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Love1

  • Thee may tell Aunt Janet from me that she might as well try to stop the stars in their courses as to try to stop a love affair.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1902, in Logan Pearsall Smith, e d., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • It is not possible to love and be wise.

  • Perhaps what makes friendship and love exciting is the continuing discovery of another personality.

  • Interestingly, anger and lust are also elusive states once they have passed. Trying to recall why you were angry about something when you've calmed down is like trying to remember why you were in love with someone who no longer attracts you: the initial impulse triggering the emotion is impossible to recapture.

  • Examining love is like examining a stocking: if you hold it up to the light and stretch it to search for snags, any snags there are may well run and ruin the stocking. In fact, if I may fashion Coudert's law from Heisenberg's principle of indeterminacy, it is this: Love is not only changed by observation; it is changed for the worse.

  • Self-affirmation cannot be found in love; it is a prior condition of genuine love.

  • Affection may be abiding and love may be abiding, but the state of being in love is transitory.

  • Sometimes, if your own life is to add up, you must subtract yourself from someone else's life. This time comes, I think, whenever you find that the affection or love of someone else can be kept only at the cost of yourself. If you are on the receiving end of much criticism, if the other has nothing but dissatisfaction with you, if you have lost the sense that to be yourself is a good and decent thing, it is time to get out. If love lessens you, if an undeclared war is being carried on in its name, if it is an excuse for destructive demands, if it is painful and joyless, it is time to let the love go and save yourself. You will find another love but never another self.

  • The magnetism of the Inevitable embraced them and knit their inner selves together, even while they sat decorously apart.

  • Oh, what is young love! The urge of the race. A blaze that ends in babies or ashes.

  • The advantage of love at first sight is that it delays a second sight.

  • Might I be the one I am looking for?

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • Avoid that romantic trap: saying more than you feel, forcing yourself to feel more than you've said!

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • Like all religions, love has more believers than practitioners.

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • In love there is no status quo.

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • I love the love of those who are far enough away, it becomes whatever I wish to believe it.

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • 1963, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • ... you never realize death until you realize love.

  • We lavish on animals the love we are afraid to show people. They might not return it; or worse, they might.

  • No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved.

  • When first we fall in love, we feel that we know all there is to know about life, and perhaps we are right.

  • The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.

  • In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

  • When a man falls in love, he wants to go to bed. When a woman falls in love, she wants to talk about it.

  • How odd that sex should be so simple and love such a complication.

  • Love of others is the appreciation of one's self.

    • Mina Loy,
    • "Aphorisms on Futurism" (1914), in Roger L. Conover, ed., The Lost Lunar Baedecker ()
  • ... how poorly do we love even those whom we love most! We are not only bruised by the limitations of their love for us, but also by the limitations of our own love for them.

  • The fate of love is, that it always sees too little or too much.

  • Whoever said love conquers all was a fool. Because almost everything conquers love — or tries to.

  • A man's ideal woman is the one he couldn't get.

  • Going through life without love is like going through a good dinner without an appetite — everything seems so flat and tasteless.

  • True Love can be no deeper than your capacity for friendship, no higher than your ideals, and no broader than the scope of your vision.

  • True love isn't the kind that endures through long years of absence, but the kind that endures through long years of propinquity.

  • Love, the quest; marriage, the conquest; divorce, the inquest.

  • A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her imagination, and then they both speak of it as an affair of 'the heart.'

  • Eternity: The interval between the time when a woman discovers that a man is in love with her and the time when he finds it out himself and tells her about it.

  • They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort.

  • Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.

  • There is no magician like Love ...

  • What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

  • How is it that the poets have said so many fine things about our first love, so few about our later love? Are their first poems their best? or are not those the best which come from their fuller thought, their larger experience, their deeper-rooted affections?


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  • To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little; to be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

  • I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same mind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.

    • George Eliot,
    • letter (1875), in J.W. Cross, ed., George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals ()
  • Say 'I love you' to those you love. The eternal silence is long enough to be silent in, and that awaits us all.

    • George Eliot,
    • in Hester Thackeray, Thackeray and His Daughter ()
  • ... learning to love any one is like an increase of property, — it increases care, and brings many new fears lest precious things should come to harm.

    • George Eliot,
    • 1870, in Gordon S. Haight, ed., The George Eliot Letters, vol. 5 ()
  • ... there is only one terminal dignity — love. And the story of a love is not important — what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.

  • Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new.

  • Failures to love are irremediable and irredeemable.

  • Him that I love, I wish to be / Free — / Even from me.

  • People talk about love as though it were something you could give, like an armful of flowers. And a lot of people give love like that — just dump it down on top of you, a useless strong-scented burden.

  • My heart shall be thy garden.

  • A man when he is making up to anybody can be cordial and gallant and full of little attentions and altogether charming. But when a man is really in love he can't help looking like a sheep.

  • Love is not everything ... It is only when we are young that we think it is.

  • To care passionately for another human creature brings always more sorrow than joy; but all the same ... one would not be without that experience.

  • Darling — I suppose the world would consider us absolutely crazy, but it is wonderful to feel that way, isn't it? Sort of a perpetual springtime in our hearts.

    • Rachel Carson,
    • 1954, in Martha Freeman, ed., Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman 1952-1964 ()
  • No human being can control love, and no one is to blame either for feeling it or for losing it. What alone degrades a woman is falsehood.

  • ... love might have consoled him by taking him by surprise; for that is the only way in which love does console. One cannot find it when one seeks it; it comes to us when we do not expect it.

  • ... love is too delicate a flower to rise again when one has trampled it under foot.

  • Where there is no longer love, there is no longer anything.

  • Whoever has loved knows all that life contains of sorrow and of joy.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • It is love, not faith, that moves mountains.

    • George Sand,
    • 1832, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Liszt said to me to-day that God alone deserves to be loved. It may be true, but when one has loved a man it is very difficult to love God. It is so different.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

    • George Sand,
    • 1862, Correspondance de George Sand, vol. 16 ()
  • The mystery that draws one human being toward another must remain a mystery to the end.

  • ... if the right man does not come along, there are many fates far worse. One is to have the wrong man come along.

