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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about January

Welcome to my page of quotations about the month of January. A cold month, even here in the desert — well, during the nights and mornings, at least. A month that brings the latest sunrise of the year, and a wintry time to keep oneself warm until Valentine's Day. Please enjoy these frosty and fresh-start quotes, many of which are from my favorite time period of literature, the 1800s. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g

When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865

Plant carrots in January and you'll never have to eat carrots. ~Gardening saying

With bright or sombre gear,
With smile or frown or song,
In a masque the months go gliding
Perpetually along.
First January is here,
With eyes that keenly glow—
A frost-mailed warrior striding
A shadowy steed of snow...
~Edgar Fawcett, "The Masque of Months," 1878

No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. ~Charles Lamb, "New Year's Eve," in The London Magazine, January 1821

The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.
It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.
It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,
Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound.
~Wallace Stevens, from "No Possum, No Sop, No Taters," first published in New Poems 1943: An Anthology of British and American Verse edited by Oscar Williams

Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn't begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings.... My year begins in Autumn. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, "On birthday cake and pouring oil," 2013 November 5th,

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow...
~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852), "The Months"

January, month of empty pockets!... The tourist is ruined by his equipment before even reaching the mountain-slope; what use will they be, those deep, buttoned, leather-lined pockets? Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead. With a diver's courage more than one woman this month plunges into some neglected chest, into wardrobes given over to darkness and camphor. The purse may be empty but one must nevertheless keep up with the spring fashions... ~Colette (1873–1954)

Sharks are hardy creatures.... Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent. ~Dave Barry  [This is a mash-up quotation, that is, not a complete quote that you will find anywhere else in one place. The first part is from Barry's book I'll Mature When I'm Dead (2010) and the second part is from "Sex And The Single Amoeba: What Every Teen Should Know," 1986 January 26th, Chicago Tribune. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

January grey is here,
Like a sexton by her grave...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Dirge for the Year," 1821

Every man should be born again on the first of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle, if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but, on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take interest in the things that are and are to be, and not in the things that were and are past. ~Henry Ward Beecher, "A Completed Year," 1882 December 31st (quoted in Plymouth Pulpit: A Weekly Publication of Sermons Preached by Henry Ward Beecher in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, Vol. V, Printed from Mr. T.J. Ellinwood's Stenographic Reports)

You'd be so lean, that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through.
~William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, c.1610  [IV, 4, Perdita]

January is the Monday of months. ~Author unknown

Who are you, old man, who come shaking your head?
      Your hat all covered with snow;
Your nose is purple, your eyes they are red,
      And your long wither'd fingers you blow.
You light your pipe and sit down by the fire:
      "I'm January," said the rev'rend sire.
~A Young Lady, "The Twelve," early 1800s  [a little altered —tg]

...January, in ermine cloak,
With crystal spangles dight,
He gave the queen an Ivy crown,
And her fair shoulders white
He happ'd with tender ferny Moss
From many a cosy nook,
Or from the rounded boulders warm
Beside the frozen brook.
~James Rigg, "The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

Cupid's Forecast January — General depression, caused by Brain-storms of December. This is succeeded by a wave of Good Resolutions, accompanied by a general downpour of Ice Water. ~Oliver Herford, Cupid's Fair-Weather Booke: To All Good Hearticulturists, 1911

And then January, which I am not perverse enough to like because it freezes my ears or wets my ankles, I do like because it is a beginning. I like all beginnings: the first sentence of a book, the first robin in spring, the first whiff of an autumn bonfire, the first words of a play, the first sip of old wine (and also the second and third). It is customary to speak of January as a month for resolutions. Resolutions are good ideas that usually come to bad endings. ~Charles Lee, "January," An Almanac of Reading, 1940

But then I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second. ~Helen Fielding, "Sunday 1 January," Bridget Jones's Diary, 1996

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