Quotations about   absence

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Absence is one of the most useful ingredients of family life, and to do it rightly is an art like any other.

Freya Stark (1893-1993) Franco-British explorer, travel writer [Freya Madeline Stark]
The Freya Stark Story (1953)
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Added on 17-Oct-17 | Last updated 17-Oct-17
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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.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) American poet
Letter to Whitter “Hal” Bynner and Arthur Davidson Ficke (1920)
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Added on 10-Oct-17 | Last updated 10-Oct-17
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Fond as we are of our loved ones, there comes at times during their absence an unexplained peace.

Other Authors and Sources
Anne Shaw, But Such Is Life (1931)
Added on 3-Oct-17 | Last updated 3-Oct-17
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The absent are like children; they are helpless to defend themselves.

Charles Reade (1814-1884) English novelist and dramatist
Foul Play, ch. 44 (1869)
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Added on 12-Sep-17 | Last updated 12-Sep-17
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The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity.

Ouida (1839-1908) English novelist [pseud. of Maria Louise Ramé]
Friendship, ch. 11 (1878)
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Added on 5-Sep-17 | Last updated 5-Sep-17
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Absence and a friendly neighbor washes away love.

Other Authors and Sources
English proverb
Added on 29-Aug-17 | Last updated 29-Aug-17
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The cots, the palaces and valleys here,
Are nought to me, their charm, alas! is fled;
Floods, rocks, and forests, solitudes so dear
One soul is wanting, and all else seems dead

[Que me font ces vallons, ces palais, ces chaumières,
Vains objets dont pour moi le charme est envolé?
Fleuves, rochers, forêts solitudes si chères,
Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé!]

Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) French poet and statesman
“Solitude [L’isolement],”Poetic Meditations [Méditations Poétiques] (1820) [tr. J. Churchill]
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Alt. trans. ["Isolation"]:
"What for me do these valleys, these palaces, these cottages,
Vain objects of which for me the charm has fled?
Streams, rocks, forests, solitudes so dear,
One single being from you is missing, and everything is depopulated."

Alt. trans.:
"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated."
Added on 22-Aug-17 | Last updated 22-Aug-17
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Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Idler #23 (23 Sep 1758)
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Added on 8-Aug-17 | Last updated 8-Aug-17
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Absence from whom we love is worse than death,
And frustrate hope severer than despair.

William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet
“Hope, like the short-lived ray that gleams awhile”
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Added on 1-Aug-17 | Last updated 5-Sep-17
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Absence, that common cure of love.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist
Don Quixote, Part 1, Book 3, ch. 10 (1605) [tr. Motteux (1701)]
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Added on 18-Jul-17 | Last updated 18-Jul-17
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The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
The Death of the Heart (1938)
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Added on 20-Jun-17 | Last updated 20-Jun-17
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For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War (2005)
Added on 23-Aug-16 | Last updated 23-Aug-16
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Little boys may be an intolerable nuisance; but when they are not there we regret them, we find ourselves homesick for their very intolerableness.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
Beyond the Mexique Bay (1934)
Added on 13-Jan-16 | Last updated 13-Jan-16
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Absence is to love what wind is to fire;
It extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.

[L’absence est a l’amour ce qu’est au feu le vent;
Il eteint le petit, il allume le grand.]

Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy (1618-1693) French soldier, libertine, writer [a.k.a. Roger Bussy-Rabutin]
Histoire amoureuse des Gaules, “Maximes d’amour [Maxims of Love]” (1660)

See La Rochefoucauld.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Aug-17
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Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and fans flames.

[L’absence diminue les médiocres passions, et augmente les grandes, comme le vent éteint les bougies et allume le feu.]

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], #276 (1665-1678)

Alt. trans.: "Absence lessens the minor passions and increases the great ones, as the wind douses a candle and kindles a fire."

(See DeBussy)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Aug-17
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