  • ... marriage is man's arrangement for the perpetuation of the state, and love is nature's arrangement for the perpetuation of the species.

  • Oh, it's so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.

  • People who have been much loved retain even in old age a radiating quality difficult to describe but unmistakable. Even a stone that has been blazed on all day by a southern sun will hold heat long after nightfall; and Madame de Bülow, who was far from being a stone and not yet at the close of her day, had this warm radiance.

  • ... love ... is ... the only effective counter to death.

  • The pain of love is the pain of being alive. It's a perpetual wound.

  • When she fell in love it was with a perfect fury of accumulated dishonesty; she became instantly a dealer in second-hand and therefore incalculable emotions.

  • I couldn't ever boil potatoes over the heat of your affection. Your love would never bridge a gap; it wouldn't even fill up the hole that the mice came through ...

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "What Do You See, Madam?" (1913), Smoke and Other Early Stories ()
  • Too many times we insist on loving people the way we want to love them instead of the way they need to be loved.

  • The lover in the crowded room / Empty of the one essential, / Creates the missing face, more vital / More fresh than when it touched his own.

  • There was no passion in her feeling for him, and no relief from its daily pressure. It was like being loved by a large moist sponge.

  • ... if you listen long enough — or is it deep enough? — the silence of a lover can speak plainer than any words! Only you must know how to listen. Pain must have taught you how.

  • The only creative power I know is that of what might roughly be called 'love'; not of course a sentimental love: a far more impersonal and less individual emotion. I sometimes think that migratory birds may have it for each other. They fly in the same direction, and have never been seen to interfere with each other's flights.

  • From love one can only escape at the price of life itself; and no lessening of sorrow is worth exile from that stream of all things human and divine.

  • The talk of lovers who have just declared their love is one of life's most sweet delights. Each vies with the other in humility, in amazement at being so valued. The past is searched for the first signs, and each one is in haste to declare all that he is so that no part of his being escapes the hallowing touch.

  • ... we can only learn to love by loving.

  • Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

    • Iris Murdoch,
    • "The Sublime and the Good," in Chicago Review ()
  • Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.

  • Only love has clear vision. Hatred has cloudy vision. When we hate we know not what we do.

  • Most of our love is shabby stuff, but there is always a thin line of gold, the bit of pure love on which all the rest depends — and which redeems all the rest.

  • Being in love is an exhausting business.

  • No love is entirely without worth, even when the frivolous calls to the frivolous and the base to the base.

  • Love is the last and secret name of all the virtues.

  • The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular one and its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.

  • True love gallops, it flies, it is the swiftest of all modes of thought, swifter even than hate and fear.

  • There is no death where the inner light shines, irradiating the fields of the within — the beyond — the unattainable attainment. You know where to find me.

  • ... love is a form of heroism that never goes out of date.

  • Moonstruck, sunstruck, starstruck, and struck by the blue lightning of his glance ...


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  • All places are alike to love ...

    • ,
    • "Pamphilia to Amphilanthus" (1621), in Josephine A. Roberts, ed., The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth ()
  • Love is fine for singing about and love songs are good to listen to, sometimes even to dance to. But when we need food for our stomachs and clothes for our backs, love is nothing. Ah my lady, the last man any woman should think of marrying is the man she loves.

  • The happiness of people who are in love and who are loved shows in their faces. They have an expression that's at once very far away and very much part of the present.

  • Love so seldom means happiness.

  • Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.

  • Spirits that have once been sincerely united and tended together a sacred flame, never become entirely stranger to one another's life.

    • Margaret Fuller,
    • 1849, in Robert N. Hudspeth, ed., The Letters of Margaret Fuller, vol. 5 ()
  • Ah, the poverty, the miserable poverty, of any love that lies outside of marriage, of any love that is not a living together, a sharing of all!

    • Edith Wharton,
    • 1912, quoted in Cynthia Griffin Wolff's 1979 introduction to Summer ()
  • Free love, she found, was not the simple experiment she had imagined.

  • It must be less wicked to love the wrong person than not to love anybody at all.

  • I have drunk of the wine of life at last, I have known the thing best worth knowing, I have been warmed through and through, never to grow quite cold again till the end.

    • Edith Wharton,
    • 1908, in Gloria C. Erlich, The Sexual Education of Edith Wharton ()
  • You are free only when you care for nobody in the world. But if you stop caring, life isn't worth living.

  • Women cannot always love men who love them, but they always admire their taste.

  • Men give love because they want sex. Women give sex because they want love. That's the difference between men and women. Ever notice how when we talk about our love lives, it's always about a man? Singular. All most of us want is one good man. But when men talk, it's about women. Plural. They want as many as they can get.

  • Love is so fragile and so often fatal. I am amazed when people are brave enough to risk it.

  • You may know the pain of possessing and dependency, reducing persons to objects, but this is not love. Love doesn't attempt to bind, ensnare, capture. It is light, free of the burden of attachments. Love asks nothing, is fulfilled in itself. When love is there, nothing remains to be done.

  • Love needs the stiffening of respect, the give and take of equality.

  • I find you in all small and lovely things; in the little fishes like flames in the green water, in the furred and stupid softness of bumble-bees fat as laughter, in all the chiming radiance of warmth and light and scent in the summer garden.

  • It is said that love and a cough cannot be hid.

  • Passion's a good, stupid horse that will pull the plough six days a week if you give him the run of his heels on Sundays. But love's a nervous, awkward, over-mastering brute; if you can't rein him, it's best to have no truck with him.

  • And what do all the great words come to in the end, but that? — I love you — I am at rest with you — I have come home.

  • Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one's own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self.

  • If I can let you go as trees let go / ... Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep, / The strong root still alive under the snow, / Love will endure — if I can let you go.

    • May Sarton,
    • "The Autumn Sonnets," A Durable Fire ()
  • How unnatural the imposed view, imposed by a puritanical ethos, that passionate love belongs only to the young, that people are dead from the neck down by the time they are forty, and that any deep feeling, any passion after that age, is either ludicrous or revolting!

  • ... love is healing, even rootless love.

    • May Sarton,
    • "The Muse as Medusa," Selected Poems of May Sarton ()
  • Is it perhaps the one necessity of love, that it be needed? And the one great human tragedy that it so rarely is?

