mourning over the brevity of life could make it seem longer if they did a little more work." - Don Marquis

"The old notion that brevity is the essence of wit has succumbed to the modern idea that tedium is the essence of quality." - Russell Baker

"The old, slow, creaking descriptions are a thing of the past; today the rule is brevity - but every word must be supercharged, high-voltage." - Yevgeny Zamyatin

"For effective communication, use brevity. Jesus said, 'Follow me.' Now that's brief! He could be brief because of all that he was that he didn't have to say." - Jim Rohn

"I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story." - Annie Proulx

"I take six or seven years to write really small books. There is a kind of aesthetic of leanness, of brevity." - Mohsin Hamid

"A good short story is a work of art which daunts us in proportion to its brevity.... No inspiration is too noble for it; no amountof hard work is too severe for it." - Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

"youth, balancing itself upon hope, is forever in extremes: its expectations are continually aroused only to be baffled, and disappointment, like a summer shower, is violent in proportion to its brevity." - Letitia Elizabeth Landon

"I am a Ford, not a Lincoln. My addresses will never be as eloquent as Mr. Lincoln's. But I will do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking." - Gerald Ford

"True brevity of expression consists in a man only saying what is worth saying, while avoiding all diffuse explanations of things which every one can think out for himself." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"What can the redwoods tell us about ourselves? Well, I think they can tell us something about human time. The flickering, transitory quality of human time and the brevity of human life - the necessity to love." - Richard Preston

"I am a Ford, not a Lincoln. My addresses will never be as eloquent as Mr. Lincoln's. But I will do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking." - Gerald R Ford

"Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none. This above all: to thine own self be true. No legacy is so rich as honesty. Brevity is the soul of wit" - William Shakespeare

"The land is not old. It only changes, becoming one thing and the next. We are the ones who ascribe age, the brevity of our lives demanding a beginning, middle and end." - Craig Childs

"It is such a great fault to talk too much that, in business and conversation, if what is good is also brief, it is doubly good, and one gains by brevity what one often loses by an excess of words." - Madeleine de Souvre, marquise de ...

"As touching the gods, I do not know whether they exist or not, nor how they are featured; for there is much to prevent our knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the brevity of human life." - Protagoras

"There are risks in the sheer brevity of Twitter, and it's actually quite an elegant art reducing what you have to say to 140 characters, and it's something that I quite enjoy attempting to do." - Richard Dawkins

"Let my life as Poet begin. I want the life of the Poet. I have labored for over twelve years, one thousand pages of prose. Now, I want the easiness of poetry. The brevity of the poem." - Maxine Hong Kingston

"Given the brevity of our time here, it does seem likely that our species, too, must have at best a blinkered understanding of the shape of things, the import of certain events and what distinguishes 'good' from 'bad' luck." - Karen Russell

"Short stories consume you faster. They're connected to brevity. With the short story, you are up against mortality. I know how tough they are as a form, but they're also a total joy." - Ali Smith

"Our senses perceive no extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders ourview. Too great length and too great brevity of discourse tends to obscurity; too much truth is paralyzing.... In short, extremes are for us as though they were not, and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them." - Blaise Pascal

"My liege, and madam, to expostulate What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time, Were nothing but to waste night, day and time. Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief." - William Shakespeare

"When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness." - Hermann Hesse

"Brevity is the soul of command. Too much talking suggests desperation on the part of the leader. Speak shortly, decisively and to the point-and couch your desires in such natural logic that no one can raise objections. Then move on." - Cyrus the Great

"... if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being perserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offsping similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection." - Charles Darwin

"Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us. And there is a beauty that brevity alone provides." He dropped his gaze, then raised it to hers. "I would give you everything of myself," he said. "I would give you more in two weeks than most men would give you in a lifetime." - Cassandra Clare

"I like brevity. Undisciplined people write long; they don't bother to edit - mostly because they have no idea what they want say. When Brian De Palma and I were working on Body Double together he said to me, If you can't say it in 90 minutes, then you shouldn't bother saying it at all." - Robert J. Avrech

"Thy great name In all its awful brevity, hath nought Unholy breeding it, but doth bless Rather the tongue that uses it; for me, I ask no higher office than to fling My spirit at Thy feet, and cry Thy name, God! through eternity." - Philip James Bailey

