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Quotations about Emotions


To give vent now and then to his feelings, whether of pleasure or discontent, is a great ease to a man's heart. ~Francesco Guicciardini, translated from the Italian by Ninian Hill Thomson

Old man — don't let's forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and that we obey them without knowing it. ~Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

Melancholy sees the worst of things — things as they may be, and not as they are. It looks upon a beautiful face, and sees but a grinning skull. ~C.N. Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, 1862

Never let your emotions rule, but always let them testify. ~Robert Brault,

Possibly more important, and certainly far more interesting, is the study of the influence of the mind, the will, and the emotions over the physical organism. "Soul is form and doth the body make," says Spencer. The experiments of Professor Elmer Gates and others prove that all mental and emotional changes result in corresponding chemical and nerve changes. Gates tells us that "all depressing or immoral emotions such as anger, jealousy, hate, avarice, lust, greed, worry, fear, etc., produce chemical conditions that are destructive to health and vitality and are a frequent cause of disease and early decay; while all the nobler emotions, such as mirth, joy, peace, hope, love, kindness, reverence, worship, faith, etc., produce chemical states that are highly conducive to health, vitality and longevity." ~Newton N. Riddell, "Influence of Mind Over Body," 1906

Joy comes to us like butterflies, but sorrow like wasps. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Sorrow like rain makes roses and mud. ~Austin O'Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

Our passions are true phœnixes: as the old burn out, the new straight rise up out of the ashes. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Don't be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just zap energy and waste time. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg

She did not feel sad; she did not feel anything. She seemed to have moved into a quiet state beyond human emotion. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

Emotion turning back on itself, and not leading on to thought or action, is the element of madness. ~John Sterling

The feeling is often the deeper truth, the opinion the more superficial one. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Why do I sometimes let my emotions get the better of me? For the same reason I let it rain last Tuesday. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

There is a tradition 'The heart is like a feather
In the desert, which is borne captive by the winds;
The wind drives it everywhere at random,
Now to right and now to left in opposite directions.'
~Rumi, translated by Edward Henry Whinfield

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one. ~Rumi, interpreted by Camille and Kabir Helminski

And Lancelot stood on the shore, with an awful paleness in his face, as if the ghost of everything that might have made his life pure and noble was whispering woe to his soul forever. ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887  [Here the excerpt is describing a picture the character Lawrence's friend painted that befits Tennyson's idyllic poem "Elaine." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

She felt all her emotions to be drawn taut, as if the strings of her heart were being torn apart in a spiritual tug-of-war... ~R. A. Dick (Josephine A. Campbell Leslie, 1898–1979), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1945

Let your sorrow smile once in a while. ~Terri Guillemets

As yon mountains are crowned with unsullied snow, so should pure feeling crown the human soul, and be the source of fertilizing streams to the land of thought beneath. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation VI: A Quarry among the Hills," 1850  [Edith speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Frown.— Writing the confession of a bad passion with an eyebrow. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824

Mental pain is harder to bear than corporeal. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

Eventually you come to realize that most people aren't looking for a fight but for someone to surrender to. ~Robert Brault,

Zoe:  Be reasonable.
Napoleon:  Yeah, well, Zoe, reason is no match for pain. And I'm definitely not any match for mine. Not even close.
~Nine Perfect Strangers, "Wheels on the Bus," 2021, written for television by David E. Kelley, based on the 2018 novel by Liane Moriarty  [S1, E7]

You can't fight emotion with reason. You must fight it with another emotion. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, But the Morning Will Come, 1949

Reason avails nothing when passion has the mastery. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

Then in wild appeal from earth to heaven he threw his arms skyward. ~Flora Annie Webster Steel (1847–1929), "The Flowers of Forgiveness"

Yes, that's the worst of it. It's a desperately vexatious thing that, after all one's reflections and quiet determinations, we should be ruled by moods that one can't calculate on beforehand. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
You promised, when you parted with the king,
To lay aside life-harming heaviness
And entertain a cheerful disposition.
~William Shakespeare, Richard II, c.1595  [II, 2, Bushy]

The first pressure of sorrow crushes out from our hearts the best wine; afterwards the constant weight of it brings forth bitterness, — the taste and stain from the lees of the vat. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), "Drift Wood, A Collection of Essays: Table-Talk," Prose Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1857