    • May Sarton,
    • 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • Love is our human miracle.

    • May Sarton,
    • 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • Love's a disease. But curable.

  • I know I am but summer to your heart, / And not the full four seasons of the year ...

  • This have I known always: Love is no more / Than the wide blossom which the wind assails, / Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore, / Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales: / Pity me that the heart is slow to learn / What the swift mind beholds at every turn.

  • Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink / Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; / Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink ...

  • Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the day-time, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.

  • An army of lovers shall not fail.

    • Rita Mae Brown,
    • "Sappho's Reply," The Hand That Rocks the Cradle ()
  • To love without role, without power plays, is revolution.

  • Love is the wild card of existence.

  • I used to think romantic love was a neurosis shared by two, a supreme foolishness. I no longer thought that. There's nothing foolish in loving anyone. Thinking you'll be loved in return is what's foolish.

  • People who care for you inevitably become beautiful.

  • ... I have always been suspicious of romantic love. It looks too much like a narcissism shared by two ...

  • Life is unjust, people can be cruel, and yet if you harden your heart, you will lose what little love there is in this world.

  • Love is an act of faith.

  • A man loves a woman so much, he asks her to marry — to change her name, quit her job, have and raise his babies, be home when he gets there, move where his job is. You can hardly imagine what he might ask if he didn't love her.

    • Gabrielle Burton,
    • "No One Has a Corner on Depression, But Housewives Are Working on It," in Mary Kay Blakely, The New York Times ()
  • [On love in her forties with a man twenty years her junior:] If I had neither mirror nor memory, I would think I was fifteen years old.

  • 'Who wrote the book of love' we all wonder. 'And why are there so many typos?'

  • Never judge someone by who he's in love with; judge him by his friends. People fall in love with the most appalling people.

  • Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me. I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or a chisel to remind you of your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.

  • Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.

  • More than anything in this transitory life mine eyes desire the sight of you.

    • Catherine of Aragon,
    • deathbed letter to Henry VIII (1536), in Margaret Barnes, Brief Gaudy Hour ()
  • There have been easier times / for loving ...

    • Audre Lorde,
    • "Fishing the White Water," Our Dead Behind Us ()
  • A woman I love / draws me a bath / of old roses.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • "From the Cave," Our Dead Behind Us ()
  • ... the night was dark / and love was a burning fence / about my house.

  • The love expressed between women is particular and powerful, because we have had to love in order to live: love has been our survival.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Joan Wylie Hall, ed., Conversations with Audre Lorde ()
  • ... I am sure / that when we love / we are better than ourselves / & when we hate, / worse.

  • Coupling doesn't always have to do with sex ... Two people holding each other up like flying buttresses. Two people depending on each other and babying each other and defending each other against the world outside. Sometimes it was worth all the disadvantages of marriage just to have that: one friend in an indifferent world.

  • Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.

  • The truth is simple: / you do not die / from love. / You only wish / you did.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "There Is Only One Story," Ordinary Miracles ()
  • We only deliberately waste time with those we love — it is the purest sign that we love someone if we choose to spend time idly in their presence when we could be doing something more 'constructive.'

  • All Policy's allow'd in War and Love.

  • I cannot live one day without love.

  • The trouble is that my heart is loath to be without love even for a single hour. ... If you want to keep me forever, then show as much friendship as love, and more than anything else, love me and tell me the truth.

  • One meets and wakes you to vivid life in an immortal hour. Thousands could not do it through eternity.

  • Affection! Affection is false.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • 1600, in J.E. Neale, Queen Elizabeth I ()
  • He who loves and runs away, may live to love another day.

  • It was a love like a chord from Bach, / of such pure gravity ...

    • Nina Cassian,
    • "It was a love" (1963), Call Yourself Alive? ()
  • 'Tis said, woman loves not her lover / So much as she loves his love of her; / Then loves she her lover / For love of her lover, / Or love of her love of her lover?

  • There are two classes of human beings in this world: one class seem made to give love, and the other to take it.

  • If you were not already my dearly loved husband I should certainly fall in love with you.

    • Harriet Beecher Stowe,
    • letter to her husband (1841), in Annie Fields, ed., Life and Letters of Harriet Beecher Stowe ()
  • All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live is to love — to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.

  • To say that Ansiau ... was in love would not be accurate — he was an idolater who had found his idol.

  • Love is a divine flame ...

  • In short I will part with anything for you but you.

    • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
    • letter to her future husband (1712), in Octave Thanet, ed., The Best Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu ()
  • Remember my unalterable maxim, where we love, we have always something to say ...

  • All our loves are contained in all our other loves.

  • Love is the only game that is not called on account of darkness.

  • I used to think if I love someone, they feel it. Now, I've come to discover, no one feels loved enough. By telling someone you love them, over and over, this has an accumulative power.

  • For love expended, one did not have to receive a return; as if love were a mortgage clapped onto the loved one and paying interest at an approved rate. Love expended, whether there were any returns or not, increased, within the loving heart, the store of love available ...

  • The emotion, the ecstasy of love, we all want, but God spare us the responsibility.

  • ... it is the loving, not the loved, woman who feels lovable.

  • Love is all things / Both high and low / And nothing else / Can hurt you so.

  • Reason to the lovesick was fire to the feverish. It sent them clean out of their minds.

  • And if kissing and being engaged were this inflammatory, marriage must burn clear to the bone. I wondered how flesh and blood could endure the ecstasy. How did married couples manage to look so calm and unexcited?

  • Love is like the measles. It's catching.

  • Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.

  • So blind is life, so long at last is sleep, / And none but Love to bid us laugh or weep.

  • Where there is great love, there are always miracles.

  • Many love me, but by none am I enough beloved.

  • ... people become like what they love.

    • Catherine of Siena,
    • 1374, in Suzanne Noffke, trans., The Letters of St. Catherine of Siena ()
  • I might not be a psychiatrist, but I am convinced that sex is not as important as we tend to make it. First there is that little feeling, that little red flame, called love. Blow on the flame and make it get bigger like a fire, don't blow it out like a candle.

  • The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!

  • A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.

  • If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.

  • You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

  • All love that has not friendship for its base, / Is like a mansion built upon the sand. / Love, to endure life's sorrow and earth's woe, / Needs friendship's solid masonwork below.

  • Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it.

  • Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes ...

  • ... love moves the world along.

  • Love is the only duty that we know ...

  • In the morning I had decided that henceforth I only cared for easy loves. It is so degrading to have to persuade people into liking one, or one's works.

  • Love amazes, but it does not surprise.

    • Sylvia Townsend Warner,
    • in Susanna Pinney, ed., I'll Stand by You: Selected Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland ()
  • Love is the only real patriation, and without one's dear one sits in a dreary and boring exile.

    • Sylvia Townsend Warner,
    • 1936, in Susanna Pinney, ed., I'll Stand by You: Selected Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland ()
  • Happiness cannot fly on one wing, I cannot be happy while you are not.

    • Sylvia Townsend Warner,
    • 1940, in Susanna Pinney, ed., I'll Stand by You: Selected Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland ()
  • A person who exists only for the sake of his loved one is not an independent entity, but a spiritual parasite. The love of a parasite is worth nothing.

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1948, in Michael Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • Love occupies a vast space in a woman's thoughts, but fills a small portion in a man's life.

  • ... the human heart, at whatever age, opens only to the heart that opens in return.

  • Love can bear anything better than ridicule.

  • ... when the desire is on for one particular person, nobody else will do ...

  • It is about time that soft meaningless word: Love; was taken out of the dictionary. So that instead of saying: I will love you for ever; it would be a much more convincing proof to say: I will endure you for ever.

  • Love is a malady, the common symptoms of which are the same in all patients ...

  • There is no death to those who perfectly love, — only disappearance, which in time may be borne.

    • Harriet Martineau,
    • 1840, in Elisabeth Sanders Arbuckle, Harriet Martineau's Letters to Fanny Wedgwood ()
  • I am thirsty for your hands / light as water on me.

    • Marge Piercy,
    • "I Evoke the Gray Fox," Living in the Open ()
  • What a richly colored strong warm coat / is woven when love is the warp and work is the woof.

    • Marge Piercy,
    • "The inquisition," The Moon Is Always Female ()
  • Love says, mine. Love says, I could eat you up. Love says, stay as you are, be my own private thing, don't you dare have ideas I don't share. Love has just got to gobble the other, bones and all, crunch. I don't want to do that. I sure don't want it done to me!

  • Like species, couples die out or evolve.

    • Marge Piercy,
    • "Witnessing a wedding," My Mother's Body ()
  • I am not a cold woman, Henry, / But I do not feel for you, / What I feel for the elephants and the miasmas / And the general view.

    • Stevie Smith,
    • "Lady 'Rogue' Singleton," Mother, What Is Man? ()
  • ... women love with their imagination and men with their senses.

  • The surest way of winning love is to look as if you didn't need it.

  • Some women enjoy unhappy love affairs, you know, though I have always felt that they are greatly overrated.

  • ... the life of the mind is reality, and love without romantic illumination is a spiritless matter.


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  • Love is not consolation, it is light.

    • Simone Weil,
    • in Eric Walter Frederick Tomlin, Simone Weil ()
  • I loved him too as woman loves — / Reckless of sorrow, sin, or scorn.

    • L.E. Landon,
    • "The Indian Bride," The Improvisatrice ()
  • 'Tis strange with how much power and pride / The softness is of love allied ...

  • ... O, love should be / An ever-changing thing, — / The love that I could worship must / Be ever on the wing.

  • Imagination is to love what gas is to the balloon — that which raises it from earth.

  • ... true love is like religion, it hath its silence and its sanctity.

  • There are words to paint the misery of love, but none to paint its happiness ...

  • ... many a heart is caught in the rebound ... Pride may be soothed by the ready devotion of another; vanity may be excited the more keenly by recent mortification.

  • Nothing but love can answer to love; no affection, no kindness, no care, can supply its place: it is its own sweet want.

  • ... love grows by service.

  • A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one.

  • Love is a great wrecker of peace of mind.

  • Secretly, we wish anyone we love will think exactly the way we do.

  • I guess if grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.

    • Cher,
    • in The Times ()
  • ... nothing, of course, is ever so strange as love to the one who is not a lover.

  • It is hardly possible to exaggerate the lovelessness in which most people live, men or women: wanting love, unable to give it, or inspire it, unable to keep it if they get it, not knowing how to treat it, lacking the humility, or the very love itself that could teach them how to love: it is the painfullest thing in human life, and, since love is purely a creation of the human imagination, it is merely perhaps the most important of all the examples of how the imagination continually outruns the creature it inhabits ... Having imagined love, we are condemned to its perpetual disappointment; or so it seems.

  • ... if we say I love you, it may be received with doubt, for there are times when it is hard to believe. Say I hate you, and the one spoken to believes it instantly, once for all. ... Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but waits only to be provoked ...

  • I love to praise what I love, and I won't for a minute believe that love is blind — indeed, it gives clearness without sharpness, and surely that is the best light in which to look at anything.

  • Love is like the measles. The older you get it, the worse the attack.

  • Great loves were almost always great tragedies. Perhaps it was because love was never truly great until the element of sacrifice entered into it.

  • Love sees clearly, and seeing, loves on. But infatuation is blind; when it gains sight, it dies.

  • ... if one can remember without loving, then couldn't one love without remembering?

  • Reader, I married him.

  • To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.

  • I felt your love as a benediction / In tranquil branches above me spread, / Over my sometimes troubled head ...

  • Love cannot be forced, love cannot be coaxed and teased. It comes out of Heaven, unasked and unsought.

  • ... she did not mind sitting and watching him while he slept. They were so close, so nearly one, that his sleep seemed to rest her, too.

  • Love dies only when growth stops.

  • Love can never be a sin. It can be only a blessing. Even if you're not loved in return — though I can't imagine that — to love is a proof of life — indeed, it's the only proof, for once you can't love another human being, you're not alive.

  • It is love itself that is important — the ability to love, no matter whom you love. For when you can no longer love anyone, you are no longer a living person. The heart dies if it loses the capacity to love.

  • ... to lovers innumerable things do not matter.

  • ... love is banality to all outsiders.