"[Six principles that make for a good story:] 1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality: flee the stereotype; 6. compassion." - Anton Chekhov

"The art of reasoning becomes of first importance. In this line antiquity has left us the finest models for imitation; I should consider the speeches of Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus, as pre-eminent specimens of logic, taste, and that sententious brevity which, using not a word to spare, leaves not a moment for inattention to the hearer. Amplification is the vice of modern oratory." - Thomas Jefferson

"Teach him a certain refinement in sorting out and selecting his arguments, with an affection for relevance and so for brevity. Above all let him be taught to throw down his arms and surrender to truth as soon as he perceives it, whether the truth is born at his rival's doing or within himself from some change in his ideas." - Michel De Montaigne

"The public, as a whole, finds reassurance in longevity, and, after the necessary interlude of reaction, is disposed to recognize extreme old age as a sign of excellence. The long-liver has triumphed over at least one of man's initial handicaps: the brevity of life." - Vita Sackville-West

"Our senses will not admit anything extreme. Too much noise confuses us, too much light dazzles us, too great distance or nearness prevents vision, too great prolixity or brevity weakens an argument, too much pleasure gives pain, too much accordance annoys." - Blaise Pascal

"What is the real function, the essential function, the supreme function, of language? Isn't it merely to convey ideas and emotions? Certainly. Then if we can do it with words of fonetic brevity and compactness, why keep the present cumbersome forms?" - Mark Twain

"Against the censurers of brevity. - Something said briefly can be the fruit of much long thought: but the reader who is a novice in this field, and has as yet reflected on it not at all, sees in everything said briefly something embryonic, not without censuring the author for having served him up such immature and unripened fare." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Folk melodies are the embodiment of an artistic perfection of the highest order; in fact, they are models of the way in which a musical idea can be expressed with utmost perfection in terms of brevity of form and simplicity of means." - Bela Bartok

"Necessary, since every moment in our lives is marked by death, like a shadow from another realm, it appear to us like a vanishing point for everything. How can one meditate on live without meditating too on its brevity, its precariousness, its fragility?" - Andre Comte-Sponville

"Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end." - Ignatius Of Loyola

"A form wherein we can enjoy simultaneously what is best in both the novel and the short story form. My plan was to create a book that affords readers some of the novel's long-form pleasures but that also contains the short story's ability to capture what is so difficult about being human - the brevity of our moments, their cruel irrevocability." - Junot Diaz

"Favorite books and authors while growing up - I'd need a book to list them all. For the sake of brevity: Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, world's mythology, the Arthurian legends. And the unabridged dictionary. And they're still my favorites. They get better each time I read them." - Lloyd Alexander

"My biggest poetic influences are probably 20th-century British and Irish poets. So I suppose I'm always listening for the music I associate with that poetry, the telling images, the brevity. I want to hear it in my own work as well as in the poetry I read. However, I think I'm generally more forgiving of other poets than myself." - David Starkey

"He will see himself and life and the world as truly as our human limitations will permit; realizing the brevity and minuteness of human life, he will realize also that in individual minds is concentrated whatever of value the known universe contains." - Bertrand Russell

"Much of the magical effect that poetry gives of rendering everything it touches pellucid comes from the necessity of compression that it imposes. The impossibility of pausing in poetry as long as may be needed to make sense clear causes many a set of words actually deficient in linguistic workmanship to pass for an eloquent brevity." - Laura Riding

"I confess to wincing every so often at a poorly chosen word, a mangled sentence, an expression of emotion that seems indulgent or overly practiced. I have the urge to cut the book by fifty pages or so, possessed as I am with a keener appreciation for brevity." - Barack Obama

"It is clear that a poem may be improperly brief. Undue brevity degenerates into mere epigrammatism. A very short poem, while now and then producing a brilliant or vivid, never produces a profound or enduring, effect. There must be the steady pressing down of the stamp upon the wax." - Edgar Allan Poe

"We find that the manager, particularly at senior levels, is overburdened with work. With the increasing complexity of modern organizations and their problems, he is destined to become more so. He is driven to brevity, fragmentation, and superficiality in his tasks, yet he cannot easily delegate them because of the nature of his information." - Henry Mintzberg

"Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end." - Saint Ignatius

"The theatre is certainly a place for learning about the brevity of human glory: oh all those wonderful glittering absolutely vanished pantomime! Now I shall abjure magic and become a hermit : put myself in a situation where I can honestly say that I have nothing else to do but to learn to be good." - Iris Murdoch

