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Rumer Godden

  • With everything that happens to you, with everyone you meet who is important to you, you either die a little or are born.

  • His demon is litigation and all his money goes in that.

  • In good company your thoughts run, in solitude your thought is still ... In talk your mind can be stretched, widened, exhilarated to heights, but it cannot be deepened; you have to deepen it yourself.

  • The best would be to have friends who came and went away; but if I had to choose between their never coming or never going away, I think I would choose that they do not come.

  • ... cleverness is a disease.

  • Wanting is the beginning of getting.

  • ... if you think you know, you don't ask questions, or if you ask, you don't listen to the answers. Everyone, everything, each thing, is different, so that it isn't safe to know. You — you have to grope.

  • Most grown people are like icebergs, three-tenths showing, seven-tenths submerged — that is why a collision with one of them is unexpectedly hurtful ...

  • To wake for the first time in a new place can be like another birth.

  • A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy.

  • Memory is the only friend of grief.

  • You must remember garden catalogues are as big liars as house-agents.

  • People don't know the consolations of being unsuccessful ... If I had been successful I should have had no peace or time.

  • It's only by being obstinate that anything is got, or done.

  • 'It will pay next year,' said Peter. 'Next year is always an excuse for this.'

  • ... her arguments are like elephants. They squash you flat.

  • ... for a dyed-in-the-wool author nothing is as dead as a book once it is written. ... she is rather like a cat whose kittens have grown up. While they were a-growing she was passionately interested in them but now they seem hardly to belong to her — and probably she is involved with another batch of kittens as I am involved with other writing.

    • Rumer Godden,
    • in The New York Times Book Review ()
  • ... quiet settled in the room like snow.

  • Once you have felt the Indian dust, you will never be free of it.

  • Have you ever heard, Hem, why a peacock gives those terrible screams? He has looked down and suddenly seen his feet. He had forgotten he had them because he was so busy admiring his train.

  • If you love the wrong people it's still love, isn't it, no matter what kind of love ...

  • Every time a child, any child, is born, it is new — and different; that is the wonder.

  • I don't know if I believe in God, but I know I believe in the devil. I have met him.

  • To me and my kind life itself is a story and we have to tell it in stories — that is the way it falls.

  • ... in California I began to think that, except on the beaches, no-one had the use of their legs.

  • You can be a nuisance to your family. You mustn't be a nuisance to your friends.

Rumer Godden, English novelist, poet, playwright

(1907 - 1998)

Full name: Margaret Rumer Godden.