Quotations about   sorrow

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There’s enough sorrow in the world, isn’t there, without trying to invent it.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
A Room with a View, ch 2 (1908)
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Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all difference of intellect. The wisest knows nothing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (30 Jan 1842)
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Two days after he recorded the death of his son.
Added on 3-Apr-18 | Last updated 7-Jan-19
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Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Riding Shotgun, ch. 17 (1996)
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Added on 26-Feb-18 | Last updated 26-Feb-18
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He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
Eternity mourns that. ‘Tis an ill cure
For life’s worst ills, to have no time to feel them.
Where sorrow’s held intrusive and turned out,
There wisdom will not enter, nor true power,
Nor aught that dignifies humanity.

Henry Taylor (1800-1886) English dramatist, poet, bureaucrat, man of letters
Philip Van Artevelde, Part 1, Act 1, sc. 5 (1834)
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Added on 10-Oct-17 | Last updated 10-Oct-17
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Don’t agonize, organize.

Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (1916-2000) American lawyer, feminist, civil rights activist
(Attributed)
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Quoted in Gloria Steinem, "The Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq.," Ms. (Mar 1973).
Added on 10-Jul-17 | Last updated 10-Jul-17
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It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Diary (2003)
Added on 29-May-17 | Last updated 29-May-17
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Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.

bronte-proud-people-sad-sorrows-wist_info-quote

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) British novelist, poet [pseud. Ellis Bell]
Wuthering Heights, ch. 7 (1847) [Nelly Dean]
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Added on 8-Dec-16 | Last updated 8-Dec-16
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There is not so much comfort in the having of children as there is sorrow in parting with them.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia (1732)
Added on 4-Oct-16 | Last updated 4-Oct-16
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What happens to all the tears we do not shed?

renard-all-the-tears-we-do-not-shed-wist_info-quote

Jules Renard (1864-1910) French writer
Journal (Nov 1906) [tr. Bogan & Roget (1964)]
Added on 3-Oct-16 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
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Lofty mountains are full of springs; great hearts are full of tears.

Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest, 5.56 [tr. Hapgood (1886)]
Added on 30-Sep-16 | Last updated 30-Sep-16
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We choose our joys and our sorrows long before we experience them.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
Sand and Foam (1926)
Added on 26-Sep-16 | Last updated 26-Sep-16
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Cares are often more difficult to throw off than sorrows; the latter die with time, the former grow upon it.

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
(Attributed)
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In Ballou, Treasury of Thought (1884).
Added on 17-Dec-15 | Last updated 17-Dec-15
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BOLINGBROKE: Grief makes one hour ten.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Richard II, Act 1, sc. 3, l. 261 (1595)
Added on 2-Nov-15 | Last updated 2-Nov-15
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LAFEU: Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
All’s Well that Ends Well, Act 1, sc. 1, l. 63 (1602)
Added on 26-Oct-15 | Last updated 20-May-16
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Grief is itself a med’cine.

William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet
“Charity,” l. 159 (1782)
Added on 19-Oct-15 | Last updated 19-Oct-15
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Even at the movies, we laugh together, we weep alone.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays (2001)
Added on 25-Sep-15 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, # 47 (28 Aug 1750)
Added on 18-Jul-14 | Last updated 18-Jul-14
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There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow, but there is something in it so like virtue, that he who is wholly without it cannot be loved.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Letter to Hester Thrale (12 Apr 1781)
Added on 16-May-14 | Last updated 16-May-14
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CLAUDIUS: When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 4, sc. 5, l. 78 (1600)
Added on 15-Apr-14 | Last updated 15-Apr-14
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Patience is the cure for every sorrow.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 170 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
Added on 8-Apr-14 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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Who never ate his bread in sorrow,
Who never spent the darksome hours
Weeping and watching for the morrow,
He knows ye not, ye gloomy Powers.

To earth, this weary earth, ye bring us,
To guilt ye let us heedless go,
Then leave repentance fierce to wring us:
A moment’s guilt, an age of woe!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, 2.13 (1796) [tr. Carlyle (1824)]
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Added on 1-Apr-14 | Last updated 1-Apr-14
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Depend upon it if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of it.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (1780)
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In Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, ch. 51 "1780" (1791)
Added on 21-Mar-14 | Last updated 21-Mar-14
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Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

Malcolm X (1925-1965) American revolutionary, religious leader [b. Malcolm Little]
Malcolm X Speaks, ch. 9 “With Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer” (1965)
Added on 1-Nov-13 | Last updated 1-Dec-16
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It is said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
The Salt-Cellars (1889)
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Added on 27-Aug-13 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) English poet
“In Memoriam A. H. H.” , Part 27, st. 4 (1849)

Arthur Henry Hallam was the fiancé of Tennyson's sister Emily. Hallam died suddenly in September 1833.
Added on 18-Dec-07 | Last updated 24-Nov-15
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Fellowship in woe doth woe assuage.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
“The Rape of Lucrece,” l. 790 (1594)
Added on 12-May-04 | Last updated 26-May-16
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When the Egyptians were drowning in the Red Sea, the angels in heaven began to break forth in songs of jubilation, but the Holy One, blessed be He, silenced them: “My creatures are perishing — and ye are ready to sing!”

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
(Unreferenced)

In Louis I. Newman, comp. The Talmudic Anthology, 103 (1945): "When the Egyptians were drowning, the angels wished to sing. But God said, 'My children are dying, and you would sing?'"
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Sep-15
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Keep me from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
Mirrors of the Soul (1965)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Oct-16
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If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
Drift-Wood, “Table Talk”
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More discussion of this quotation here.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-19
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From silly devotions and sad-faced saints, O Lord, deliver me.

Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) Spanish mystic, poet, philosopher, saint
(Attributed)

Variant: "God, deliver me from sullen saints."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Oct-15
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Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

[Nam et secundas res splendidiores facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque leviores.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Amicitia, para. 22
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Dec-13
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And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
‘Tis that I may not weep.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Don Juan, Canto 4, st. 4 (1820)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Jun-16
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