quotations about solitude
There is a society in the deepest solitude.
ISAAC D'ISRAELI, Literary Character of Men of Genius
Solitude, whether endured or embraced, is a necessary gateway to original thought.
JANE HIRSHFIELD, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry
Solitude is the playfield of Satan.
VLADIMIR NABOKOV, Pale Fire
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
ALDOUS HUXLEY, Proper Studies
We hear voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts, we get under no other condition.
AMELIA E. BARR, All the Days of My Life
Wrong solitude vinegars the soul,
right solitude oils it.
JANE HIRSHFIELD, "Vinegar and Oil"
Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
The value of solitude -- one of it's values -- is, of course, that there is nothing to cushion against attacks from within.
MAY SARTON, Journal of a Solitude
Solitude terrifies the soul at twenty.
MOLIERE, The Misanthrope
Solitude produces originality, bold and astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportionate, the absurd and the forbidden.
THOMAS MANN, Death in Venice
Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.
MAY SARTON, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
I praise the Frenchman; his remark was shrewd,-- "How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude." But grant me still a friend in my retreat, Whom I may whisper--Solitude is sweet.
WILLIAM COWPER, Retirement
The reason that extended solitude seemed so hard to endure was not that we missed others but that we began to wonder if we ourselves were present, because for so long our existence depended upon assurances from them.
DORIS GRUMBACH, Fifty Days of Solitude
Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius, the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, The Conduct of Life
In solitude we are in the presence of mere matter (even the sky, the stars, the moon, trees in blossom), things of less value (perhaps) than a human spirit. Its value lies in the greater possibility of attention. If we could be attentive to the same degree in the presence of a human being.
SIMONE WEIL, Gravity and Grace
Whoever gives himself up to solitude, Ah! he is soon alone.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Wilhelm Meister
A solitude is the audience-chamber of God.
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, Imaginary Conversations
Solitude does not consist in living alone; it consists in living with others, with people who take no interest in you.
OCTAVE MIRBEAU, The Diary of a Chambermaid
I cannot endure the horror, the evil, which comes to self in solitude.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, letter to Thomas Jefferson Hogg, May 8, 1811
Solitude becomes a sort of tangible enemy, the more dangerous, because it dwells within the citadel itself.
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY, Lodore