Stevie Smith quotes

  • Marriage I think For women Is the best of opiates. It kills the thoughts That think about the thoughts, It is the best of opiates. So said Maria. But too long in solitude she'd dwelt, And too long her thoughts had felt Their strength. So when the man drew near, Out popped her thoughts and covered him with fear. Poor Maria! Better that she had kept her thoughts on a chain, For now she's alone again and all in pain; She sighs for the man that went and the thoughts that stay To trouble her dreams by night and her dreams by day.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Dream #Pain #Night

  • I'm alive today, therefore I'm just as much a part of our time as everybody else. The times will just have to enlarge themselves to make room for me, won't they, and for everybody else.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Today #Rooms #Alive

  • Unpopular, lonely and loving, Elinor need not trouble, For if she were not so loving, She would not be so miserable.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Lonely #Needs #Miserable

  • Fourteen-year-old, why must you giggle and dote, Fourteen-year-old, why are you such a goat? I'm fourteen years old, that is the reason, I giggle and dote in season.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Years #Goats #Reason

  • I like food, I like stripping vegetables of their skins, I like to have a slim young parsnip under my knife.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Food #Knives #Vegetables

  • The flower and fruit of love are mine The ant, the fieldmouse and the mole
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Flower #Ants #Fruit

  • Who is this that comes in grandeur, coming from the blazing East? This is he we had not thought of, this is he the airy Christ.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #East #Christ #Blazing

  • I made Man with too many faults. Yet I love him. And if he wishes, I have a home above for him.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Home #I Love Him #Men

  • The religion of Christianity Is mixed of sweetness and cruelty Reject this Sweetness, for she wears A smoky dress out of hell fires.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Fire #Dresses #Hell

  • Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Cold #Drowning #Moaning

  • I'll have your heart, if not by gift my knife Shall carve it out. I'll have your heart, your life.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Heart #Knives

  • All poetry has to do is to make a strong communication. All the poet has to do is listen. The poet is not an important fellow. There will also be another poet.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Strong #Communication #Important

  • This Englishwoman is so refined, She has no bosom and no behind.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Behinds

  • I love Death because he breaks the human pattern and frees us from pleasures too prolonged as well as from the pains of this world. It is pleasant, too, to remember that Death lies in our hands; he must come if we call him. ... I think if there were no death, life would be more than flesh and blood could bear ...
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Pain #Lying #Thinking

  • This is the simplest of all thoughts, that Death must come when we call, although he is a god.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Simplest

  • Truth is far and flat, and fancy is fiery; and truth is cold, and people feel the cold, and they may wrap themselves against it in fancies that are fiery, but they should not call them facts; and, generally, poets do not; they are shrewd, they feel the cold, too, but they know a hawk from a handsaw, a fact from a fancy, as none knows better.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #People #May #Fancy

  • I am hungry to be interrupted For ever and ever amen O Person from Porlock come quickly And bring my thoughts to an end.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Thoughtful #Thinking #Hungry

  • As Nature is always careless and indifferent Who sees, who steps, means nothing and this is pretty.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Beauty #Nature #Mean

  • Cry pretty, pretty, pretty and you'll be able Very soon not even to cry pretty And so be delivered entirely from humanity This is prettiest of all, it is very pretty.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Beauty #Humanity #Able

  • Coleridge received the Person from Porlock And ever after called him a curse, Then why did he hurry to let him in? He could have hid in the house.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #House #Poetry #Ever After

  • Life may be treacherous, but you can always depend on death.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #May

  • I love people, but I love the thought and memory of them just as much.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Memories #People

  • Youth is an arithmetical statement of passing interest, each hour eats it up.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Youth #Hours #Passing

  • The human creature is alone in his carapace. Poetry is a strong way out.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Strong #Way #Poetry Is

  • You must have some money if you are going to live simply. It need not be much, but you must have some.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Needs #Live Simply

  • nothing is more wistful than the scent of lilac, nor more robust than its woody stalk, for we must remember that it is a tree as well as a flower, we must try not to forget this ...
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Flower #Tree #Trying

  • I don't think Auden liked my poetry very much, he's very Anglican.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Thinking #Auden

  • I'm sorry to say my dear wife is a dreamer, and as she dreams she gets paler and leaner. Then be off to your Dream, with his fly-away hat, I stay with the girls who are happy and fat.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Marriage #Girl #Dream

  • But one wants the idea of Death, you know, as something large and unknowable, something that allows a person to stretch himself out. Especially one wants it if one is tired. Or perhaps what one wants is simply a release from sensation, from all consciousness for ever....
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Tired #Ideas #Want

  • There are moments of despair that come sometimes, when night sets in and a white fog presses against the windows. Then our house changes its shape, rears up and becomes a place of despair. Then fear and rage run simply--and the thought of Death as a friend. This is the simplest of thoughts, that Death must come when we call, although he is a god.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Running #Night #Fog

