The Quote Garden

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Quotations about Heart

Ephemeral, eternal heart! ~Emily Dickinson, 1885

Your heart is not a houseplant: if you never set it out in the sun and rain, it will wither. ~Austin O'Malley, Keystones of Thought, 1914

Go to your bosom;
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know...
~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, c.1604  [II, 2, Isabella]

Our hearts are lamps for ever burning... ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

...the heart is full — another throb would split it... ~Emily Dickinson, 1881

A full heart has room for everything and an empty heart has room for nothing. Who understands? ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), Voices, 1988

I think you so much a man that your heart will keep you right, even though your genius has led you very far astray. ~May Sinclair, The Divine Fire, 1904

Your heart knows not how to lie. It is great that it lays deep in your chest and not in your mouth. ~Kak Sri, @kaksri, August 2010 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

Be the master of your fate, be the captain of your soul, but do not hesitate, should the chance befall you, to be the slave of your heart. ~Robert Brault,

My heart got to thumping. You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns. ~Mark Twain

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. ~Blaise Pascal

Small daily events
    wrap tendrils about the heart
        and keep it floating.
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)

The heart is an infinity of massive chains, chaining little handfuls of air. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968

Now shall the flesh be riven by the stars
and so reveal the heart importunate
which still survives the blood's imperial wars,
still takes the sharp-drawn breath immaculate
into the ancient rhythm of its valves,
and feeds the veins and air on one another...
~Frances Frost, Woman of this Earth, 1934

No one can really see what he loves. How many people worship God without ever getting a look at him? What can eyes see that the heart can't see better? ~Lydia, 1941, written by Ben Hecht, Samuel Hoffenstein, and André De Toth, a remake of Un carnet de bal by Julien Duvivier and L. Bush-Fekete, 1937  [spoken by the character Frank Andre, a blind pianist, to Lydia MacMillan —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

...our hearts are so much bigger than our broken parts. ~Roger Canevari, on Celebrity IOU, HGTV, 2021  [S2, E6]

Every beat of your heart is a rhythm of your soul. ~Yogi teabag tag, 2018

Leaning against the man, she spoke gentle words coming straight from the heart, which had become soft as a fig. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

When you really want to change, reinforcement will come from your heart. Your heart wants to get out of the anger trap and not have to endure the hurt, resentment, and anguish anymore. Your heart will motivate you... ~Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Transforming Anger: The HeartMath Solution

His heart began to beat uncomfortably, trying to tell him why. But he did not listen to it. He was angry with his heart for trying to tell him things he did not know and did not want to know. ~May Sinclair, The Combined Maze, 1913

...but I have listened wit' my eyes and wit' my heart — oh, a very good ear my heart has! ~Hughes Mearns, The Vinegar Saint, 1920

      Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
      And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
      And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
      And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
      Much of your pain is self-chosen.
      It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
      Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility... ~Khalil Gibran

True, there are autumn hearts, and winter hearts, and fresh, bright, gladsome spring hearts, always swelling with young buds, and dancing to bird-music... ~Fanny Forester (Emily Chubbuck Judson)

The heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care. ~Emily Dickinson, 1862

It is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him understand that a loving heart is riches, and riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty. ~Mark Twain

But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky...
~Edgar Allan Poe, "For Annie"

Five of the sweetest words in the English language begin with H, which is only a breath — Heart, Hope, Home, Happiness, and Heaven. Heart is a hope-place, and home is a heart-place; and that man sadly mistaketh, who would exchange the happiness of home for anything less than heaven. ~The Youth's Companion, 1853

I cleansed the mirror
of my heart — now it reflects
the moon.
~Renseki, 1789, in Yoel Hoffmann, Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death, 1986

My heart like moon-charmed waters, all unrest... ~Alexander Smith, “A Life-Drama”

I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing...
The trail is through dolour and dread, over crags and morasses;
There are shapes by the way, there are things that appal or entice us...
Thought's self is a vanishing wind, and joy is a cobweb,
And friendship a flower in the dust, and glory a sunbeam...
A passing salute to this world and her pitiful beauty...
~Louise Imogen Guiney (1861–1920), "The Wild Ride"

