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Sorrow

  • The sorrows of humanity are no one's sorrows ... A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy.

  • Sorrow has its reward. It never leaves us where it found us.

  • ... ought we not, from time to time, open ourselves up to cosmic sadness? ... Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears his grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge—from which new sorrows will be born for others—then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.

  • Ah done been in sorrow's kitchen and Ah done licked out all de pots.

  • ... every heart has its graveyard.

  • Sorrow makes us very good or very bad.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • A man's sorrow runs uphill; true it is difficult for him to bear, but it is also difficult for him to keep.

  • Sorrow with his pick mines the heart. But he is a cunning workman. He deepens the channels whereby happiness may enter, and hollows out new chambers for joy to abide in, when he is gone.

  • I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.

  • People left him to his sorrow as a man is left to an incurable habit, an unfortunate tie: they ignored it, or looked over its head if they happened to catch a glimpse of it at his elbow.

  • Sorrow and frustration have their power. The world is moved by people with great discontents. Happiness is a drug. It can make men blind and deaf and insensible to reality. There are times when only sorrow can give to sorrow.

    • Winifred Holtby,
    • "Episode in West Kensington" (1932), Pavements at Anderby ()
  • I had a little Sorrow, / Born of a little Sin.

  • I dread no more the first white in my hair, / Or even age itself, the easy shoe, / The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair: / Time, doing this to me, may alter too / My sorrow, into something I can bear.

  • Sorrow has its life just like people. Sorrow is born and lives and dies. And when it's dead and gone, someone's left behind to remember it. Exactly like people.

  • ... the source of one's joy is also often the source of one's sorrow.

  • Sorrow had sweetened in his soul until it had turned at last into sympathy.

  • Perhaps, from an innate desire of justification, sorrow always exaggerates itself. Memory is quite one of Job's friends; and the past is ever ready to throw its added darkness on the present.

  • Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts ...

  • He shared their sorrow, and they became a part of his, and the sharing spread their grief a little, by thinning it.

  • There is no doubt that sorrow brings one down in the world. The aristocratic privilege of silence belongs, you soon find out, to only the happy state or, at least, to the state when pain keeps within bounds.

  • It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it.

  • All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

  • ... sorrow is easier than guilt.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • 1958, in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colors will baby people become interested — for a while at least. The people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys every day.

  • ... frequent tears have run / The colors from my life ...

  • Trauma reflected upon in tranquility can produce morally stunning insights — literary light! It can also produce maudlin rubbish.

  • Is not sorrow, all sorrow, selfish?

    • Abigail May Alcott,
    • 1842, in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • Some flowers give out little or no odour until crushed.

    • Abigail May Alcott,
    • 1842, in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • To speak of sorrow / works upon it / moves it from its / crouched place barring / the way to and from the soul's hall ...

  • Sorrow in the tongue will talk itself cured, if you give it a chance; but sorrow in the eyes has a wicked, wicked way now and then of leaking into the brain.

  • All her feelings are dulled these days, as though life is already going, slowly leaking out and ebbing away. Maybe it will make my dying that much easier ... when I come to die, there will be little left to die. I'm already a ghost with set wings, stalking tombstone territory.

  • All things are dark to sorrow.

  • The shaft extracted, does not cure the wound!

  • I found more joy in sorrow / Than you could find in joy.

  • Rather than calling this diary a record of my life, it's more accurate to regard it as the sum of all my tears.

    • Ding Ling,
    • "Miss Sophia's Diary" (1927), in I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling ()
  • Every sorrow suggests a thousand songs, and every song recalls a thousand sorrows, and so they are infinite in number, and all the same.

  • She could not forgive her sorrow for being bearable and for taking its place, between despair and indifference, in a spiritual region which allowed of diversions, pleasures, scruples, and compensations.

  • The night is darkening around me ...

    • Emily Brontë,
    • 1837, in Clement Shorter, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë ()
  • The pity of living only once is that there is no way, ever, to be sure which sorrows are inevitable.

  • Life goes on after sorrow, in spite of sorrow, as a defense against sorrow.

  • ... those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either.

  • How dreadful it is, to emerge from the oblivion of slumber, and to receive as a good morrow the mute wailing of one's own hapless heart — to return from the land of deceptive dreams to the heavy knowledge of unchanged disaster!

  • The average reader can contemplate with considerable fortitude the sorrows and disappointments of someone else.

  • ... sorrow is only sweet when we experience it secondhand or in far hindsight.

  • Words are less needful to sorrow than to joy.

  • ... he smelled only the rain and the earth and his own sorrow. Until now, he didn't know that sorrow had a smell, but it did, and it was worse than the stink of blood, of death.

  • Some sorrow's better for being kept green.

  • I believe if we can wait long enough that every honorable sorrow will become a kind of joy.

  • Many people misjudge the permanent effect of sorrow, and their capacity to live in the past.

  • Our little room was morbidly quiet and sorrow was heaped in my corner like dirty snow.

  • ... a lean sorrow is hardest to bear.

  • ... the snow ... came in thick tufts like new wool — washed before the weaver spins it.

  • There is no new sorrow. We shall be called upon to bear nothing that has not been borne before.

  • There is a graveyard in my poor heart — dark, heaped-up graves, from which no flowers spring.

  • ... she fingered the edge of his mother's sorrow like a tailor feeling the quality of a rival's well-made suit. Was it anything like the pain she had felt ... ?

  • You'd be surprised to know how many heartaches, how many bitter disappointments, how many disasters that seem final when they come, we learn to survive and in time even to forget.

  • Do not cheat thy Heart and tell her / 'Grief will pass away, / Hope for fairer times in future, / And forget to-day.' — / ... / Rather nurse her cagèd sorrow / 'Till the captive sings. / ... / Bid her with a strong clasp hold her / By her dusky wings — / Listening for the murmured blessing / Sorrow always brings.

  • Sorrow is so easy to express and yet so hard to tell.

  • There's nothing certain, nothing sure / Save sorrow.

  • She was so sorry for him that sorrow was like rage.

  • A living sorrow is far harder to bear than a dead one!

  • ... grief can sometimes only be expressed in platitudes. We are original in our happy moments. Sorrow has only one voice, one cry.

  • Mourning is one of the prices of loving, the sorrow a permeating heaviness that constricts your doings to one single doing: trying to match the present absence with the past presence, and failing, remembering.

  • Yes ... weep now, darling, weep. Let us both weep. That is the first thing: to let ourselves feel again. ... Then, tomorrow, we shall make something strong of this sorrow.

  • It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear. The one who says nothing good comes of this is not yet listening.