  • Money is of value for what it buys, and in love it buys time, place, intimacy, comfort, and a private corner alone.

  • Our love of each other is like one long shadow kissing without hope of reality.

  • You marry the day you realize the human defects of your love.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1934, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 1 ()
  • We love best those who are, or act for us, a self we do not wish to be or act out.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1934, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 1 ()
  • I loved an image of him which did not exist. When he is away, this image begins to obsess me. It invades me, and I begin to believe in it again. It is destroyed each time I see him.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1934, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 1 ()
  • The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • in Judy Oringer, "Anaïs Nin on Women," Ramparts Magazine ()
  • Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1947, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 4 ()
  • ... only love begets love.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1969, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 7 ()
  • It doesn't so much matter what one loves. To love is the transfiguring thing.

  • Perhaps it does not matter so very much what it is one loves in this world. But love something one must.

  • ... I'd always rather be with people who loved me too little rather than with people who loved me too much.

  • If only one could tell true love from false love as one can tell mushrooms from toadstools.

  • People in love, in whom every sense is open, cannot beat off the influence of a place.

  • When you love someone all your saved-up wishes start coming out.

  • Pity the selfishness of lovers: it is brief, a forlorn hope, it is impossible.

  • ... love dreads being isolated, being left to speak in a void — at the beginning it would often rather listen than speak.

  • Habit, of which passion must be wary, may all the same be the sweetest part of love.

  • Every love has a poetic relevance of its own; each love brings to light only what to it is relevant. Outside lies the junk-yard of what does not matter.

  • The paradox of romantic love — that what one possesses, one can no longer desire — was at work.

  • You mustn't force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex — that's quite a thought, isn't it?

  • To those who know thee not, no words can paint! / And those who know thee, know all words are faint.

    • Hannah More,
    • "Sensibility: An Epistle to the Honorable Mrs. Boscawen," Sacred Dramas ()
  • Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it.

    • Hannah More,
    • in Maturin Murray Ballou, ed., Notable Thoughts About Women ()
  • Since we're not young, weeks have to do time for years of missing each other.

  • I choose to love this time for once / with all my intelligence.

    • Adrienne Rich,
    • "Splittings," The Dream of a Common Language ()
  • I caught sight of a spendid Misses. She had handkerchiefs and kisses. She had eyes and yellow shoes she had everything to choose and she chose me. In passing through France she wore a Chinese hat and so did I. In looking at the sun she read a map. And so did I. In eating fish and pork she just grew fat. And so did I. In loving a blue sea she had a pain. And so did I. In loving me she of necessity thought first. And so did I. How prettily we swim. Not in water. Not on land. But in love.

    • Gertrude Stein,
    • about Alice B. Tolkas, in Bee Time Vine and Other Pieces ()
  • Anything we love can be saved.

  • ... we always love best the people who need us.

  • In daylight I belong to the world ... in the night to sleep and eternity. But in the dusk I'm free from both and belong only to myself ... and you.

  • The only love from which a man never recuperates is the one he never had. The eternal and untarnished illusion.

  • we have always loved each other / children all ways / pass it on.

  • One must in this lower world love many things to know finally what one loves the best ...

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • in Judith Thurman, Isak Dinesen: Life of a Storyteller ()
  • To long for love, to have experienced passion's deep pleasure, even once, is to understand the mercilessness of having a human body whose memory rides desire's back unanchored from season to season.

  • A woman / who loves a woman / is forever young.

  • The sanest thing in this world is love.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • 1966, in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus ...

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation," Anarchism ()
  • The most vital right is the right to love and be loved.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation," Anarchism ()
  • Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State- and Church-begotten weed, marriage?

  • [To W.R. Hearst:] Love is not always created at the altar. Love doesn't need a wedding ring.

  • Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone — but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.

  • Almost as many inhumanities are committed in the name of love as in the name of religion.

    • Bette Davis,
    • with Michael Herskowitz, This 'N That ()
  • ... I don't want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally ...

  • It seemed very sad to see you going off in your new shoes alone.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1932), in Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks, eds., Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda ()
  • Love me in full being.

  • What I do / And what I dream include thee, as the wine / Must taste of its own grapes.

  • Say thou dost love me, love me, love me — toll / The silver iterance! — only minding, Dear, / To love me also in silence with thy soul.

  • How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. / I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / My soul can reach ...

  • I love thee with a love I seemed to lose / With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath, / Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose, / I shall but love thee better after death.

  • Whoever lives true life will love true love.

  • ... whoso loves / Believes the impossible.

  • I loved you yesterday .. I love you to-day .. I shall love you to-morrow. Every day I am yours.

    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
    • 1846, in Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett 1845-1846, vol. 2 ()
  • Till it has loved, no man or woman can become itself.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1879, in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • I felt it shelter to speak to you.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1878, in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • Love can do all but raise the Dead.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham, eds., Bolts of Melody: New Poems ()
  • Wild Nights — Wild Nights! / Were I with thee / Wild Nights should be / Our luxury!

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1861, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Rowing in Eden — / Ah, the Sea! / Might I but moor — Tonight — / In Thee!

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1861, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • ... 'till I loved / I never lived — Enough — .

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1862, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • To wait an Hour — is long — / If Love be just beyond — / To wait Eternity — is short-- / If Love reward the end --.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1863, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Love — is anterior to Life — / Posterior — to Death — ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1864, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • That love is all there is, / Is all we know of Love ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1914, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Love, like poetry, is a kind of homesickness, / the kind which made medieval monks / sleep in their coffins.

  • It's love and the capacity for love that distinguishes one human being from another.

  • There are only two kinds of pain: too much love or too little.

  • ... romance is unsatisfactory as a religion. It is no use looking for the infinite in the eyes of another.

    • Jennifer Stone,
    • "Eros: The Imperative of Intimacy," Stone's Throw ()
  • Love is all there's time for.

  • Love, like alcoholism, comes to a point of no return.

  • Why love what you will lose? / There is nothing else to love.

    • Louise Glück,
    • "From the Japanese," The Triumph of Achilles ()
  • The duration of love in a being always depends upon the loved one. I create an emotion in you, as you create one in me. You do not create it in yourself.

  • No one can control his emotion of love for a woman ... the sentiment he feels, I mean, but the strong man controls the demonstration.