It is with our Passions, as it is with Fire and Water, they are Good Servants, but Bad Masters... ~"A Horse and an Asse," Fables of Æsop and other Eminent Mythologists: with Morals and Reflexions, by Roger L'Estrange, 1692

It is difficult to say which is the greatest evil — to have too violent passions, or to be wholly devoid of them... Without passion there can be no energy of character. Indeed, the passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways, and dangerous only in one — through their excess. ~C. N. Bovee

R. E. MORSE  A veteran General who commands the largest army in the world. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

Cold sky and frozen star
That look upon me from afar
      Know my echoed grief...
Homeless wind and waterfall
Hold a sadness in their call,
      A sorrow I have known.
Shivering wolf and lonely loon
Cry my sorrow to the moon—
      O heavy heart… O stone!
~Lew Sarett, "Indian Love Song," Slow Smoke, 1925

Most of what is said under excitement is regretted when we become ourselves again. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

You lived on your nerves, exhaling emotion like breath. A beautiful sunset could stop you in your tracks. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016

I swallowed, feeling my pulse race, and gave silent thanks there were no eyewitnesses to my blushing, which could have set a cigar alight a foot away. ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind, 2001, translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves, 2004

Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you do so, you apologize for truth. ~Benjamin Disraeli

The great object of life is Sensation — to feel that we exist — even though in pain — it is this "craving void" which drives us to Gaming — to Battle — to Travel — to intemperate but keenly felt pursuits of every description whose principal attraction is the agitation inseparable from their accomplishment. ~Lord Byron, 1813

But I went about life in a rather Byronic manner, except on occasions when my natural cheerfulness broke through. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
~William Blake (1757-1827), "Auguries of Innocence"

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve... ~William Shakespeare, Othello, c.1604  [I, 1, Iago]

[S]he suffered a sort of poverty which is more difficult to bear than actual want, since money cannot lighten it, and the rarest charity alone can minister to it. Her heart was empty and she could not fill it; her soul was hungry and she could not feed it; life was cold and dark and she could not warm and brighten it, for she knew not where to go. ~Louisa May Alcott, "Through the Mist," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873

The barometer of his emotional nature was set for a spell of riot. ~James Joyce, "Counterparts," Dubliners, 1914

How his heart beat; how madly the blood leapt up in his veins! ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

I suppose the people we call sentimentalists are merely poets who lack the artistic faculty of expression, and have to live their poetry... instead of writing it. ~William D. Howells, The Shadow of a Dream, 1891

The sweetest smiles we wear below
Are but the coloured tints of woe;
God knows that life, with all its glare,
Is but the nursery of care;
And, looking down, He reads the strain
Of unwept agony and pain
That underlies the joyous song,
And music of the lips and tongue.
God knows how dark the shadows lie
Beneath the brightly-beaming eye,
And how our lives so seldom boast
The thing our hearts desire the most;
How feeling lies subdued and still,
O'ermastered by the sterner will;
And how the imprison'd tears that start
Must either ease or break the heart.
~Lizzie Marshall Berry (1847–1919), "The Smiles We Wear," Heart Echoes: Original Miscellaneous and Devotional Poems, 1886

But my Thirty Years' War is over, and I die "with sword unbroken, and a broken heart." ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897  [quoting Heinrich Heine and spoken by the character Heine —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Of course the ardent glow of feeling was brief, — it always is. No human being can stand too long upon the topmost peak of joy. ~Marie Corelli (Mary Mills Mackay)

There is no such thing as sentimental nonsense, for there is no nonsensical sentiment. ~Emilia Marryat

...we are all born with passions which ebb and flow (else they would play the devil with us)... ~Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

A strong emotion needs an outlet for expression. ~H. A. Overstreet, About Ourselves: Psychology for Normal People, 1927  [a little altered —tg]

Now I am not one of the most constant creatures alive myself, and am apt to run through the spectrum which has the blues at the bottom about once a week. ~Byron Caldwell Smith (1849–1877), letter to Kate Stephens (1853–1938)

Blues ain't nothin' but a po' man's heart disease. ~African-American saying

There are those who seem to be able to survive anything — experience the pain, feel the hurt, know the fear, then let it go and continue to function... Life is selected over death, wisdom over ignorance, pain over apathy and joy over despair. ~Leo F. Buscaglia, Personhood: The Art of Being Fully Human, 1978

