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Despair

  • Despair is anger with no place to go.

  • Despair is the worst betrayal, the coldest seduction: / to believe at last that the enemy will prevail.

  • In her voice was the despair that only youth can feel and only once in a lifetime — the first time!

  • Perhaps despair is the only human sin.

  • Despair was the killer. I had to prepare, hold hope between my palms like the flame of the last match in a long Arctic night.

  • I can't read or sleep. Without hope or youth or money I sit constantly wishing I were dead.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • letter to Scott Fitzgerald (1930), in Nancy Milford, Zelda ()
  • When we yield to discouragement or despair, it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future.

  • ... the storm thunders at my heart; I find it difficult to believe in the existence of anything except the clouds which limit my horizon.

  • It takes far less courage to kill yourself than it takes to make yourself wake up one more time. It's harder to stay where you are than to get out.

  • Despair is deadly sin, but worse, it is mortal folly.

  • Through poverty, godhunger, the family debacle, I kept a sense of worth. I could limn and paint like no-one else in this human-wounded land: I was worth the while of living. Now my skill is dead. I should be.

  • The sun of hope had set forever to her vision ...

  • Despair breeds fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. A world of truly shared abundance would be a safer world.

  • Why should I / elude death / if when I am sick, your heart / is calm?

    • Sulpicia,
    • 1st cent. BCE, in Aliki Barnstone and Willis Barnstone, eds., A Book of Women Poets From Antiquity to Now ()
  • ... there is always this about a nadir, that any subsequent motion must inevitably be upwards. Unless, of course, the pendulum has stopped.

  • Precious attribute of woe-worn humanity! that can snatch ecstatic emotion, even from under the very share and harrow, that ruthlessly ploughs up and lays waste every hope.

  • What's the need of working if it doesn't get you anywhere? What's the use of boring around in the same hole like a worm? Making the hole bigger to stay in?

    • Marita Bonner,
    • "The Purple Flower" (1928), Frye Street and Environs ()
  • ... those who despair of life are not long for it.

  • Writing and the hope of writing pulls me back from the edges of despair. I believe insanity and despair are at times one and the same.

    • Bell Hooks,
    • "Writing From the Darkness" (1989), in Wendy Martin, ed., The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women ()
  • Action is the antidote to despair.

  • ... it is from despair that all your ailments have come ... And hope is always the best medicine.

  • He who lives in despair / takes and gives in vain.

    • Hadewijch,
    • "The Nature of Love" (13th cent.), in Mother Columba Hart, O.S.B., Hadewijch: The Complete Works ()
  • Despair makes us serve evil as much as good ...

    • Hadewijch,
    • "The Nature of Love" (13th cent.), in Mother Columba Hart, O.S.B., Hadewijch: The Complete Works ()
  • To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.