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Smiles

  • ... all his life Toselli's smile had been stretched across his rage, like a tight-rope spanning a chasm ...

  • She had one of those frequent, but not spontaneous smiles that did for her face what artificial flowers do for some rooms. Smiles, somehow, were more used in those days; they were instruments, weapons, what not.

  • When she smiled the smile was only in the mouth and a little bitter: the face of an incurable yet to be stricken with its malady.

  • Smiles are the soul's kisses ...

  • [Before each of numerous portrait sittings:] Now then, with teeth or without?

  • [On being criticized for her serious expression:] I simply ache from smiling. Why are women expected to beam all the time? It's unfair. If a man looks solemn, it's automatically assumed he's a serious person, not a miserable one.

  • ... she wore a fixed smile that wa'n't a smile; there wa'n't no light behind it, same's a lamp can't shine if it ain't lit.

  • ... his smile bore the same relation to a real smile as false teeth do to real teeth ...

  • And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love ...

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Barbara Shiels, Women and the Nobel Prize ()
  • Her smile reminded me of the way a child will open its mouth all right, but not let out the cry till it sees the right person.

    • Eudora Welty,
    • "The Whole World Knows," The Golden Apples ()
  • Harry smiled rather loudly ...

  • It is the kind of smile that has a bigger one right behind it.

  • Smiles, like humor, are the most serious and complex forms of communication used by human beings.

    • Gayle Pemberton,
    • "Hello, Stranger," in Marita Golden and Susan Richards Shreve, eds., Skin Deep ()
  • If you really didn't ever want to get wrinkles, then you should have stopped smiling years ago!


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  • His smile, like his voice, is beautiful, but it is a smile hatched from a frustrated asceticism, and the suspicion that love is no more than a diminutive for self-injury.

  • Top people smile more frequently than people on any other rung of the career ladder — and not just because they make more money.

  • ... she set an attentive smile on her face, like a sentinel, behind which she could cultivate her own thoughts.

  • She had long since forgotten the meaning of a smile, but the physical ability to make the gesture remained.

  • He had the kind of smile that said: I'm a big prick, let me sell you something overpriced. Apparently that worked for some people.

  • I really do believe I can accomplish a great deal with a big grin. I know some people find that disconcerting, but that doesn't matter.

  • The person at whom we smile, smiles back. In one sense, he smiles at us. In a deeper sense, his smile reports the sudden well-being we have enabled him to experience. He smiles because our smile has made him feel smile-deserving. We have, so to speak, picked him out of the crowd. We have differentiated him and given him individual status.

  • It was the smile which runs before a promise.

  • It was a cold ray of a smile, that made you think of pale-flanked little fish swimming snugly under ice.

  • He hid a scornful smile under his mustache, which is not a good hiding place.

  • Thorkild smiled, and the gold caps gleamed. Then he went back to work on an open-faced sandwich that rather frightened Larry. He doubted that everything on it was completely dead.

  • She smiled quickly, brightly, all manners and no meaning.

  • ... Sisyphus flashed his smile — oddly artificial, as if he'd learned it by observation.

  • ... her smile was as open as a small boy's, a personal enjoyment rather than a social gesture.

  • He flashed that smile, piratical, conspiratorial, like a man with a knife between his teeth.

  • They might not need me — yet they might; / I'll let my heart be just in sight. / A smile so small as mine might be / Precisely their necessity.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The smile you give is the smile you get back.