Every heart has its dark recesses, its cheerful sunny parlors, and its attic chambers. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), "Sentiment," Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Trouble is, you can't have a heart-to-heart with yourself. It is always heart-to-mind or mind-to-heart. It is always, to some extent, an internal debate. To make a heart-to-heart connection, you need that other person, that other heart. ~Robert Brault,

We two — we are young!
      We have lips to sing,
      To sing and kiss.
We two, we are glad!
      We have hearts that beat,
      That beat — and break.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Songs of a Girl: XVII," Youth Riding, 1919

Since I have no sweet flower to send you, I enclose my heart. ~Emily Dickinson

He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy;
And so she died: had she been light, like you,
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit,
She might ha' been a grandam ere she died:
And so may you; for a light heart lives long.
~William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, c.1594  [V, 2, Katharine]

Suffering either makes the heart hard as iron or so soft that no misfortune, however trivial, which saddens another heart fails to wound it. ~Jeanie Gwynne Bettany Kernahan, The Sinnings of Seraphine, 1906

Honey, you should listen to your heart and not the voices in your head. ~The Simpsons, "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," 1994, written by Swartzwelder, Canterbury, & Cohen  [S5, E20, Marge —tg]

I'm West Zephyrian. I actually don't have a heart. There is a ghost in my chest that scares the blood around my body. ~Son of Zorn, "The Battle of Self-Acceptance," 2017, written by Elijah Aron and Jordan Young  [S1, E11, Dr Klorpins]

Roses after rain,
Pleasure after pain,
Happiness will soothe the sigh,
Smiles await the tear-dimmed eye —
Bloom will follow blight,
Daylight trails the night,
Life is sweeter
Love is deeper
In the heart's twilight!
~Georgia Douglas Camp Johnson (1880–1966), "Recompense," The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems, 1918

The heart is not simply suspended in a body but in a culture, a place, a time. ~Mimi Guarneri, The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing

The prior's simple and homely language came from the heart, entered the heart and was remembered, whereas Mathias spoke from his brain. The heart is simple and always the same, but the brain is complex and various; and therefore it was natural that Mathias should hold, as if in fee, a great store of verbal felicities, and that he should translate all shades of thought at once into words. ~George Moore, The Brook Kerith: A Syrian Story, 1916

See, I lead you to my heart.
It is a winding way, the way to my heart;
It is thorn-beset and very long;
It is walled and buttressed; it is sentineled,
And none could ever find the way alone.
So take my hand,
And I will lead you to my heart.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Love-songs," 1915

We are walking around with lots of thorns touching right against the most sensitive part of our hearts. ~Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, 2007

As there are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write, so the heart is a secret even to him (or her) who has it in his own breast. ~William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., 1852

Do you!— mother of being in me, heart. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins

My heart is like an overburden'd fire
Whereon is heap'd the fuel of earthly cares
And hopes and joys and fears, so that ill fares
The weakly flame...
~Harry Potter, "My Hearth — God's Hearth," In Thy Heart's Garden, 1917

I took you to my heart to keep it warm... ~Robert Browning

Perchance the warmth of your young life may thaw out the ice that has frozen around my heart... ~L. M. Montgomery, "The Red Room," 1898

Some day I'm going to take my heart
      Out on the deep, deep sea,
And tie a stone around its neck
      And hurl it far from me.
~Margaret P. Coleman, "My Heart"

But, oh, how much a heart can hold. ~Coventry Patmore, "Rejected," The Angel in the House, 1854

Nobody has ever measured, even the poets, how much a heart can hold. ~Zelda Fitzgerald (1900–1948), as quoted in Nancy Milford, Zelda, 1970

Love has done a strange thing to me. I wonder: if you cut a man who has loved fiercely, you will see a different shaped heart from a man who has not? ~The Great, "Stapler," 2021, written by Tony McNamara and Matthew Moore, based on the 2008 play by Tony McNamara  [S2, E7, Hulu] heart fainted within me... ~Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

