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Quotations D













Leonardo da Vinci


Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.


Salvador Dali


Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.


Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.

Paula Danzinger

Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.


Mahmoud Darwish


Poetry and beauty are always making peace. When you read something beautiful you find coexistence; it breaks walls down.


Richard Harding Davis


The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.


Jeffrey Deaver


I've often said that there's no such thing as writer's block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I'm working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it's usually because I'm trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place.


Honoré de Balzac


All happiness depends on courage and work.


Eugene de Bono


A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.


Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.


Jean de La Bruyère


Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.


François de la Rochefoucauld


The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body; after all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind.


We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised     to ourselves.

Mos Def


Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can’t articulate.


Edgar Degas


Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.


Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do. 


Samuel Delany


Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind—vividly, forcefully—that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t.

If you're going to write anything, try to take it seriously. It's no more complicated than that, or no more simple than that.


Sonia Delaunay


I love creation more than life, and I must express myself before disappearing.


Colour is the skin of the world.

Vine Deloria, Jr.

Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.


Charles Dickens


No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.


James Dickey


Find something only you can say. 

A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.

I want a fever, in poetry: a fever, and tranquillity.


Emily Dickinson


If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.


A wounded deer leaps the highest.


Joan Didion


I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.    


Writers are always selling somebody out.


Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.


We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.


You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.


Short stories demand a certain awareness of one’s own intentions, a certain narrowing of the focus.


Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.


Time is the school in which we learn.

Had my credentials been in order I never would have become a writer. Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.


Annie Dillard


Writers serve as the memory of a people. They chew over our public past.


At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you.

Jenny Dishki

​When you read you make it clear that you have withdrawn your attention from those around you. Perhaps your interest and concern. Who can tell? You are not available. The ability to be physically present but not actually there is a disturbing reminder that people who are supposed to love and care for you live inside their own heads and that their thoughts are their own. It can be a worry


William Dobell


A sincere artist tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.


E.L. Doctorow


Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.


Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.


Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.


Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Nothing is easier than denouncing the evildoer. Nothing more difficult than understanding him.


The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.


Mark Doty


There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem.


One ambition of poetry, certainly, is to create a reverberant silence in its wake, one that means more or differently than the silence that preceded the poem.


It's freeing, to think that there's always an aspect of us outside the grasp of speech, the common stuff of language.


Here and gone. That’s what it is to be human, I think—to be both someone and no one at once, to hold a particular identity in the world (our names, our place of origins, our family and affectional ties) and to feel that solid set of ties also capable of dissolution,    slipping away, as we become moments of attention.


Into the paradise of euphony, the good poet must introduce hell. Broken paradises are the only kind worth reading.


Rita Dove


There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.


Sometimes a word is found so right it trembles at the slightest explanation.


A good poem is like a bouillon cube. It's concentrated and it nourishes you when you need it.


Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.


If only the sun-drenched celebrities are being noticed and worshiped, then our children are going to have a tough time seeing the value in the shadows, where the thinkers, probers and scientists are keeping society together.


Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great. It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.


 If we’re going to solve the problems of the world, we have to learn how to talk to one another. Poetry is the language at its essence. It’s the bones and the skeleton of the language. It teaches you, if nothing else, how to choose your words.


I've always been intrigued by the way history works, the way we decide what is mentioned.


We should always do something that makes us feel like a child again. Keep learning, no matter what it is.


The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world.


If our children are unable to voice what they mean, no one will know how they feel. If they can’t imagine a different world, they are stumbling through a darkness made all the more sinister by its lack of reference points. For a young person growing up in America’s alienated neighborhoods, there can be no greater empowerment than to dare to speak from the heart—and then to discover that one is not alone in one’s feelings.


Everybody who's anybody longs to be a tree.


You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can't imagine something that has never existed before, it's impossible.


I never think of my audience when I write a poem. I try to write out of whatever is haunting me; in order for a poem to feel authentic, I have to feel I'm treading on very dangerous ground, which can mean that the resulting revelations may prove              hurtful to other people. The time for thinking about that kind of guilt or any collective sense of responsibility, however, occurs much later in the creative process, after the poem is finished.


Nothing is too small. Nothing is too, quote-unquote, ordinary or insignificant. Those are the things that make up the measure of our days, and they're the things that sustain us. And they're the things that certainly can become worthy of poetry.


Without imagination we can go nowhere. And imagination is not restricted to the arts. Every scientist I have met who has been a success has had to imagine.


Under adversity, under oppression, the words begin to fail, the easy words begin to fail. In order to convey things accurately, the human being is almost forced to find the most precise words possible, which is a precondition for literature.

Marcel Duchamp

I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.

What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It's not what you see that is art; art is the gap.​


Rikki Ducornet


What are books but tangible dreams? What is reading if it is not dreaming? The best books cause us to dream; the rest are not worth reading.


Carol Ann Duffy


I look to use simple words, but in a complicated way.

You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart.

Daphne du Maurier

Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.

Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.

I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.

Camille Dungy

But for women artists unless they're insanely wealthy and have a particular set of decisions which often mean not partnering

and not having children--[we] tend to have to balance the space--making with all of that doing. There is significantly less room

for this fantasy of untethered thinking


Helen Dunmore


A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk.

Marguerite Duras

Men like women who write. Even though they don't say so. A writer is a foreign country.

I see journalists as the manual workers, the laborers of the word. Journalism can only be literature when it is passionate.

You have to be very fond of men. Very, very fond. You have to be very fond of them to love them. Otherwise they're simply unbearable.

Andrea Dworkin

Genocide begins, however improbably, in the conviction that classes of biological distinction indisputably sanction social and political discrimination.

People want me to shut up, but I won't. I believe social change is possible; that's why I'm an activist.

Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-Feminism is a direct expression of misogyny: it is the political defense of women hating.


Wayne W. Dyer


Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.

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