Go through it, feel the pain, and then let it go. ~Sally Jessy Raphael

[F]eel the pain, then let it go, and move on into the future. ~Nancy O'Connor

Sometimes we can't let go of the pain because we think it's the only thing holding us together. ~Terri Guillemets

If I let go, everything will break. ~Match, 2014, written by Stephen Belber, spoken by the character Lisa Davis

Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter the years of things unsaid and now unsayable — admissions, declarations, shames, guilts, fears — rose around them. ~Annie Proulx, "Brokeback Mountain," 1997

And many years went slowly by,
And his tired soul dragged heavily:
Earth's glowing joys came one by one,
Its griefs their shadow made;
There seemed no purpose in the sun,
No meaning in the shade,
Snowing till eve from morning prime
Without a hope of harvest time.
~James Hamilton, "The Shipwreck of St. Paul," c.1856

The sharpest sorrows are those which remain locked within our own breasts. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Anne stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when some great dread has been removed from it. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

      Whine vinegar.
      Candied cheeries.
~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

Happiness is lost by criticising it; sorrow by accepting it. ~Ambrose Bierce

It proves nothing. Must things be proved in order to be painful or pleasant? They need only be felt. ~Octave Mirbeau, "The Manuscript," The Torture Garden, 1899, translated from the French by Alvah C. Bessie, 1931

Let roses fling afar their crimson spray,
And virgin daisies splash the fields with white,
Let bloom the poppy hotly as it may,
Within my heart is melancholy night.
~Dorothy Parker, "Rondeau Redoublé (And scarcely worth the trouble, at that)," 1922

And I am glad to see, that you have also put to flight the gloomy thoughts which used to haunt you. I like to see people cheerful and happy. What is the use of giving way to sadness in this beautiful world? ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, "The Evening and the Morning Star," 1839

Ah! this beautiful world!... Indeed, I know not what to think of it. Sometimes it is all gladness and sunshine, and Heaven itself lies not far off. And then it changes suddenly; and is dark and sorrowful, and clouds shut out the sky. In the lives of the saddest of us, there are bright days like this, when we feel as if we could take the great world in our arms and kiss it. Then come the gloomy hours, when the fire will neither burn on our hearths nor in our hearts; and all without and within is dismal, cold, and dark. Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, "The Evening and the Morning Star," 1839

Cheeks that are sunk and ashen,
Eyes that weep in vain:
Always the same passion
In the same futile fashion,
And the same pain—
Forever begun again.
~Paul Tanaquil, "Semper Eadem," c.1921

You are allowing this mad passion of yours to overrule all other sense... ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

As souls float into a harbour of light,
      When the voyage of life is done,
      The ships sail into the bright
      Gold track of the setting sun.
But the sea is never at peace,
      And my heart is always sad;
      Oh, when will the murmur of ocean cease,
      And when will my soul be glad?
~Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell, The Lighthouse: A Novel, 1860

When we came out of the forest into our own clearing, I jumped off the sled, stumbled in the deep snow, recovered and ran awkwardly behind the team, floundering occasionally, but so elated and relieved that I felt impelled to give physical vent to my pent-up emotions. ~R. D. Lawrence (1921–2003), The North Runner, 1979

I felt like a tuning fork that when struck rang out loneliness instead of music. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016

...she grew numb with the intoxication of expectancy. ~Kate Chopin (1850–1904), The Awakening, 1899

Methinks you are unhappy, if you never have been so. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

It is within the experience of everyone that when pleasure and pain reach a certain intensity they are indistinguishable. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)

An honest, life-preserving fear... is necessary; likewise an honest, self-preserving rage. It is the retention of useless fears and rages that debilitates — of the worries that do no good, the indecisions that hold us suspended in doubt, the fears lest we fall one jot or tittle short of perfection, the irritable rages at trifles, the bitternesses, envies, hatreds. All these are perfectly useless, and, kept in the body-mind system, breed various diseases. The wholesome body-mind clears them all out. ~H. A. Overstreet, About Ourselves: Psychology for Normal People, 1927

Alas! thou talk'st like one who never felt
Th' impatient throbs longings of a soul...
A lover does not live by vulgar time:
Believe me, Portius, in my Lucia's absence
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden;
And yet, when I behold the charming maid,
I'm ten times more undone, while hope and fear,
And grief, and rage, and love, rise up at once,
And with variety of pain distract me...
~Joseph Addison, Cato, 1713

