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quotations about imagination

Imagination quote

Imagination is an almost divine faculty which, without recourse to any philosophical method, immediately perceives everything: the secret and intimate connections between things, correspondences and analogies.

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE, New Notes on E. Poe, part III

Imagination is more important than knowledge.


Here in your mind you have complete privacy. Here there's no difference between what is and what could be.


Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities.

L. FRANK BAUM, intro, The Lost Princess of Oz

Imagination is the eye of the soul.


The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it's only intangibles, ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die.


Imagination, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.

AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary

A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells. But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.

KARL MARX, Capital

The imagination is man’s power over nature.

WALLACE STEVENS, "Adagia," Opus Posthumous

The imagination is the spur of delights ... all depends upon it, it is the mainspring of everything; now, is it not by means of the imagination one knows joy? Is it not of the imagination that the sharpest pleasures arise?

MARQUIS DE SADE, Philosophy in the Bedroom

Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.


Everything that happens is at least one dimension smaller than you've imagined it to be.


Imagination quote

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

TOM STOPPARD, "Artist Descending a Staircase"

All our other faculties seem to have the brown touch of earth upon them, but the imagination carries the very livery of heaven, and is God's self in the soul.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire.

GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch

My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, Harper's magazine, Aug. 1990

The imagination, give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly.

LAUREN BACALL, Lauren Bacall By Myself

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.


The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

J. K. ROWLING, speech to Harvard Alumni Association, 2008

What is now proved was once only imagined.

WILLIAM BLAKE, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

All governments,
Books, customs, buildings, railways, ships, and all
The stark realities that men have made,
Are but imagination's utterances.

HENRY ABBEY, "Eleusinia"

Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

Our imagination is the most important faculty we possess. It can be our greatest resource or our most formidable adversary. It is through our imagination that we discern possibilities and options. Yet imagination is no mere blank slate on which we simply inscribe our will. Rather, imagination is the deepest voice of the soul and can be heard clearly only through cultivation and careful attention. A relationship with our imagination is a relationship with our deepest self.

PAT B. ALLEN, Art Is a Way of Knowing

Thought paceth like a hoary sage, but imagination hath wings as an eagle.

MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy

It is worth repeating that powerful imagination is not false outward vision, but intense inward representation, and a creative energy constantly fed by susceptibility to the veriest minutiæ of experience, which it reproduces and constructs in fresh and fresh wholes; not the habitual confusion of provable fact with the fictions of fancy and transient inclination, but a breadth of ideal association which informs every material object, every incidental fact with far-reaching memories and storied residues of passion, bringing into new light the less obvious relations to human existence.

GEORGE ELIOT, Theophrastus Such

Here in your mind ... there's no difference between what is and what could be.

Imagination is an inner resource. That's why it takes stopping, slowing, silencing, reassuring, embracing to allow it to speak.


The wonder of imagination is this: It has the power to light its own fire.

JOHN L. MASON, You're Born an Original, Don't Die a Copy!

Imagination is actually a form of computation. Imagination gives calculated and instinctive solutions for the future.

L. RON HUBBARD, Self Analysis

That which men suppose the imagination to be, and to do, is often frivolous enough and mischievous enough; but that which God meant it to be in the mental economy is not merely noble, but supereminent. It is the distinguishing element in all refinement. It is the secret and marrow of civilization. It is the very eye of faith. The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.


Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

SAUL BELLOW, Henderson the Rain King

The man who has no imagination has no wings.

MUHAMMAD ALI, Newsweek, 1975

Imagination, that magic glass
That colours all the pictures of the brain.

C. B. LANGSTON, "Old Age"

What we know about who we are comes from stories. It's the agents of our imagination who really shape who we are.

CHRIS ABANI, Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, Oct. 2007

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them.


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