  • Nothing one really loves is ever lost.

  • They say love is a two-way street. But I don't believe it, because the one I've been on for the last two years was a dirt road.

  • Love is recognition, perhaps the highest form of it. You.

  • We need love and creative imagination to do constructive work.

  • It is love alone that counts.

  • Love needs to be proved by action.

  • Love breeds love ...

  • Love alone matters.

  • ... love is repaid by love alone ...

  • It does not matter whether one is at the giving or receiving end of love just as long as one is part of the process in some way. It is only when we become disconnected from the process altogether that we should begin to worry.

  • We revisit those places where we experienced love, as pilgrims return to holy places, to be reminded, restored, and reaffirmed by them.

  • My hand is not at home in yours. / Your hand is lust — / my hand is longing.

    • Edith Södergran,
    • "Discovery" (1916), in Stina Katchadourian, trans., Love and Solitude ()
  • ... it is the greatest mistake, both in life and in literature, to suppose that love is the difficult, the complicated thing. It is not love, it is friendship, which is the great problem of civilized society. The other is quite elemental beside it.

  • Give me the sun, a bird, a flower, / And I shall spin you a song / That will live an hour. / Give me a heart, a joy, a tear, / And I shall weave you a song / That will live a year. / But give me a love death cannot sever, / And I will build you a song / To live forever.

  • He kissed me and now I am somebody else.

  • [The poet is] an undoer of knots, and love without words is a knot that strangles.

  • Love that stammers, that stutters, is apt to be the love that loves best.

  • If love suffers from overuse as a word, it suffers from underuse as a virtue.

  • To cease to love — that is defeat.

  • Then there are those mornings ... when we don't so much seem to be getting out of bed together as we do to be coming out of opposite corners.

  • We would do well to ponder the realization that love is the most potent source of power.

  • All the beads in her rosary of love were the same size.

  • ... love has been in perpetual strife with monogamy ...

  • Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.

    • Ellen Key,
    • title essay, The Morality of Women ()
  • ... not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.

    • Ellen Key,
    • title essay, The Morality of Women ()
  • Love requires peace, love will dream; it cannot live upon the remnants of our time and our personality.

    • Ellen Key,
    • in Marie Stopes, Married Love ()
  • Love is a fruit in season at all times ...

  • I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.

  • Love has a hem to her garment that reaches the very dust. It sweeps the stains from the streets and lanes, and because it can, it must.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Georges Gorrée and Jean Barbier, The Love of Christ ()
  • People are not hungry just for bread, they are hungry for love.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Barbara Shiels, Women and the Nobel Prize ()
  • The worst illness today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but the sense of being unwanted, of not being loved, of being abandoned by all.

  • It is easy to love those who live far away. It is not always easy to love those who live right next to us.

  • Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love ... The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Brian Kolodiejchuk, ed., Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light ()
  • Love is proved by deeds; the more they cost us, the greater the proof of our love.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Brian Kolodiejchuk, ed., Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light ()
  • ... where I wholly love I wholly trust.

    • Louisa May Alcott,
    • "Pauline's Passion and Punishment," in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper ()
  • I never knew how much like heaven this world could be, when two people love and live for one another!

  • Honesty is the best policy, in love as in law ...

  • ... love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.

  • Love is a great beautifier.

  • She's got most of the symptoms — is twittery and cross, doesn't eat, lies awake, and mopes in corners.

  • Love is a flower that grows in any soil, works its sweet miracles undaunted by autumn frost or winter snow, blooming fair and fragrant all the year, and blessing those who give and those who receive.

  • Love is apt to make lunatics of even men and saints.

  • [On her recently widowed father's much younger wife:] My father has been very busy in conjugating the verb to love, and I assure you he declines its moods and tenses inimitably.

    • Abigail May Alcott,
    • in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • Perhaps that is what love is — the momentary or prolonged refusal to think of another person in terms of power.

  • All enduring love between two people, however startling or unconventional, feels unalterable, predestined, compelling, and intrinsically normal to the couple immersed in it.

  • My heart is like a singing bird / ... / Because the birthday of my life / Is come, my love is come to me.

  • Loving someone condemns you to a lifetime of fear. You become painfully conscious of how fragile people are — bundles of brittle bones and vulnerable flesh, breeding grounds for billions of deadly germs and horrible diseases.

  • There is no one who cannot be hated, against whatever odds. Nor anyone who cannot be loved, against all reason.

  • Love is the invention of a few high cultures, independent, in a sense of marriage — although society can make it a requisite for marriage, as we periodically attempt to do ... To make love the requirement of a lifelong marriage is exceedingly difficult, and only a few people can achieve it. I don't believe in setting up universal standards that a large proportion of people can't reach.

  • Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn't burn up any fossil fuel, doesn't pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance.

  • Loving you is just like breathing, as effortless, and as lovely.

    • Margaret Mead,
    • letter to Gregory Bateson (1934), in Margaret M. Caffrey and Patricia A. Francis, eds., To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead ()
  • My darling — I am in one of my happiest kinds of moods about you, the kind of mood which makes me think that I probably dreamt about you, although I can't remember the dream, but I feel as if you had just gone around the corner to get some tobacco for your pipe, and might reappear at any moment and put your hand on my hair as you crossed the room ... It makes my hair particularly gay and curly just to think of it.

    • Margaret Mead,
    • letter to Gregory Bateson (1935), in Margaret M. Caffrey and Patricia A. Francis, eds., To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead ()
  • Where do you put your attention? On fear or love? I wish the choice were made just once and not repeated every moment of the day.

  • ... say / who I am. Set / our two fires climbing.

  • That probably greatest of narcissistic wounds — not to have been loved just as one truly was — cannot heal without the work of mourning.

  • ... love will not always linger longest / With those who hold it in too clenched a fist.

  • Love and a cold cannot be hid. It is, I believe, a Spanish proverb.

  • There's a general consensus of opinion that people in love are apt to look silly — except to each other.

  • ... I was seduced by secrets, which are to true love as artificial sweetener is to sugar, calorie-free but in the long run carcinogenic, not the real thing, and only a peculiar aftertaste in the mouth to tell you so, to warn you.