The Love-tide rises through the sun center or solar plexus of you, and flows out into all your body, and still outward through your aura or atmosphere where it touches that which rises through other people... But when you pucker your solar plexus ever so little you restrain the rising tide... You are oppressed with the blues, and all sorts of emotional storms and electric displays are the consequence, proportionate in intensity to the degree of puckering you make... An angry fit and then a "good cry" does for us what a thunder storm does for the earth's atmosphere — it breaks up the puckering and gives free action again to that rising Love-tide... Let-go-thoughts release the puckers and free the solar center to its normal, happy shining. Resistance-thoughts keep puckering, puckering — until it takes a thunder storm to make you let go... Keep letting go, letting go, and affirming Good, until you get every last pucker out of your solar plexus. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

In Bohemia, we embrace and kiss and have hot feelings. We are flesh and blood. We human beings have nerves. We were made to tingle when we touch. Oh, but you are so cold in America! You have great power of affection bottled up, corked, inside of you. But, you are ashamed, eh? to show it? ~Hughes Mearns, The Vinegar Saint, 1920  [a little altered —tg]

Ricciardo hid his face in his hands and wept, almost suffocated by passionate emotion. ~Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (1797–1851), "A Tale of the Passions; or, the Death of Despina," 1822  [a little altered —tg]

A man ashamed of his humble birth is never alone, because all good people are ashamed of him for being ashamed. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

But the fog on the river is thick, Margot,
      And the fog in my brain is as bad.
The sky and my heart are both like lead,
      And the old world seems so sad.
~Jean Wright, "A Fool on a Roof: Et in Arcadia Ego"

It was the first time that she had ever stepped into the pain and passion of someone else's forgotten past. It awoke something within her that had always been there, but wrapped in the garb of childhood. ~Florence Bone (1875–1971), The Morning of To‑Day, 1907 a wild sorrow... ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

      I would rather grind my teeth to powder,
      I would rather tread barefoot on thin, sharp stones,
      I would rather let the blood of my veins freeze to red ice,
      And the muscles of my legs stiffen to cold stone,
      Than be drawn by the warm breath
      Of transient things.
            I would rather—
            But… yet…
            I am being drawn… I am being drawn…
      It is
      The hush that falls
      When screaming chords, drawn taut,
      Break with a sudden snap!—and then
~Henry Saul Zolinsky, “Two Poems,” c.1921

Nobody ever really knows how much someone else is hurting. We could be standing next to someone who feels broken and we wouldn't know it. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2014 tweet,

Kenneth Tynan:  What is your major vice?
Orson Welles:  Accidia — the medieval Latin word for melancholy, and sloth. I don't give way to it for long, but it still comes lurching at me out of the shadows.
~Playboy interview, 1967

I missed Darlene so much that it felt like a fever. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018 emotion that grew into full bloom... ~R. D. Lawrence, The Green Trees Beyond: A Memoir, 1994

I can't deal with any more emotions today. I'm getting emotion sickness. ~Deadbeat, "Pieces of Sue," 2014, written by Cody Heller and Brett Konner  [S1, E10, Kevin Pacalioglu]

Because one is not poet enough to convey the greatness one feels, it does not follow that the thing one feels is not great. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

My heart beat thick and choked me,
There was fire in my face,
And a mist in my eyes...
~May Sinclair, The Dark Night, 1924

Now this is going to sucker punch you right in the feels factory. ~Dannielle Maguire, "Man shot five times by police walks again with little son's help," 2017

...the deepest principle of Human Nature is the craving to be appreciated...  ~William James

His whole soul was trembling to his lips with sadness and beauty… ~James Oppenheim, The Beloved, 1915

Hanging my head and my heart with it, that you sorrowed alone... ~Emily Dickinson

Then there was, after all, something to be said for feelings which had not their basis in material relationships. They were not mere phantasmagoria conjured up by silly people, by sentimental people, by women. Clever men, men of distinction, recognized them, treated them as of paramount importance. The practical, if not the theoretical, teaching of her life had been to treat as absurd any close or strong feeling which had not its foundations in material interests. ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888