The heart breathes in beats. ~Terri Guillemets, "Exhale and listen," 2006

Mr. Copperfield... told her, when she doubted herself, that a loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom... ~Charles Dickens, The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger, of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant To Be Published On Any Account), "Chapter IX: I have a memorable birthday," 1849  [This is often quoted as: "A loving heart is the truest wisdom." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

"Some persons hold," he pursued, still hesitating, "that there is a wisdom of the Head, and that there is a wisdom of the Heart..." ~Charles Dickens, Hard Times, 1854

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963  [The edition I first read in high school of Plath's classic novel was printed as "listened to the old bray of my heart" and periods instead of commas between each "I am," but I've since learned that most scholars assert the wording to be "brag" and is also what you will find in most other editions, so I've updated the quotation accordingly. —tg]

[A]lways I have a chair for you in the smallest parlor in the world, to wit, my heart. ~Emily Dickinson, 1860

And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west-winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.
~John Greenleaf Whittier, "My Psalm," 1859

People like that, well — you see, dust just piles up in their hearts. And it took you to blow it away. ~Ball of Fire, 1941, screenplay by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, from an original story by Thomas Monroe, spoken by the character Bertram Potts to Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea

I wore my heart like a wet, red stain
On the breast of a velvet gown...
~Dorothy Parker, "A Well-Worn Story," 1925

You do not know how heavy a heart it is
That hangs about my neck — a clumsy stone
Cut with a birth, a death, a bridal-day...
~Dorothy Parker, "A Portrait," 1926

...the heart is more than a pumping machine. ~Dr Daniel Keown, M.B. Ch.B., Lic. Ac., The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine, 2014,

The littlest door, the inner door,
      I swing it wide.
Now in my heart there is no more
      To hide.
The farthest door — the latch at last
      Is lifted; see.
I keep the little fortress fast.
      — Be good to me.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "The Door," Youth Riding, 1919

Suddenly the hero saw that the living too are dead and that we can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasure; for our hearts are not strong enough to love every moment. ~Thornton Wilder, The Woman of Andros, 1930

The goal of life
is to make your heartbeat
match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.
~Joseph Campbell

My favorite place to be is snuggled up in your heart. ~Terri Guillemets

Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out. ~Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks

I write with one side of my heart so far from the other that how the meeting point is managed is a great mystery. ~Emily Chubbuck Judson  [a little altered —tg]

Every heart has its own skeletons, as the English say. ~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 1877, translated by Constance Garnett, 1917

I stood within the chamber of my heart.
Through the untended open door there came
With eager hurrying feet full many a guest...
~Harry Potter, "The Untended Door," In Thy Heart's Garden, 1917

A merry heart is a good medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones. ~Bible, Proverbs 17:22

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

Let the rays of your heart shine on all who pass by. ~Terri Guillemets

But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill. ~Fiona MacLeod (William Sharp)

Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.
~Lord Byron, "To Thomas Moore," 1817

God in heaven, how have I kept my heart! Not a rag of it whole, not a corner of it clean. ~Barbra Ring, Før kulden kommer, 1915, translated from the Norwegian by W. Emmé, Into the Dark, 1923

She who carried
Her heart in her hand
Lost it in
A hostile land...
~Frances M. Frost, "Portrait of a Lady," Blue Harvest, 1931

I am looking your heart in the eye! ~Emily Dickinson, 1861

...the ear of the heart hears bluebirds... ~Emily Dickinson, 1883

When a watch goes ill, it is not enough to move the hands; you must set the regulator. When a man does ill, it is not enough to alter his handiwork, you must regulate his heart. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Your heart knows you, even if you don't yet know your heart. ~Luke Austen, @lukeausten, August 2010 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

If you yearn for holy felicity,
shed your arrogance
and become a seeker of hearts.
When the goodwill of hearts is with you,
fountains of wisdom will begin to flow
from within your own being.
~Rumi, translated by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani

Don't feed your heart anxiety — it's only hungry for love. ~Terri Guillemets

But you'll never find peace of mind
'Til you listen to your heart
~George Michael, "Kissing a Fool," 1987 ♫

