Authors on Home

Six Bits of Wisdom

  • “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” -Robert Frost-
  • “You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you can never go back.” -James Baldwin-
  • “How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.” -William Faulkner-
“Sunday Morning Driving Home”
  • “Home is the nicest word there is.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “A home without a cat–and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat–may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?” -Mark Twain-
  • “Home may well be where the heart is but it’s no place to spend Wednesday afternoon.” -Walker Percy-

-K-

Authors on Taking a Chance

Five Cents of Wisdom

  • “Don’t let them slow you down. Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.” -Thomas Wolfe-
  • “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain-
  • “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” -T.S. Eliot-
“Chess Set”
  • “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” -Neil Gaiman-
  • “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson-

-K-

Authors on Loneliness

Seven Points to Ponder

  • “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald-
  • “The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.” -Charlotte Bronte-
  • “But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone.” -bell hooks-
“Morning Commuter”
  • “Be good and you will be lonesome.” -Mark Twain-
  • “I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky-
  • “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.” -Aldous Huxley-
  • “Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship-but the loneliness of the soul in its appaling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.” -Sylvia Plath-

-K-

Authors on Prohbiton(s)

Six Bits of Wisdom Concerning Prohibitions

  • “Three times I have been mistaken for a prohibition agent, but never had any trouble clearing myself.” -Dashiell Hammett-
  • “There’s an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. It’s reflected in prohibitions and these taboos that we have.” -George Carlin-
  • “Complete prohibition of all chemical mind changers can be decreed, but not enforced, and tends to create more evils than it cures.” -Aldous Huxley-
“Bobby’s Tap and JPD”
  • “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is prohibition that makes things precious.” -Mark Twain-
  • “Prohibition is the trigger of crime.” -Ian Fleming-
  • “I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them. The remedy of the majority is not prohibition but avoidance.” -H.L. Mencken-

-K-

Authors on Graveyards

Six Bearers of Wisdom

• “Every heart has its graveyard.” -Zora Neal Hurston-

• “As we go on with our lives we tend to forget that the jails and the hospitals and the madhouses and the graveyards are packed.” -Charles Bukowski-

• “Many a fervid man writes books as cold and flat as graveyard stones.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning-

“Graveyard on a Foggy Day”

• “Man is the only religious animal. In the Holy task of smoothing his brother’s path to the happiness of heaven, he has turned the globe into a graveyard.” -Mark Twain-

• “Politics can be the graveyard of the poet. And only poetry can be his resurrection.” -Langston Hughes-

• “Cemetery, n. An isolated suburban spot where mourners match lies, poets write at a target, and stonecutters spell for a wager.” -Ambrose Bierce-

-K-

Authors on Coffee and Cigarettes

A Nickel Worth of Wisdom

• “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” -Mark Twain-

• “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.” -T.S. Eliot-

• “A cigarette is the perfect type of perfect pleasure. It is exquisite and it leaves one satisfied. What more can one want?” -Oscar Wilde-

Break in the Cold (P7000-editj17.132)
“Break in the Snow”

• “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?” -Albert Camus-

• “That’s what I do: I make coffee and occasionally succumb to suicidal nihilism. But you shouldn’t worry-poetry is still first. Cigarettes and coffee follow.” -Anne Sexton-

-K-

Brand Preference

Why Some People Don’t Mind Being a Billboard 

In a world of posts, pics, updates, likes, and follows image can become more important than preference. The ‘gram, the ‘book, and the twit’ may not have created posturing but they sure as hell have turned it into a martial art of sorts. There are many individuals out there that feel having classy things will make them classy people. Mark Twain addresses posturing, price, and pretentiousness in “Concerning Tobacco.”

Drinking, Smoking, and Screwing
Drinking, Smoking, and Screwing

Twain begins his essay by establishing a couple common superstitions. These superstitions concern an individual’s preferences and standards concerning tobacco. Twain states that many of his friends will only smoke expensive cigars and take great pride in showing off the labels of their cigars whenever they smoke. These friends also berate Twain for his choice of cheap cigars and state they could not bear to smoke such sub-standard tobacco. In an act of subterfuge Twain places the labels of his cheap cigars on some expensive cigars he secretly took from a friend. His friends, self-proclaimed experts with high standards, could not tell the difference and thought they were smoking cheap cigars. Twain ends the essay by returning to the superstitions he establishes at the beginning. He states that the only real standard concerning tobacco is an individual’s preference, but it may be a preference to brand and not necessarily flavor.

Twain wrote “Concerning Tobacco” in 1917. If the ‘gram, the ‘book’ and the twit’ were around a hundred years ago I would wager his friends would have posts, pics, updates, and likes about their expensive cigars. They would be posturing and bragging about the price of their stogie selections.  Mark Twain wouldn’t be so pretentious. He wouldn’t use a brand to make himself look better, to end up being a billboard for that brand. Take Twain’s advice and embrace your preferences, even if they are on the less expensive side.  Better to be you than a billboard.

-K-

“Concerning Tobacco” by Mark Twain from Drinking, Smoking, and Screwing (1994) edited by Sara Nickles.

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