And the ocean's moan was full of my own pain... ~John Robinson Jeffers, "And the Stars"

...his heart enlarged and accepted so much emotion that there was a kind of rapture in the very power to ache so well... ~Rupert Hughes, The Thirteenth Commandment, 1916

A dim uneasiness came over him. Not worry, but the flying shadow of worry, the ghostly premonition of something unpleasant. ~May Sinclair, A Cure of Souls, 1924

You hate me and I hate you,
      And we are so polite, we two!
But whenever I see you I burst apart
      And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
      It spits and sparkles in stars and balls,
      Buds into roses, and flares and falls.
Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
      Silver spirals and asterisks,
      Shoot and tremble in a mist
      Peppered with mauve and amethyst.
I shine in the windows and light up the trees,
      And all because I hate you, if you please.
And when you meet me, you rend asunder
      And go up in a flaming wonder
      Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
      And wheels all amaranths and maroons.
Golden lozenges and spades,
      Arrows of malachites and jades,
      Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
      As you mount you flash in the glossy leaves.
Such fireworks as we make, we two!
      Because you hate me and I hate you.
~Amy Lowell, "Fireworks," 1915

Amy Lowell was upon the surface a New Englander and a spinster. But inside everything was molten like the core of the earth... Given one more gram of emotion, she would have burst into flame and been consumed to cinders. ~Heywood Broun, 1925  [a little altered —tg]

I am much more than one emotion. An emotion is something that comes, stays for some while, and will have to go away. I don’t have to die just because of one emotion. I know I can handle an emotion with the practice of mindful deep breathing. I have survived emotions before. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Parting of the Ways," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000  [Albus Dumbledore —tg]

The same emotions are in man and woman, but in different tempo; on that account man and woman never cease to misunderstand each other. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Helen Zimmern

May that quicksilver in your veins never lead you into mischief... ~Frederick William Robinson, Under the Spell, 1870

Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work. ~Aldous Huxley

Guilt, grief, regret
cut deeper than
the dimensions
of the soul itself
~Terri Guillemets

If you don't manage your emotions, then your emotions will manage you. ~Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Transforming Anxiety

I am caught helpless in the suffering of the world:
Wherever I turn I find the person next to me tortured;
Drop by drop his heart bleeds:
Women weep in the lonely darkness, the bleak men stare at the unrelenting night,
And children cry for healing.
~James Oppenheim, "1914—And After," War and Laughter, 1916

He was fairly burned alive with loneliness and resentment... ~Rupert Hughes, "Baby Talk," In a Little Town, 1917

I cannot bear your violin to-night,
      It sobs and wails with pain.
Down the piano-keys the tears drop light.
      Put out the lamps again.
Some moments come when poetry and song
      Are far too sad for me;
When music's chords beat on my heart too strong,
      I cannot breathe or see.
Let me go out under the steadfast stars,
      So many and so still,
And soothe my spirit beating on its bars,
      And think on Heaven's high will.
Night unto night, dear God, thy glory tells,
      Thy stars together sing;
Such music all my heart with rapture swells,
      As black buds swell in Spring.
~Alice Freeman Palmer (1855–1902), "Suffocation," A Marriage Cycle, edited and completed by George Herbert Palmer, 1915

Country Mouse had a stomach-ache from sheer unhappiness... ~Barbra Ring, Fjeldmus paa utenlands-reise, 1908, translated from the Norwegian by J. L. Ethel Aspinall, The Tomboy Cousin, 1927

She spends anxious hours
leaning on her windowsill,
tense and distracted,
on the edge of her soul...
~Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), translated from the French by A. Poulin, Jr., 1979

I stifle my heart, and awake in the night to hear it moaning. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: V," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

      Is the antelope
      Over the hills;
      Is the wounded deer
      Bleeding in rills;
      Is the heavy bear
      Tearing at meat;
      Is the mastodon
      Vanished complete…
And I am the stag with the golden horn
Waiting till my day is born.
~Emanuel Morgan (Witter Bynner), "Opus 2," Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments, 1916  [farce —tg]

There were times when I could feel my soul turning a delicate blue. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Do I write too seriously? if so, forgive me. A girl can't snicker all the time. ~Laura L. Livingstone (Herbert Dickinson Ward), Lauriel: The Love Letters of an American Girl, 1901