"One false word, one extra word, and somebody's thinking about how they have to buy paper towels at the store. Brevity is very important. If you're going to be longwinded, it should be for a purpose. Not just because you like your words." - Patricia Marx

"Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end." - Ignatius Loyola

"With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch." - Walter Pater

"I love story-writing because I can (more or less, on occasion) actually DO it. That's really the truth. I like the idea that a story is sort of a site for making cool language effects - a site for celebrating language, and, therefore, the world. And the brevity is part of the challenge. I like stories because I get them - I know how to make beauty, or something like beauty, in that mode." - George Saunders

"If, in the very intense electric field in the neighbourhood of the cathode, the molecules of the gas are dissociated and are split up, not into the ordinary chemical atoms, but into these primordial atoms, which we shall for brevity call corpuscles; and if these corpuscles are charged with electricity and projected from the cathode by the electric field, they would behave exactly like the cathode rays." - Joseph John Thomson

"I have a talent for silence and brevity. I can keep silent when it seems best to do so, and when I speak I can, and do usually, quit when I am done. This talent, or these two talents, I have cultivated. Silence and concise, brief speaking have got me some laurels, and, I suspect, lost me some. No odds. Do what is natural to you, and you are sure to get all the recognition you are entitled to." - Rutherford B Hayes

"How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic dividing of forces on their ways, is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening. With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch." - Walter Pater

"I yearn to live and love and burn, and yet so much of my time is spent faking and forgetting, faking and forgetting I carry out my disbelief with uninspired hands, my eyes shut, my emotions dulled, my spirit numb. In times like these I am in desperate need of truth to come to me like a blinding light, like a splinter in my soul, reminding me of the brevity of my time here on earth." - Jon Foreman

"Conversation! Supple sentences, with first and second meanings and overtones beyond, outrageous challenges with cleverly planned slip-points, rebuttals of elegant brevity; deceptions and guiles, patient explanations of the obvious, fleeting allusions to the unthinkable. As a preliminary, the conversationalist must gauge the mood, the intelligence and the verbal facility of the company. To this end, a few words of pedantic exposition often prove invaluable." - Jack Vance

"Usually at the end of each story we're thrown clear out of the story's world and then we're given a new world to enter. What's unique about a linked collection is that it can deliver both sets of narrative pleasures - the novel's long immersion into character-world and the story anthology's energetic (and mortal) brevity - the linked collection is unique in its ability to be both abrupt and longitudinal simultaneously." - Junot Diaz

"When we look to presumed sources of origin for competing evolutionary explanations of the giraffe's long neck, we find either nothing at all, or only the shortest of speculative conjectures. Length, of course, need not correspond with importance. Garrulous old Polonius , in a rare moment of clarity, reminded us that "brevity is the soul of wit" (and then immediately vitiated his wise observation with a flood of woolly words about Hamlet 's Madness." - Stephen Jay Gould

"What is the greatest surprise you have found about life?" a university student asked me several years ago. "The brevity of it," I replied without hesitation. ... Time moves so quickly, and no matter who we are or what we have done, the time will come when our lives will be over. As Jesus said, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work" (John 9:4)." - Billy Graham

"The word itself has another color. It's not a word with any resonance, although the e was once pronounced. There is only the bump now between b and l, the relief at the end, the whew. It has' the sly turn which crimson takes halfway through, yellow's deceptive jelly, or the rolled-down sound in brown. It has' violet's rapid sexual shudder or like a rough road the irregularity of ultramarine, the low puddle in mauve like a pancake covered in cream, the disapproving purse to pink, the assertive brevity of red, the whine of green." - William H Gass

"There came to him an image of man's whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man's life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man's grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night." - Thomas Wolfe

"The breaking up of the terrestrial globe, this it is we witness. It doubtless began a long time ago, and the brevity of human life enables us to contemplate it without dismay. It is not only in the great mountain ranges that the traces of this process are found. Great segments of the earth's crust have sunk hundreds, in some cases, even thousands, of feet deep, and not the slightest inequality of the surface remains to indicate the fracture; the different nature of the rocks and the discoveries made in mining alone reveal its presence. Time has levelled all." - Eduard Suess

