Willa Cather

#45832 Willa Cather

We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it — for a little while. .

Willa Cather Quotes about love
#45833 Willa Cather

No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person. Two people, when they love each other, grow alike in their tastes and habits and pride, but their moral natures (whatever we may mean by that canting expression) are never welded. The base one goes on being base, and the noble one noble, to the end. .

Willa Cather Quotes about love
#45834 Willa Cather

It does not matter much whom we live with in this world, but it matters a great deal whom we dream of. .

Willa Cather Quotes about world
#45835 Willa Cather

The world there was the flat world of the ancients; to the east, a cornfield that stretched to daybreak; to the west, a corral that reached to the sunset; between, the conquests of peace, dearer-bought than those of war. .

Willa Cather Quotes about war
#45836 Willa Cather

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young. .

Willa Cather Quotes about living
#45837 Willa Cather

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world. .

Willa Cather Quotes about world
#45838 Willa Cather

Beautiful women, whose beauty meant more than it said... was their brilliancy always fed by something coarse and concealed? Was that their secret? .

Willa Cather Quotes about women
#45839 Willa Cather

He had seen the end of an era, the sunset of the pioneer. He had come upon it when already its glory was nearly spent. So in the buffalo times a traveller used to come upon the embers of a hunter's fire on the prairies, after the hunter was up and gone; the coals would be trampled out, but the ground was warm, and the flattened grass where he had slept and where his pony had grazed, told the story. This was the very end of the road-making West; the men who had put plains and mountains under the iron harness were old; some were poor, and even the successful ones were hunting for rest and a brief reprieve from death. It was already gone, that age; nothing could ever bring it back. The taste and smell and song of it, the visions those men had seen in the air and followed, — these he had caught in a kind of afterglow in their own faces, — and this would always be his. .

Willa Cather Quotes about death
#45840 Willa Cather

Directly under his feet was the French stronghold, — scattered spires and slated roofs flashing in the rich, autumnal sunlight; the little capital which was just then the subject of so much discussion in Europe, and the goal of so many fantastic dreams. .

Willa Cather Quotes about dreams
#45841 Willa Cather

Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family — but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything. .

Willa Cather Quotes about friendship
#45842 Willa Cather

Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves. .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45843 Willa Cather

The great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its sombre wastes. It was from facing this vast hardness that the boy's mouth had become so bitter; because he felt that men were too weak to make any mark here, that the land wanted to be let alone, to preserve its own fierce strength, its peculiar, savage kind of beauty, its uninterrupted mournfulness. .

Willa Cather Quotes about beauty
#45844 Willa Cather

Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening. .

Willa Cather Quotes about art
#45845 Willa Cather

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman. .

Willa Cather Quotes about art
#45846 Willa Cather

Alexandra drew her shawl closer about her and stood leaning against the frame of the mill, looking at the stars which glittered so keenly through the frosty autumn air. She always loved to watch them, to think of their vastness and distance, and of their ordered march. It fortified her to reflect upon the great operations of nature, and when she thought of the law that lay behind them, she felt a sense of personal security. .

Willa Cather Quotes about love
#45847 Willa Cather

She had never known before how much the country meant to her. The chirping of the insects in the long grass had been like the sweetest music. She had felt as if her heart were hiding down there, somewhere, with the quail and the plover and all the little wild things that crooned or buzzed in the sun. Under the long shaggy ridges, she felt the future stirring. .

Willa Cather Quotes about love
#45848 Willa Cather

Freedom so often means that one isn't needed anywhere. Here you are an individual, you have a background of your own, you would be missed. But off there in the cities there are thousands of rolling stones like me. We are all alike; we have no ties, we know nobody, we own nothing. When one of us dies, they scarcely know where to bury him... We have no house, no place, no people of our own. We live in the streets, in the parks, in the theatres. We sit in restaurants and concert halls and look about at the hundreds of our own kind and shudder. .

Willa Cather Quotes about people
#45849 Willa Cather

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years. .

Willa Cather Quotes about man
#45850 Willa Cather

Perhaps I am like Carrie Jensen, the sister of one of my hired men. She had never been out of the cornfields, and a few years ago she got despondent and said life was just the same thing over and over, and she didn't see the use of it. After she had tried to kill herself once or twice, her folks got worried and sent her over to Iowa to visit some relations. Ever since she's come back she's been perfectly cheerful, and she says she's contented to live and work in a world that's so big and interesting. She said that anything as big as the bridges over the Platte and the Missouri reconciled her. And it's what goes on in the world that reconciles me. .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45852 Willa Cather

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. .

Willa Cather Quotes about live
#45853 Willa Cather

There was about Alexandra something of the impervious calm of the fatalist, always disconcerting to very young people, who cannot feel that the heart lives at all unless it is still at the mercy of storms; unless its strings can scream to the touch of pain. .

Willa Cather Quotes about art
#45854 Willa Cather

The years seemed to stretch before her like the land: spring, summer, autumn, winter, spring; always the same patient fields, the patient little trees, the patient lives; always the same yearning; the same pulling at the chain — until the instinct to live had torn itself and bled and weakened for the last time, until the chain secured a dead woman, who might cautiously be released. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45856 Willa Cather

I tell you there is no such thing as creative hate! .

Willa Cather Quotes about hate
#45857 Willa Cather

Nothing is far and nothing is near, if one desires. The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire. .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45858 Willa Cather

Every artist makes himself born. It is very much harder than the other time, and longer. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45859 Willa Cather

All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer. The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity. It is a sport, like the silver fox. It happens. .