...the emotions rule everything. The heart is lord over all our cerebral wisdoms. ~Arthur Davison Ficke, "The Nature of Poetry," 1926

His words seemed to be torn from him in pieces, shaken by the violent beating of his heart. ~May Sinclair, The Divine Fire, 1904

It is not true that heavy sorrows diminish our sensibility to trifling pains. ~Madame Swetchine, translated by Harriet W. Preston

No life is without the hardship of regret. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

Regrets —
      those ghosts
      of actions
      that haunt
      our thoughts
~Terri Guillemets

Enthusiasm.— Spiritual intoxication. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824

...with a truly righteous amen upon his lips. ~Alwyn M. Thurber, Quaint Crippen, 1896

Sorrow almost resents love, it is so inflamed. ~Emily Dickinson, 1878

We had before become acquainted with a scepticism terrifying, because terrified; which was nothing else than reason in despair; which resembled faith,—implied, contained, a species of faith,—a faith, shall I say, in the necessity of faith; which struggled against the darkness, and if conquered, cursed it. The scepticism of our days has no longer this character; men have fallen from despair to ennui: and when I speak of ennui, it is not that of an Attila embarrassed by his superfluous forces, and seeking employment for them; it is an impotent and rickety ennui, which has not even the remnants of energy necessary to prompt the getting out of self; no desire is keen enough, no impulse passionate enough, to vary its monotony; no grief sufficiently violent to awaken alarm or pity. The former scepticism walked on thorns; this sinks ankle-deep in mud. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)

Guilt is always hungry — don't let it consume you. ~Terri Guillemets

[Mrs. Snow] was, in spite of herself, beginning to tingle with a feeling perilously near to excitement. ~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912

It seemed to me that my heart would burst with the anguish of finding that what was to me so plain and so all-important, was to them meaningless, and that I was powerless to make it other. So hot had been my heart that I had thought to melt an iceberg with its glow, only to find at last the overmastering chill seizing my own vitals. It was not enmity that I felt toward them as they thronged me, but pity only, for them and for the world. ~Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000–1887, 1888

I am in love with high far-seeing places
That look on plains half-sunlight and half-storm,—
In love with hours when from the circling faces
Veils pass, and laughing fellowship glows warm.
~Arthur Davison Ficke, Sonnets of a Portrait-Painter, 1914

My mind is a seed packet of assorted wildflowers — I get happiness and sadness and whatever else pops up. ~Terri Guillemets

I have mixed feelings about my feelings. ~Reservation Dogs, "Friday," 2023, written by Erica Tremblay  [S3, E4, Cheese —tg]

Ere he returned, Madame descended and passed from the sparkling sunshine into the gloom of the portico, with a melancholy consciousness of the symbolic. For her spirit, too, had its poetic intuitions and insights... ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897

      But now, some incomprehensible terror had stolen over him — a strange fear beyond all his power to shake off. It clung to him, haunted him, followed him like his shadow, never leaving him. Every hour, every moment it took deeper root within his heart till it became part of himself. By night, by day, in crowds or alone, that black spectre of guilt pursued him. It tortured him!...
      And he drank — drank! but the brandy could not relieve him of these haunting thoughts. ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882  [modified —tg]

sadness is dark stardust
in shadows of melancholy
waiting, waiting to glitter
in the light of happiness
~Terri Guillemets

Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf. ~Jonatan Mårtensson

I would wonder, globally, how you could be so desperately unhappy when you were so essentially happy. ~Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is in Trouble, 2019,

I rejoice from my heart, down to my reins, that you have snatch'd so many happy and sun-shiny days out of the hands of the blue devils... ~Laurence Sterne, letter to J. H. S. Esq., 1762

The words we have for describing someone's appearance are limited to the obvious compass directions: happy, sad, mad, and afraid. It's hard to categorize the half expressions, the ones which reside in between. But this morning, I'm calling Perry mad by sadwest. ~Edmond Manning, King Perry , 2012

Body tired, brain tired, soul benumbed, heart aching, a wornout human drops into a seat. With shut eyes the day is reviewed and life darkens in its shadow—in short, there is an eclipse. ~Leigh Norval, "Fagged and Fresh," Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine, May 1885

...that freshness of feeling, that delicate honor which shrinks from wounding even a sentiment... ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