  • All I wanted was a man / With a single heart, / And we would stay together / As our hair turned white, / Not somebody always after wriggling fish / With his big bamboo rod.

    • Chuo Wên-chün,
    • 2nd cent. BCE, in Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, trans., eds., The Orchid Boat: Women Poets of China ()
  • It's very inconvenient to be loved. Nearly everyone has found that out, sooner or later. The fewer people who love you the less you will have to suffer.

  • How unfair it was, reflected Dame Laura, that women in love looked their best and men in love looked like depressed sheep.

  • I saw a woman sleeping. In her sleep she dreamt Life stood before her, and held in each hand a gift — in the one Love, in the other Freedom. And she said to the woman, 'Choose!' And the woman waited long: and she said, 'Freedom!' And Life said, 'Thou hast well chosen. If thou hadst said, "Love," I would have given thee that thou didst ask for; and I would have gone from thee, and returned to thee no more. Now, the day will come when I shall return. In that day I shall bear both gifts in one hand.' I heard the woman laugh in her sleep.

  • Love, smoke and a cough cannot long be hid!

    • Olive Schreiner,
    • 1878, in S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner, ed., The Letters of Olive Schreiner 1876-1920 ()
  • ... perhaps the old monks were right when they tried to root love out; perhaps the poets are right when they try to water it. It is a blood-red flower, with the color of sin; but there is always the scent of a god about it.

  • ... marriage has been a very rich and beautiful development of my life. Month by month as we live together we seem to come nearer to each other; and to feel a more complete fellowship. I do not feel that it in any way fetters or narrows my world: — it seems rather to enlarge it ...

    • Olive Schreiner,
    • 1895, in Richard Rive, ed., Olive Schreiner Letters, vol. 1 ()
  • Love that has been given to you is too sacred a thing to be talked of to anyone ... except just to the person who is like part of you and who will feel it as you do.

    • Olive Schreiner,
    • 1885, in Richard Rive, ed., Olive Schreiner Letters, vol. 1 ()
  • There are as many kinds of loves as there are flowers: everlastings that never wither; speedwells that wait for the wind to fan them out of life; blood-red mountain-lilies that pour their voluptuous sweetness out for one day, and lie in the dust at night. There is no one flower has the charm of all ...

  • There is a love that begins in the head, and goes down to the heart, and grows slowly; but it lasts till death, and asks less than it gives. There is another love, that blots out wisdom, that is sweet with the sweetness of life and bitter with the bitterness of death, lasting for an hour; but it is worth having lived a whole life for that hour.

  • two by two in the ark of / the ache of it.

  • There were the days of so-called free love ... but it didn't take long to discover that love is not free. Sooner or later it exacts its price.

    • Flora Lewis,
    • in Lester Market, ed., Background and Foreground ()
  • ... love is an act of sedition, a revolt against reason, an uprising in the body politic, a private mutiny.

  • Love, like truth, is the unassailable defense.

  • Love is the great intangible. ... Frantic and serene, vigilant and calm, wrung-out and fortified, explosive and sedate — love commands a vast army of moods. Hoping for victory, limping from the latest skirmish, lovers enter the arena once again. ... Love is the white light of emotion. ... Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one can agree on what it is.

  • ... hope and uncertainty [are] the twin ingredients necessary for romance to thrive. ... Nothing begins with so much excitement and hope, or fails as often, as love.

  • Why do so many people listen to love songs? In imaginative envy, we idealize what we don't have. The act of yearning for something transmutes it from base metal into gold. Anyway, putting a lid on sexuality inspires romance, because people are then driven to fantasize about it. Romantic love does occur in tribes where sex is freely available (particularly if one is forced to marry someone they don't prefer), but not as often and not as an institution. Denial, repression, and inhibition all feed romantic love, because people obsess about satisfying their biological drives, yet cannot avoid the confines of morality. In that climate, pop songs stoke the hottest fantasies and keep the idea of romance alive.

  • As anyone who has received or dispensed psychotherapy knows, it's a profession whose mainspring is love. Nearly everyone who visits a therapist has a love disorder of one sort or another, and each has a story to tell — of love lost or denied, love twisted or betrayed, love perverted or shackled to violence. Broken attachments litter the office floors like pick-up sticks. People appear with frayed seams and spilling pockets.

  • ... romantic love is a biological ballet. It is evolution's way of making sure that sexual partners meet and mate, then give their child the care it needs to be healthy and make loving attachments of its own. This isn't a simple or fast process. The human brain is so complex, the mind so ingenious, that biology and experience work hand in hand. People usually undergo a series of crushes, infatuations, and loves between infancy and adulthood. They learn to make magnetic attachments, whose power they feel in their cells, in their bones. Thinking about the loved one steers their every thought, and they would die rather than break the force field of their devotion. It is as if they were two stars, tightly orbiting each other, each feeding on the other's gravity. Because nothing and no one in time or creation seems to matter more, a broken relationship rips the lining from the heart, crushes the rib cage, shatters the lens of hope, and produces a drama both tragic and predictable. Wailing out loud or silently, clawing at the world and at one's self, the abandoned lover mourns.

  • One of the keystones of romantic love — and also of the ecstatic religion practiced by mystics — is the powerful desire to become one with the beloved.

  • The only and absolute perfect union of two is when a baby hangs suspended in its mother's womb, like a tiny madman in a padded cell, attached to her, feeling her blood and hormones, and moods play through its body, feeling her feelings.

  • While love / Is dangerous / Let us walk / Bareheaded / Beside / The great / River. / Let us gather / Blossoms / Under / Fire.

    • Alice Walker,
    • "While Love Is Unfashionable," The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way ()
  • My love for you is a terrible thing — as I warned you when I first told you I loved you. It is the earth and the sweet seasons, and the smell of hay and honeysuckle and the shadow of trees and the lovely shapes of winter trees or of Chaldon hills — but it is also the fire in the belly of earth. Do not every forget that. We are lost if we forget that.

    • Valentine Ackland,
    • 1931, in Susanna Pinney, ed., I'll Stand by You: Selected Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland ()
  • Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside.

  • How we lie to ourselves when we've fallen in love with the wrong man.