  • The world is come upon me, I used to keep it a long way off, But now I have been run over and I am in the hands of the hospital staff.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Running #Hands #Long

  • If I lie down on my bed I must be here, But if I lie down in my grave I may be elsewhere.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Lying #May #Bed

  • If there wasn't death, I think you couldn't go on.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Death #Thinking #Goes On

  • Death's not a separation or alteration or parting; it's just a one-handled door.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Grief #Doors #Separation

  • Why does my muse only speak when she is uhnhappy? She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Unhappy #Doe #Speak

  • These thoughts are depressing I know. They are depressing, I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant, Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting With various mixtures of human character which goes best, All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us. There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Depressing #Character #Interesting

  • It is the privilege of the rich To waste the time of the poor To water with tears in secret A tree that grows in secret That bears fruit in secret That ripened falls to the ground in secret And manures the parent tree Oh the wicked tree of hatred and the secret The sap rising and the tears falling.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Fall #Water #Hatred

  • Oh Lion in a peculiar guise, Sharp Roman road to Paradise, Come eat me up, I'll pay thy toll With all my flesh, and keep my soul.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Soul #Lions #Paradise

  • Into the dark night Resignedly I go, I am not so afraid of the dark night As the friends I do not know, I do not fear the night above As I fear the friends below.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Dark #Night #Shy

  • My friendships, they are a very strong part of my life, they are as light as gossamer but also they are as strong as steel. And I cannot throw them off, nor altogether do with them or without them. And I love them at the point where they say: It is nice to see you again. And I love them too at the point when they say: Good-bye, come again soon. The rhythm of friendship is a very good rhythm.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Strong #Nice #Bye

  • My Muse sits forlorn She wishes she had not been born She sits in the cold No word she says is ever told.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Wish #Cold #Muse

  • My heart was full of softening showers, I used to swing like this for hours, I did not care for war or death, I was glad to draw my breath.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #War #Heart #Swings

  • Not Waving but Drowning Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he's dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said. Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Heart #Men #Way

  • Love is not love that wounded bleeds And bleeding sullies slow. Come death within my hands and I Unto my love will go.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Love Is #Hands #Bleeding

  • I only asked my friends to be friendly and polite, I found them indifferent and censorious; The one I left to silence, the other to reproach: God send me over all such friends victorious.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Friendship #Silence #Friendly

  • Life in the [London] suburb is richer at the lower levels. At these levels the people are not self-conscious at all, they are at liberty to be as eccentric as they please, they do not know that they are eccentric.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Self #People #Liberty

  • Christianity in the suburb is cheerful. The church is a centre of social activity and those who go to church need never be lonely.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Christian #Lonely #Church

  • O happy dogs of England, Bark well at errand boys, If you lived anywhere else, You would not be allowed to make such an infernal noise.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Dog #Boys #Errands

  • If a lady comes up to you and tells you that your dear mama is lying in a faint on the pavement round the corner, don't you believe her, don't have anything to do with her, do not go with her into the cab. It is the White Slave Traffic.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Lying #Believe #White

  • I may be smelly and I may be old, Rough in my pebbles, reedy in my pools, But where my fish float by I bless their swimming, And I like the people to bathe in me especially women.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Swimming #People #May

  • The sea was angry that day my friend, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Men #Sea #Trying

  • I like to see cats in movement. A galloping cat is a fine sight. See it cross the road in a streak, cursed by the drivers of motor cars and buses, dodging the butcher's bicycle, coming safe to the kerb and bellying under its home gate.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Cat #Home #Sight

  • So I fancy my Muse says, when I wish to die, Oh no, Oh no, we are not yet friends enough, And Virtue also says: We are not yet friends enough.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Wish #Fancy #Virtue

  • It is an amiable part of human nature, that we should love our animals; it is even better to love them to the point of folly, than not to love them at all.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Animal #Human Nature #Should

  • all tamed animals are nervous, we have given them reason to be, not only by cruelty but by our love too, that presses upon them. They have not been able to be entirely indifferent to this and untouched by it.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Animal #Our Love #Able

  • a great artist ... takes what he did not make and makes of it something that only he can make ...
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Artist #Great Art #Great Artist

  • There can be no good art that is international. Art to be vigorous and gesund must use the material at hand.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Art #Hands #Use

  • See the cat at love, rolling with its sweetheart, up and over, with shriek and moan. But if a person comes by, they break away, sit separate upon a fence washing their faces - and might never have met at all.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Cat #Might #Faces

  • one never knows really how things are with other people, they just do always seem more spirited than oneself somehow.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #People #Spirited #Oneself

  • Colours are what drive me most strongly.
    -- Stevie Smith

    #Colour