"It's no use telling us that something was 'mysterious' or 'loathsome' or 'awe-inspiring' or 'voluptuous.' By direct description, by metaphor and simile, by secretly evoking powerful associations, by offering the right stimuli to our nerves (in the right degree and the right order), and by the very beat and vowel-melody and length and brevity of your sentences, you must bring it about that we, we readers, not you, exclaim, 'how mysterious!' or 'loathsome' or whatever it is. Let me taste for myself, and you'll have no need to tell me how I should react." - C S Lewis

"It is not merely the brevity by which the haiku isolates a particular group of phenomena from all the rest; nor its suggestiveness, through which it reveals a whole world of experience. It is not only in its remarkable use of the season word, by which it gives us a feeling of a quarter of the year; nor its faint all-pervading humour. Its peculiar quality is its self-effacing, self-annihilative nature, by which it enables us, more than any other form of literature, to grasp the thing-in-itself." - Reginald Horace Blyth

"He will see himself and life and the world as truly as our human limitations will permit; realizing the brevity and minuteness of human life, he will realize also that in individual minds is concentrated whatever of value the known universe contains. And he will see that the man whose mind mirrors the world becomes in a sense as great as the world. In emancipation from the fears that beset the slave of circumstance he will experience a profound joy, and through all the vicissitudes of his outward life he will remain in the depths of his being a happy man." - Bertrand Russell

"As you know, shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming." - Trevanian

"When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death." - Clarence Darrow

"There came to him an image of man's whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man's life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man's grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night." - Thomas Wolfe

"We think that play and fairytales belong to childhood - how shortsighted that is! As though we would want at any time in our life to live without play and fairytales! We give these things other names, to be sure, and feel differently about them, but precisely this is the evidence that they are the same things, for the child too regards play as his work and fairy tales as his truth. The brevity of life ought to preserve us from a pedantic division of life into different stages - as though each brought something new..." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Poetry is like a portrait of a moment or person, and the poem is almost like looking at a photograph; it slaps you in the face and kisses you at the same time. Nothing else does that, with that brevity. Songs try to do it, but that's three minutes. A poem, you read it and it kind of changes your life and you don't know how it happened and you can never forget it. It's like the best song lyric, the best line from a film-everything in the world that's short and great put together." - Warsan Shire

"On the geological time scale, a human lifetime is reduced to a brevity that is too inhibiting to think about deep time. ... Geologists ... see the unbelievable swiftness with which one evolving species on the Earth has learned to reach into the dirt of some tropical island and fling 747s across the sky ... Seeing a race unaware of its own instantaneousness in time, they can reel off all the species that have come and gone, with emphasis on those that have specialized themselves to death." - John McPhee

"The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situations. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand - but help is, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted." - Aldous Huxley

"That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder. Sometimes in museums, looking at a humble piece of pottery from ancient Persia or Pompeii, or a finely wrought page from a medieval illuminated manuscript toiled over by a nameless monk, or a primitive tool with a carved handle, I am moved to tears. The unknown life of the maker is evanescent in its brevity, but the work of his or her hands and heart remains." - Susan Vreeland

"The word itself has another color. It's not a word with any resonance, although the e was once pronounced. There is only the bump now between b and l, the relief at the end, the whew. It hasn't the sly turn which crimson takes halfway through, yellow's deceptive jelly, or the rolled-down sound in brown. It hasn't violet's rapid sexual shudder or like a rough road the irregularity of ultramarine, the low puddle in mauve like a pancake covered in cream, the disapproving purse to pink, the assertive brevity of red, the whine of green." - William H Gass

"As a writer, I'm too busy and worried to experience the delight while composing my own work, although, of course, I hope a reader will find something of it when the work is complete. But I do try to figure out where in their experiences certain characters of mine, who are not necessarily readers, and certainly not writers or artists, find an equivalent sensation: of delight, of astonishment, of whatever it is that briefly - and brevity seems essential - reassures us, connects us, sends a shiver of inarticulate recognition down our spines: Oh, yes: life." - Alice McDermott

"Jesus! it is the name which moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! the life of all our joys. If there be one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is woven into the very warp and woof of our psalmody. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring; a song in a word; an ocean for comprehension, although a drop for brevity; a matchless oratorio in two syllables; a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters." - Charles Spurgeon



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RELATED TOPICS

Brevity, Brevity of Life,