„My pen.’ Funny, I wrote that without noticing. ‘The torch’, ‘the paper’, but ‘my pen’. That shows what writing means to me, I guess. My pen is a pipe from my heart to the paper. It’s about the most important thing I own.“

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„My bursting heart must find vent at my pen.“

—  Abigail Adams 2nd First Lady of the United States (1797–1801) 1744 - 1818

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„There are three lessons I would write, —
Three words — as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light
Upon the hearts of men.“

—  Friedrich Schiller German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright 1759 - 1805
Context: There are three lessons I would write, — Three words — as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ now, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow, — No night but hath its morn. Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, — The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, — Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven, The habitants of earth. Have Love. Not love alone for one, But men, as man, thy brothers call; And scatter, like the circling sun, Thy charities on all. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, — Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find Strength when life's surges rudest roll, Light when thou else wert blind. Hope, Faith, and Love (c. 1786); also known as "The Words of Strength", as translated in The Common School Journal Vol. IX (1847) edited by Horace Mann, p. 386

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„I was brought into contact with the mind of Mr. Garrison, and his paper took a place in my heart second only to the Bible.“

—  Frederick Douglass American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman 1818 - 1895
Context: I had been living four or five months in New Bedford when there came a young man to me with a copy of the Liberator, the paper edited by William Lloyd Garrison and published by Isaac Knapp, and asked me to subscribe for it. I told him I had but just escaped from slavery, and was of course very poor, and had no money then to pay for it. He was very willing to take me as a subscriber, notwithstanding, and from this time I was brought into contact with the mind of Mr. Garrison, and his paper took a place in my heart second only to the Bible. It detested slavery, and made no truce with the traffickers in the bodies and souls of men. It preached human brotherhood; it exposed hypocrisy and wickedness in high places; it denounced oppression; and with all the solemnity of "Thus saith the Lord," demanded the complete emancipation of my race. I loved this paper and its editor. He seemed to me an all-sufficient match to every opponent, whether they spoke in the name of the law or the gospel. His words were full of holy fire, and straight to the point. Something of a hero-worshiper by nature, here was one to excite my admiration and reverence. It was my privilege to listen to a lecture in Liberty Hall by Mr. Garrison, its editor. He was then a young man, of a singularly pleasing countenance, and earnest and impressive manner. On this occasion he announced nearly all his heresies. His Bible was his textbook — held sacred as the very word of the Eternal Father. He believed in sinless perfection, complete submission to insults and injuries, and literal obedience to the injunction if smitten "on one cheek to turn the other also." Not only was Sunday a Sabbath, but all days were Sabbaths, and to be kept holy. All sectarianism was false and mischievous — the regenerated throughout the world being members of one body, and the head Christ Jesus. Prejudice against color was rebellion against God. Of all men beneath the sky, the slaves, because most neglected and despised, were nearest and dearest to his great heart. Those ministers who defended slavery from the Bible were of their "father the devil"; and those churches which fellowshiped slaveholders as Christians, were synagogues of Satan, and our nation was a nation of liars. He was never loud and noisy, but calm and serene as a summer sky, and as pure. "You are the man — the Moses, raised up by God, to deliver his modern Israel from bondage," was the spontaneous feeling of my heart, as I sat away back in the hall and listened to his mighty words, — mighty in truth, — mighty in their simple earnestness. pp. 263–264.

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„I cut a hole in my heart and wrote with the blood.“

—  James Anthony Froude English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine 1818 - 1894
On the writing of his novel The Nemesis of Faith (1849), in a letter to Charles Kingsley, as quoted in Doubting Clerics : From James Anthony Froude to Robert Elsmere via George Eliot (1989) by Rosemary Ashton

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„Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

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