Willa Cather quotes

  • Success is never so interesting as struggle
    -- Willa Cather

    #Struggle #Interesting

  • The test of one's decency is how much of a fight one can put up after one has stopped caring, and after one has found out that one can never please the people they wanted to please.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Writing #Caring #Fighting

  • There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Inspirational #Summer #Nature

  • The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Girl #Ambition #Facts

  • I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Tree #Way #Aging

  • There was nothing but land; not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Country #Land #Made

  • Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Writing #Age #Fifteen

  • The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me. In the course of twenty crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen again.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Memories #Reality #Years

  • Life was so short that it meant nothing at all unless it were continually reinforced by something that endured; unless the shadows of individual existence came and went against a background that held together.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Shadow #Together #Individual

  • Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Men #Faster

  • The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Animal #World #Fields

  • It's all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends?
    -- Willa Cather

    #Inspiring #Friends #Hurt

  • Where there is great love, there are always wishes.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Love #Sympathy #Valentines Day

  • Desire is creation, is the magical element in that process. If there were an instrument by which to measure desire, one could foretell achievement.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Inspirational #Life #Achievement

  • Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Memories #Reality #Moments

  • I suppose there were moonless nights and dark ones with but a silver shaving and pale stars in the sky, but I remember them all as flooded with the rich indolence of a full moon.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Stars #Dark #Moon

  • Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Country #Lying #Winter

  • The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.
    -- Willa Cather

    #People #Desire #World

  • He had been to see Mrs. Erlich just before starting home for the holidays, and found her making German Christmas cakes. She took him into the kitchen and explained the almost holy traditions that governed this complicated cookery. Her excitement and seriousness as she beat and stirred were very pretty, Claude thought. She told off on her fingers the many ingredients, but he believed there were things she did not name: the fragrance of old friendships, the glow of early memories, belief in wonder-working rhymes and songs.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Christmas #Song #Memories

  • Every artist makes himself born. It is very much harder than the other time, and longer.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Artist #Born #Harder

  • The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Nature #Heart #Dark

  • In New Mexico, he always awoke a young man, not until he arose and began to shave did he realize that he was growing older. His first consciousness was a sense of the light dry wind blowing in through the windows, with the fragrance of hot sun and sage-brush and sweet clover; a wind that made one's body feel light and one's heart cry 'To-day, to-day,' like a child's.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Love #Sweet #Children

  • Thirty or forty years ago, in one those grey towns along the Burlington railroad which are so much greyer to-day than they were then, there was a house well know from Omaha to Denver for its hospitality and for a certain charm of atmosphere.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Book #Years #House

  • Late one brilliant April afternoon Professor Lucius Wilson stood at the head of Chestnut Street, looking about him with the pleased air of a man of taste who does not very often get to Boston.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Book #Men #Air

  • Even the wicked get worse than they deserve.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Fate #Punishment #Wicked

  • I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree knows everything I ever think of when I sit here. When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything; I begin just where I left off.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Thinking #Tree #Way

  • It is cremated youth. It is all yours--no one gave it to you.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Youth

  • Life began for me, when I ceased to admire and began to remember.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Love #Remember #Admire

  • To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Lying #Character #Writing

  • When we look back, the only things we cherish are those which in some way met our original want; the desire which formed in us in early youth, undirected, and of its own accord.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Desire #Want #Way

  • All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer. The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity. It is a sport, like the silver fox. It happens.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Sports #Voice #World

  • Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Thinking #People #Giving

  • There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Life #Wise #Niece

  • Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Forgiveness #Fall #Dark

  • I tell you there is such a thing as creative hate.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Hate #Hatred #Creative

  • When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Kindness #People #Moments

  • Of course Nebraska is a storehouse of literary material. Everywhere is a storehouse of literary material. If a true artist were born in a pigpen and raised in a sty, he would still find plenty of inspiration for his work. The only need is the eye to see.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Inspiration #Eye #Artist

  • In great misfortunes, people want to be alone. They have a right to be. And the misfortunes that occur within one are the greatest. Surely the saddest thing in the world is falling out of love--if once one has ever fallen in.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Falling In Love #People #World

  • Only a Woman, divine, could know all that a woman can suffer.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Suffering #Divine

  • The end is nothing; the road is all.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Life #Ends

  • Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand - a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods - or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Art #Writing #Stories

  • People live through such pain only once. Pain comes again—but it finds a tougher surface.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Pain #People #Surface

  • What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Running #Sweet #Strong

  • No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Women #Self Esteem #Persons

  • The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Eye #Healing #Voice

  • I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Life #Death #Spiritual

  • The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Communication #Teaching #Trying

  • To fulfil the dreams of one's youth; that is the best that can happen to a man. No worldly success can take the place of that.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Dream #Men #Youth

  • Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Feet #Land #Fiction

  • That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Happiness #Spiritual #Purpose

  • The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Life #Beautiful #Stupid

  • In Haverford on the Platte the townspeople still talk of Lucy Gayheart.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Book #Stills

  • Every individual taste, every natural appetite, was bridled by caution. The people asleep in those houses, I thought, tried to live like the mice in their own kitchens; to make no noise, to leave no trace, to slip over the surface of things in the dark.
    -- Willa Cather

    #Dark #People #House