Lil became so fascinated by this picture of... Lady Macbeth. It was late at night when she began to study the sleep-walking scene. She lit all her candles and placed them by a long mirror which she had in her room, and then, watching herself as she spoke, endeavoured to realise this terrible scene and speak it in good earnest. O, how like it seemed to the agony of midnight hours which she herself had passed, when she had started from her sleep to find herself exhausted and worn out with re-enacting her own miserable tragedy! As this memory started up within her, and the remembrance of her own pain made her heart bleed afresh, the face she watched in the mirror before her grew wild and unnatural with a mad look upon it which Brough alone had ever seen there — the sigh she heaved over the visionary blood-stains came indeed from her heart. She saw reflected in the mirror a being whom she had never seen before — no longer Lil — no one she had ever known, but a woman driven wild by misery, changed by dread acquaintance with despair, whose fixed eyes looked wildly upon the ghost of her dead happiness. Terrified by her own impersonation, she rushed away from the glass and throwing herself upon her bed in a sudden panic of unaccountable terror, lay there trembling, her face hidden, lest, if she looked up, she should see her awful self again. ~Mabel Collins, In the Flower of Her Youth, 1883

Because I can't do anything like other people, by bits and halves. If I once go, I shall never come back — never... Mr. Durant, if you ever want a thing as badly as I want that, let me tell you that it will be simpler and easier to give it up altogether, for always, than to keep on looking at it and touching it and letting it go. ~May Sinclair, Two Sides of a Question, 1901

...scant sleep
Covers the cold loneliness of our flesh
In the unshared bed...
~Earl Mohn, "Chorus of the Wives of the Sons of John Brown," Theatre Arts Monthly, 1937

Then there was the woman who was so nervous she could thread a sewing machine while it was running. ~Author unknown, circa early 1960s

Frustration is a man trying to thread a sewing machine while it's running... In frustration, one for all practical purposes becomes productively sterile, confused, and eventually discouraged. ~Fred R. Skaggs and William L. Trimyer, Colors of the Mind, 1978

A screaming song is good to know in case you need to scream ~Ruth Krauss (1901–1993), Open House for Butterflies, 1960

Guilt is a blanket of stones. ~Terri Guillemets

Mrs. Vance looked thunder for a moment, but smoothing out her forehead, she made a concession. ~William Gilmore Simms, "Home Sketches, or, Life Along the Highways and Byways of the South," in The Literary World, 1852 November 20th

The emotions are part of the wound. ~Terri Guillemets, "In pieces," 1995

For a second his heart had come to life again and leapt like a lunatic to his lips. Happily his wits were there before it. He stroked his upper lip, as if brushing away some wild phrase that sat there. ~May Sinclair, The Divine Fire, 1904

Melancholic madness strapped to your chest and you have no way of releasing the fear. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2011

...with a sudden splutter of the pen, the writer's emotions had broken loose. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1886

It was all commonplace and human. I became to myself not so much an individual as a mere unit in a species — and not a very exciting one either. Emotional reactions had become very largely subjected to reason. What the Woodsman finally succeeded in doing — in a word — was to make me feel with my mind, not to think with my feelings. ~Jane Hillyer, Reluctantly Told, 1926

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
~William Shakespeare heart and head have stood many a crash... They prey upon themselves, and I am sick — sick... ~Lord Byron, 1814

I feel something like a powerful oppression, like an immense fatigue after marching and marching across fever-laden jungles, or by the shores of deadly lakes... and I am flooded by discouragement, so that it seems I shall never be able to escape from myself again. ~Octave Mirbeau, "The Garden," The Torture Garden, 1899, translated from the French by Alvah C. Bessie, 1931

And on the sickened brain beats only
The frantic whimper, "Lonely! Lonely!"...
The blind implacable monotone:
Alone, alone, alone, alone.
~Joseph Auslander, "Letter to Emily Dickinson," 1920s

You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness... ~Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know," Making Mirrors, 2011 ♫

...having planted her little thorn to rankle in [his] heart... ~August Bell, "Quicksands of Love," 1887

Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love, your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermin'd.
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c.1599  [III, 5, Silvius]

Who knows how great are the secret pangs of conscience? ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

