Shun death, is my advice.
ROBERT BROWNING, "Arcades Ambo"
I don't know what's waiting for us when we die--something better, something worse. I only know I'm not ready to find out yet.
CHARLES DE LINT, The Onion Girl
I don't mean to imply that I'm afraid of Death. I'm just not ready to go out on a date with him.
- Remember the coffin where men
- All must to dust be returning.
Death is real. Death changes things. Everything else is filler, merely a message from our sponsor.
MICHAEL MARSHALL, The Upright Man
Death lies dormant in each of us and will bloom in time.
No man knows where the Castle of King Death is. All men and women, boys and girls, and even little wee children should so live that when they have to enter the Castle and see the grim King, they may not fear to behold his face.
BRAM STOKER, "Under the Sunset"
- Death stands above me, whispering low
- I know not what into my ear:
- Of his strange language all I know
- Is, there is not a word of fear.
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, Death Stands above Me, Whispering Low
One day the ordinariness will be terminally punctuated by the extraordinary full stop of death.
- No life that breathes with human breath
- Has ever truly long'd for death.
ALFRED TENNYSON, The Two Voices
Nowadays, we have technology that's improved so that we can bring people back to life. In fact, there are drugs being developed right now who knows if they'll ever make it to the market that may actually slow down the process of brain-cell injury and death. Imagine, you fast-forward to ten years down the line and you've given a patient whose heart has just stopped this amazing drug, and actually what it does is it slows everything down so that the things that would've happened over an hour, now happen over two days. As medicine progresses, we will end up with lots and lots of ethical questions.
SAM PARNIA, Time interview, Sep. 18, 2008
Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret to life is to "die before you die"--and find that there is no death.
ECKHART TOLLE, The Power of Now
- O, the one happiness, when, out of breath,
- Our feet slip, and we stumble upon death!
ARTHUR SYMONS, "The Beggars"
Death is part of who we are. It guides us. It shapes us. It drives us to madness. Can you still be human if you have no mortal end?
CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI, Brisingr
Any guy afraid to die was a guy who was afraid to live.
JOANN ROSS, No Safe Place
- In his bleak mercy, Death forever strips
- The soul of light and memory, rendering blind
- Our vision, lest surmounted deeps appal,
- As when on mountain-heights a glance behind
- Betrays with knowledge, and the climber slips
- Down gulfs of fear to some enormous fall.
CLARK ASHTON SMITH, "The Unremembered"
- The living is a passing traveler;
- The dead, a man come home.
- Of all the Gods, Death only craves not gifts:
- Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured
- Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed
- By hymns of praise. From him alone of all
- The powers of Heaven Persuasion holds aloof.
- O Death the Healer, scorn thou not, I pray,
- To come to me; of cureless ills thou art
- The one physician. Pain lays not its touch
- Upon a corpse.
To those who view the voyage of life from the port of departure the bark that has accomplished any considerable distance appears already in close approach to the farther shore.
AMBROSE BIERCE, "The Death of Halpin Frayser"
Death is the last intimate thing we ever do.
LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Obsidian Butterfly
When you look at a corpse you can always sense your own breath better.
- Day by day Time rolls the scroll of Life,
- Yet man heeds not in worldly strife
- The vanished years, till Death demands his claim--
- The mound-lines of the clay that mark his name.
HARRIET MAXWELL CONVERSE, "Day by Day"
Death strips all men of dignity.
TOBSHA LEARNER, The Witch of Cologne
The reaction to death is sometimes as violent as death itself. Shock throws a cautious coolness over your senses, but your stomach still has knots, your skin stings as if the Reaper is glaring at you as well.
TIM LEBBON, Fears Unnamed
- Weep strong men must,
- Since all before us now is lifeless dust;
- Majestic clay
- Is all, good friends, death leaves to us today.
ELIZA ALLEN STARR, "Col. James A. Mulligan"
Most of us were not afraid of death, only of the act of dying; and there were times when we overcame even this fear. At such moments we were free--men without shadows, dismissed from the ranks of the mortal; it was the most complete experience of freedom that can be granted a man.
ARTHUR KOESTLER, Dialogue with Death
In each thing there is an insinuation of death. Stillness, silence, serenity are all apprenticeships.
FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA, attributed, Only Mystery: Federico García Lorca's Poetry in Word and Image
Death is tolerable only when it leads again to life.
CHINUA ACHEBE, Collected Poems
Living, the nearest claim them; but the dear
Great dead belong to any humble heart.
KARLE WILSON BAKER, "W. V. M.", Blue Smoke
Death--a stopping of impressions through the senses, and of the pulling of the cords of motion, and of the ways of thought, and of service to the flesh.
MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditations
Back to Death Quotes
Read William Hazlitt's essay: On The Fear of Death
Read William McEwen's essay: On Death
Read Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram's essay: The Silence of the Grave