Littlefoot:  Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely. ~The Land Before Time, 1988, written by Stu Krieger  [Littlefoot's mother]

If you become
a helper of hearts,
springs of wisdom will flow from your heart.
~Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin

My heart votes for you, and what am I, indeed, to dispute her ballot! ~Emily Dickinson, 1859

Do not be sad that summer is passing.
Nothing of value remains in the hand.
The heart is the urn. And have we not
Made our own best world, and now live in it?
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996), Fugitive Hour, 1950

The heart that loves is always young. ~Greek proverb

Our heart is like an unfinished puzzle — that is why we search for the perfect one to complete it. ~Author unknown

In the jurisdiction of the heart there are no misdemeanors. Everything is referred to the Major Crimes Division. ~Robert Brault,

Speech is a prank of Parliament,
Tears a trick of the nerve, –
But the heart with the heaviest freight on
Doesn't always swerve.
~Emily Dickinson, 1862

But the seeds Henry had sown in his heart had taken root... ~F. C. Armstrong, The Young Middy, 1867

The faint and spectral
Of my heart's desire.
~Anne Knish (Arthur Davison Ficke), "Opus 150," Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments, 1916  [farce —tg]

Seek the wise and loving counsel of your Higher Self in the secret chamber of your heart. ~Marilyn C. Barrick, 1999

May imagination never corrupt the heart. ~Jacques Deval (1890–1972), Afin de vivre bel et bien, 1970

New heart makes new health, dear. Happiness is haleness. ~Emily Dickinson, 1865

Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
~Lord Byron

The naïve follow their hearts. The wise lead with their hearts. ~Author unknown

Who has not sat, afraid, before his own heart's curtain? ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, "The Fourth Elegy," translated from German by Albert Ernest Flemming

The light of the heart is hidden in a drop of blood. ~Rumi, translated by Edward Henry Whinfield

Darkness settled faster and faster, inside and outside and within their old hearts. ~A. B. Shiffrin, "The Black Laugh," 1924

I look within, and only find
The horrors of the Haunted Heart.
~Anna Bache, "An Inner Life," 1867

Go with your heart, buddy. Our brains only screw things up. ~Chris Fedak and Allison Adler, Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Ring"

With uncouth grass and weeds
      Is all my garden grown —
      Thistles whose feathered seeds
      By random winds were sown;
All bitter herbs, and dark
      Nightshades of poison breath;
      With nettles venomous; and stark,
      Black cypresses for death.
But in a quiet spot
      Groweth and blossometh well
      One flower-like star that setteth not,
      Which men call "Immortelle."
That garden knows no sun,
      But love, life, light thou art,
      Bright blossom and star in one!—
      That garden is my heart.
~May Sinclair (1863–1946), "Immortelle," c.1886

Her heart is like a garden fair
Where many pleasant blossoms grow...
Shining through them, and above—
Half-hid, but trembling to unfold—
I spy the roses of her love...
~Charles Buxton Going, "Garden of the Rose," Star-Glow & Song, 1909

An opening rose; the dew; the sun;
            And from the west,
      A whispering breeze,
Wooing the odour from each flower
            In thy heart's garden...
~Harry Potter, "In Thy Heart's Garden — A Birthday Wish," In Thy Heart's Garden, 1917

            This arid space
Within the garden of thy heart
            Bears on its bosom
Many a useless weed,
And shames the crimson, green and gold,
            That bloom athwart
            The other flower-beds...
~Harry Potter, "In Thy Heart's Garden — The Quest," In Thy Heart's Garden, 1917

Shall we compare our hearts to a garden —
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain —
and most importantly, seeds.
~Terri Guillemets, "Rich soil," 2007

My heart is a garden in which love is harvested. ~Kristin Leigh, @kristinleigh, September 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, 1774

How many sparks of fire from flint and steel have flown
How many hearts like tinder, make those sparks their own.
~Rumi, translated by James William Redhouse

Carry your heart and your curls, and nothing more but your fingers. ~Emily Dickinson, 1865

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published 2012 Jul 17
revised 2021 Mar 17
last saved 2024 Jun 11