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Forgetting

  • It is a great blessing to be able to forget, but it takes a lot of wisdom to know what should be forgotten.

  • My lord, we have quite forgot the fart.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • greeting the returning Earl of Oxford, who had just spent seven years in exile out of embarrassment for having farted while bowing to her, in John Aubrey, Brief Lives ()
  • Were it not better to forget, / Than but remember and regret?

  • The very effort to forget teaches us to remember.

  • When people speak of Time's healing magic, they are simply being euphemistic about our human tendency — and perhaps necessity — to forget.

  • A good forgettery is a happier possession than a good memory.

  • Why is it that we are born remembering, and live forgetting?

  • One of life's minor satisfactions is forgetting.

  • Just remember enough never to be vulnerable again: total forgetting could be as self-destructive as complete remembering.

  • But thou mayst grant this humble prayer, / Forget me not! forget me not!

  • I made a list of things I have / to remember and a list / of things I want to forget, / but I see they are the same list.

  • ... life's best balm — Forgetfulness!

    • Felicia Hemans,
    • "The Caravan in the Desert," The Poetical Works of Felicia Dorothea Hemans ()
  • She has lost her memory. Each sentence she speaks is in the present tense. She is letting the past slip from her hand, a fish into dark water.

    • Mary Gordon,
    • "My Mother Is Speaking From the Desert," in The New York Times Magazine ()
  • So many things are lost / From even memory — / Forgetting is the cost / Of living cheerfully.

    • Zoë Akins,
    • title poem, The Hills Grow Smaller ()