Emotions have a way of leaking everywhere sometimes. ~The Good Doctor, "Yippee Ki-Yay," 2022, written by David Hoselton, Adam Scott Weissman, and Tristan Thai  [S5, E9, Dr. Glassman] a voice that cut like the hiss of a snake he spoke slowly and deliberately. He was all sober now; the drunkenness of brain and blood was lost, for the time, in the strength of his cold passion. ~Bram Stoker, The Man, 1905

Guilt sticks like glue. ~Terri Guillemets

I had fallen; abased and thick with thorns the path I now must tread!
Wounded, I have trod it. Lower, year by year,
It slopes, ever loudlier I can hear
Voices of memories, loves, remorses, roll
And echo interblend amid my soul,
Reeling toward darkness where even death might shudder while it stole.
~Edgar Fawcett, "At a Window," Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891

Malice swallows the greater part of its own venom. ~Publilius Syrus, 1st century BCE, from the Latin by D. Lyman, 1856

I'm an expert on poisons, Watson. I know virtually everything there is to know about them. But I've come to learn over the last few years that there is nothing on this planet quite so toxic as guilt. ~Elementary, "Solve for X," 2013, written by Jeffrey Paul King  [S2, E2, Sherlock]

I have a poisoned flower in my heart. ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1900

There is a close connection between suppressed fears and rages and the production of poisons in the organism. ~H. A. Overstreet, About Ourselves: Psychology for Normal People, 1927  [a little altered —tg]

...breeding inner poisons... ~H. A. Overstreet, About Ourselves: Psychology for Normal People, 1927

Perhaps apathy is a wave of emotions too afraid to burst out of the darkness into the bright light of day. ~Terri Guillemets

At noon I feel as though I could devour all the elephants of Hindostan, and then pick my teeth with the spire of Strasburg cathedral; in the evening I become so sentimental that I would fain drink up the Milky Way without reflecting how indigestible I should find the little fixed stars, and by night there is the Devil himself broke loose in my head and no mistake. ~Heinrich Heine, "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855  #INFJ

Give thanks to the moments you feel loved and love the moments on which you feel. ~Katie Nguyen, @katnguyen12, November 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

Though a man of quick temper, he possessed, as a counterbalance, a warm heart. ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

As we all crave something to protect, so we long to feel ourselves protected. We are all infants before the Infinite... ~T.W. Higginson

From this bleak world, into the heart of night,
The dim, deep bosom of the universe,
I cast myself. I only crave for rest;
Too heavy is the load. I fling it down.
~Amy Levy, "A Minor Poet," c.1884

You know when I was depressed I said I didn't want to live? Well, I'll tell you something — I didn't want to die. ~The Sopranos, "Isabella," 1999, written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess  [S1, E12, Tony Soprano —tg]

All emotion is involuntary when genuine. ~Mark Twain

MISS M.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
HOBBS.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!...
MISS W.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
HOBBS.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
MISS M.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
HOBBS.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
MISS W.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
HOBBS.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!
MISS M.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!...
HOBBS.  Huzzah! huzzah! huzzah! Every body! huzzah for everything!... Huzzah! hip, hip, huzzah!
~J. S. Murphy, "Hobson's Choice," in The American Literary Reciter, compiled by Richard Linthicum, 1902

...waving and huzzahing wildly... ~J. S. Murphy, "Hobson's Choice," c.1902

Huzzah-de-[f@%ing]-zah! ~The Great, "Sweden," 2023, written by Tony McNamara, Ava Pickett, Constance Cheng, and Maisie Parker, based on the 2008 play by Tony McNamara  [S3, E5, Hulu]

Feelings are good friends. Feelings let us know what is happening, what we want, what is important to us. Feelings are like a thermometer. ~Pat Palmer (1928–2015), Liking Myself, 1977

COCK-A-WHOOP:  elevated, in high spirits, transported with joy. ~Francis Grose, ed., A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785

Bodies tire out from carrying around too much heavy emotion. ~Terri Guillemets, "Chains," 2000

She must hide it... down in her aching heart. Her great agony must have no words; silently, secretly, she must bear it all. ~Charles Gibbon, The Flower of the Forest, 1882

A lot of top guys have dark moods. That Winston Churchill drank a quart of brandy before breakfast. Napoleon, he was a moody [f#@%], too. ~Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, The Sopranos, "Isabella," original airdate 28 March 1999, spoken by the character Silvio Dante

Let grief and guilt stay not too long as houseguests. ~Terri Guillemets

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