Willa Cather Quotes about intelligence
#45860 Willa Cather

The great pines stand at a considerable distance from each other. Each tree grows alone, murmurs alone, thinks alone. They do not intrude upon each other. The Navajos are not much in the habit of giving or of asking help. Their language is not a communicative one, and they never attempt an interchange of personality in speech. Over their forests there is the same inexorable reserve. Each tree has its exalted power to bear. .

Willa Cather Quotes about change
#45861 Willa Cather

What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself — life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose? .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45862 Willa Cather

When we look back, the only things we cherish are those which in some way met our original want; the desire which formed in us in early youth, undirected, and of its own accord. .

Willa Cather Quotes about desire
#45863 Willa Cather

I keep my mind on it. That's the whole trick, in so far as stage experience goes; keeping right there every second. If I think of anything else for a flash, I'm gone, done for. But at the same time, one can take things in — with another part of your brain, maybe. It's different from what you get in study, more practical and conclusive. There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. You learn the delivery of a part only before an audience. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45864 Willa Cather

If you love the good thing vitally, enough to give up for it all that one must give up, then you must hate the cheap thing just as hard. I tell you, there is such a thing as creative hate! A contempt that drives you through fire, makes you risk everything and lose everything, makes you a long sight better than you ever knew you could be. .

Willa Cather Quotes about love
#45865 Willa Cather

Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is. .

Willa Cather Quotes about truth
#45866 Willa Cather

In that singular light every little tree and shock of wheat, every sunflower stalk and clump of snow-on-the-mountain, drew itself up high and pointed; the very clods and furrows in the fields seemed to stand up sharply. .

Willa Cather Quotes about light
#45867 Willa Cather

There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields. If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made. .

Willa Cather Quotes about light
#45868 Willa Cather

I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep. .

Willa Cather Quotes about happiness
#45869 Willa Cather

I ain't got time to learn. I can work like mans now. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45870 Willa Cather

Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen. On the farm the weather was the great fact, and men's affairs went on underneath it, as the streams creep under the ice. But in Black Hawk the scene of human life was spread out shrunken and pinched, frozen down to the bare stalk. .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45872 Willa Cather

There were no clouds, the sun was going down in a limpid, gold-washed sky. Just as the lower edge of the red disk rested on the high fields against the horizon, a great black figure suddenly appeared on the face of the sun. We sprang to our feet, straining our eyes toward it. In a moment we realized what it was. On some upland farm, a plough had been left standing in the field. The sun was sinking just behind it. Magnified across the distance by the horizontal light, it stood out against the sun, was exactly contained within the circle of the disk; the handles, the tongue, the share — black against the molten red. There it was, heroic in size, a picture writing on the sun. .

Willa Cather Quotes about writing
#45873 Willa Cather

"Jim," she said earnestly, "if I was put down there in the middle of the night, I could find my way all over that little town; and along the river to the next town, where my grandmother lived. My feet remember all the little paths through the woods, and where the big roots stick out to trip you. I ain't never forgot my own country." .

Willa Cather Quotes about live
#45874 Willa Cather

Cleric said he thought Virgil, when he was dying at Brindisi, must have remembered that passage. After he had faced the bitter fact that he was to leave the 'Aeneid' unfinished, and had decreed that the great canvas, crowded with figures of gods and men, should be burned rather than survive him unperfected, then his mind must have gone back to the perfect utterance of the 'Georgics,' where the pen was fitted to the matter as the plough is to the furrow; and he must have said to himself, with the thankfulness of a good man, 'I was the first to bring the Muse into my country.' .

Willa Cather Quotes about god
#45875 Willa Cather

Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45876 Willa Cather

She remembered home as a place where there were always too many children, a cross man and work piling up around a sick woman. .

Willa Cather Quotes about children
#45877 Willa Cather

The windy springs and the blazing summers, one after another, had enriched and mellowed that flat tableland; all the human effort that had gone into it was coming back in long, sweeping lines of fertility. The changes seemed beautiful and harmonious to me; it was like watching the growth of a great man or of a great idea. I recognized every tree and sandbank and rugged draw. I found that I remembered the conformation of the land as one remembers the modelling of human faces. .

Willa Cather Quotes about change
#45878 Willa Cather

I think of you more often than of anyone else in this part of the world. I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister — anything that a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me. .

Willa Cather Quotes about time
#45879 Willa Cather

Ain't it wonderful, Jim, how much people can mean to each other? .

Willa Cather Quotes about people
#45880 Willa Cather

As we walked homeward across the fields, the sun dropped and lay like a great golden globe in the low west. While it hung there, the moon rose in the east, as big as a cart-wheel, pale silver and streaked with rose colour, thin as a bubble or a ghost-moon. For five, perhaps ten minutes, the two luminaries confronted each other across the level land, resting on opposite edges of the world. In that singular light every little tree and shock of wheat, every sunflower stalk and clump of snow-on-the-mountain, drew itself up high and pointed; the very clods and furrows in the fields seemed to stand up sharply. I felt the old pull of the earth, the solemn magic that comes out of those fields at nightfall. I wished I could be a little boy again, and that my way could end there. .

Willa Cather Quotes about war
#45881 Willa Cather

In the course of twenty crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again. .

Willa Cather Quotes about art
#45882 Willa Cather

As I confronted her, the changes grew less apparent to me, her identity stronger. She was there, in the full vigour of her personality, battered but not diminished, looking at me, speaking to me in the husky, breathy voice I remembered so well. .

Willa Cather Quotes about change
#45883 Willa Cather

It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races. .

Willa Cather Quotes about life
#45884 Willa Cather

Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past. .

Willa Cather Quotes about past

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