  • It was an old quandary for them. He needed sex in order to feel connected to her, and she needed to feel connected to him in order to enjoy sex.

  • ... Clea was a woman who adored love. Hormones had always been her recreational drug of choice.

  • Love brags so, Lewis, it has such flaunting airs, it talks so much of its own strength and beauty even under the shadow of its own shameful death.

  • There's always been true love, but in my day, you either talked yourself into thinking you had it, or you talked yourself into thinking you didn't need it.

  • I will bring you a whole person / and you will bring me a whole person / and we will have us twice as much / of love and everything ...

    • Mari Evans,
    • "Celebration," A Dark and Splendid Mass ()
  • ... the world has little to bestow / Where two fond hearts in equal love are joined.

  • ... love delights to bless / The generous transports of a fond excess.

  • ... I will never love, for I should never be loved as I desire to be loved.

    • Marie Bashkirtseff,
    • 1874 , in Mary J. Serrano, trans., The Journal of a Young Artist ()
  • If it is your time love will track you like a cruise missile. If you say 'No! I don't want it right now,' that's when you'll get it for sure. Love will make a way out of no way. Love is an exploding cigar which we willingly smoke.

  • Loving somebody is the beginning of everything.

  • Every woman dreams of love. When she is young she prays she will find it. When she is middle aged she hopes for it and when she is old she remembers it.

  • Love is next to Godliness with certain safeguards.

  • All things, my darling, all things seem / In some strange way to speak of thee; / Nothing is half so much a dream, / Nothing so much reality.

    • Alice Cary,
    • "Most Beloved," The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary ()
  • Shut up the door: who loves me must not look / Upon the withered world, but haste to bring / His lighted candle, and his story-book, / And live with me the poetry of spring.

    • Alice Cary,
    • "Autumn," The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary ()
  • I think true love is never blind, / But rather brings an added light; / An inner vision quick to find / The beauties hid from common sight.

    • Phoebe Cary,
    • "True Love," Poems of Faith, Hope, and Love ()
  • ... nothing loved is ever lost or perished.

  • Finding love is a two-part process. The first part is to find the right person. The second part is to be the right person.

  • I'll never go. How can I? How far would I get without my heart?

  • I don't think anything is the opposite of love.

  • ... love always betrays its intentions.

  • Free love is sometimes love but never freedom.

  • Sometimes it seems ... as though only intelligent people are stupid enough to fall in love & only stupid people are intelligent enough to let themselves be loved.

  • Someone loves us all.

  • ... you need somebody to love you while you're looking for someone to love.

  • It takes one hundred times more intelligence to make love well than to command armies.

  • Shall I tell you what makes love so dangerous? 'Tis the too high idea we are apt to form of it.

    • Ninon de Lenclos,
    • c. 1695, in M. Lincoln Schuster, The World's Great Letters ()
  • Love without desire is a delusion: it does not exist in nature.

    • Ninon de Lenclos,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Love never dies of starvation, but often of indigestion.

  • It requires infinitely a greater genius to make love, than to make war.

    • Ninon de Lenclos,
    • in Mrs. Griffith, trans., The Memoirs of Ninon de L'Enclos, vol. 2 ()
  • ... we learn through what we love to love the world — / which might be all that we are here to do.

  • Ah! mon Dieu! how the mind shrinks by loving! it is true that the soul does not, but what can one do with a soul?

    • Julie de Lespinasse,
    • 1773, in Katharine Prescott Wormeley, trans., Letters of Mlle. de Lespinasse ()
  • Oh! you shall see how well I know how to love! I can only love; I know only how to love! With moderate faculties, we can yet do much when we center them on a single object.

    • Julie de Lespinasse,
    • 1773, in Katharine Prescott Wormeley, trans., Letters of Mlle. de Lespinasse ()
  • It is impossible to repent of love. The sin of love does not exist.

  • If I had to give up my life for anything, it would have to have the resilience of hope, the elation of new literacy, the brilliant life of a field of flowers, the elementary kindness of bread. Nothing short of that. It would have to be something as sure as love.

  • 'In love' is for the romantic. 'Love' for the realist.

  • [Being in love] is something like poetry. Certainly, you can analyze it and expound its various senses and intentions, but there is always something left over, mysteriously hovering between music and meaning.

  • Do I have to give up me to be loved by you?

  • Great souls love, weak souls desire.

    • Juliana Krüdener,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.

  • Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of beginning, all fear of an end.

  • Love is the whole history of a woman's life, it is but an episode in a man's.

  • Love is above the laws, above the opinion of men; it is the truth, the flame, the pure element, the primary idea of the moral world.

  • Unhappy love freezes all our affections: our own souls grow inexplicable to us. More than we gained while we were happy we lose by the reverse.

  • What is love, if it can calculate and provide against its own decay?

  • Never, never have I been loved as I love others!

    • Madame de Staël,
    • 1786, in Lydia Maria Child, Memoirs of Madame de Staël and of Madame Roland ()
  • In matters of the heart, nothing is true except the improbable.

    • Madame de Staël,
    • letter (1810), in J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël ()
  • We cease loving ourselves when no one loves us.

    • Madame de Staël,
    • in C. A. Sainte-Beuve, "Madame de Staël" (1835), Portraits of Women ()
  • I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music.

  • Oh Love! that stronger art than wine, / Pleasing delusion, witchery divine, / Wont to be priz'd above all wealth, / Disease that has more joys than health; / Tho' we blaspheme thee in our pain, / And of thy tyranny complain, / We all are better'd by thy reign.

    • Aphra Behn,
    • "Song," in Alexander Dyce, ed., Specimens of British Poetesses ()
  • 'Oh, do you remember, my darling...?' / 'I cannot remember,' said he, / 'But was I a succulent starling / When you were the leaf on a tree? / 'And then I turned into a trumpet / And you were the music I played. / And was I a hot buttered crumpet / When you were some fresh marmalade?' / I know I have sat with you often / But cannot remember the place. / I was once an astrologer's coffin / And you were the smile on his face. / 'We're acquainted but never together. / We encounter but never unite, / For I was a spell of bad weather / When you were a Saturday night.'

    • Margaret Mahy,
    • "The Star-Crossed Lovers," Nonstop Nonsense ()