Wistful Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 41 quotes )
Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things--even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos--ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.
Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter or gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture? the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theater to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes...
I am really very grateful for this Award. It is one of the first given to a woman, and to two women at that. When I first started getting work published, I used to have wistful thoughts at the way all important awards were given to men. Women, I used to think, could be as innovative, imaginative and productive as possible - and women were the ones mostly at work in the field of fantasy for children and young adults - but only let a man enter the field, and people instantly regarded what he had to say and what he did as more Important. He got respectful reviews as well as awards, even if what he was doing - which it often was - was imitating the women. But you have changed all that. Thank you for being so enlightened. Women, large-minded, formidable women, have played an almost exclusive part in helping my career. I have hardly ever dealt with a man - at least, when it came to publishing:
It was the tenderness mingled with melancholy which we bring to a time that belongs irrevocably to the past, when a pale, delicate shadow rises from it bearing the lilies of the dead, and in it we find a forgotten likeness to ourselves. And that faint, wistful shadow, that pale scent, seemed to vanish away into a wide, full, warm stream? the life that now lay open before him.
He's like a drug for you, Bella." His voice was still gentle, not at all critical. "I see that you can't live without him now. It's too late. but I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun."The corner of my mouth turned up in a wistful half-smile. "I used to think of you that way, you know. Like the sun. My personal sun. You balanced out the clouds nicely for me." He sighed. "The clouds I can handle. But I can't fight with an eclipse.
Desford said abruptly: "How old are you, my child? Sixteen? Seventeen?""Oh, no, I am much older than that!" she replied. "I'm as old as Lucasta - all but a few weeks!""Then why are you not downstairs dancing with the rest of them?" he demanded. "You must surely be out!""No, I'm not," she said. "I don't suppose I ever shall be, either. Unless my papa turns out not to be dead, and comes home to take care of me himself. But I don't think that at all likely, and even if he did come home it wouldn't be of the least use, because he seems never to have sixpence to scratch with. I am afraid he is not a very respectable person. My aunt says he was obliged to go abroad on account of being monstrously in debt." She sighed, and said wistfully: "I know that one ought not to criticize one's father, but I can't help feeling that it was just a little thoughtless of him to abandon me.
When your life is all taking, what need to learn courtship? Carcharos’s passion for Jassi Belnarak deepened and darkened with every sleepless night, but it did not keep him from understanding that neither beneficence nor meek wistfulness would win her honestly. Power would have to do, after all; and I think that for the only time in that bad life, Carcharos may truly have regretted the necessity of forcing his will on another person. The moment can't have lasted long, but I think further that it may have been the closest Carcharos ever came to knowing love.
Lying asleep between the strokes of night. I saw my love lean over my sad bed, Pale as the duskiest lily's leaf or head, Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite, Too wan for blushing and too warm for white, But perfect-coloured without white or red. And her lips opened amorously, and said--I wist not what, saving one word--Delight. And all her face was honey to my mouth, And all her body pasture to my eyes; The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire, The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south, The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs. And glittering eyelids of my soul's desire.
When, on a moonlit night, you see a wide village street with its peasant houses, haystacks, sleeping willows, tranquility enters the soul; in this calm, wrapped in the shade of night, free from struggle, anxiety and passion, everything is gentle, wistful, beautiful, and it seems that the stars are watching over it tenderly and with love, and that this is taking place somewhere unearthly, and that all is well.
As for the young man carrying the groceries, he was a thin, fair-skinned young man, and I would have said that he had been born in the house. He had the vacant, dog-like expressions that house-born slaves, as I remembered, liked to put on when they were in public with their masters and performing some simple task. This fellow was pretending that the Waitrose groceries were a great burden, but this was just an act, to draw attention to himself and the lady he served. He, too, had mistaken me for an Arab, and when we crossed he had dropped the burdened-down expression and given me a look of wistful inquisitiveness, like a puppy that wanted to play but had just been made to understand that it wasn't playtime.
One watches them on the seashore, all the people, and there is something pathetic, almost wistful in them, as if they wished their lives did not add up to this scaly nullity of possession, but as if they could not escape. It is a dragon that has devoured us all: these obscene, scaly houses, this insatiable struggle and desire to possess, to possess always and in spite of everything, this need to be an owner, lest one be owned. It is too hideous and nauseating. Owners and owned, they are like the two sides of a ghastly disease. One feels a sort of madness come over one, as if the world had become hell. But it is only superimposed: it is only a temporary disease. It can be cleaned away.
For animals that are overworked, underfed, and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death...and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.
If I'm still wistful about On the Road, I look on the rest of the Kerouac oeuvre--the poems, the poems!--in horror. Read Satori in Paris lately? But if I had never read Jack Kerouac's horrendous poems, I never would have had the guts to write horrendous poems myself. I never would have signed up for Mrs. Safford's poetry class the spring of junior year, which led me to poetry readings, which introduced me to bad red wine, and after that it's all just one big blurry condemned path to journalism and San Francisco.
Yesterday's rain had left a bitter, springlike smell in the air; the vehemence that beat against her in the street and hummed above her had something a little wistful in it tonight, like a plaintive hand-organ tune. All the lovely things in the shop windows, the furs and jewels, roses and orchids, seemed to belong to her as she passed them. Not to have wrapped up and sent home, certainly; where would she put them? But they were hers to live among.
And there came to him a feeling which he had often had before in many different places--that he himself was a part of all this, the great, blind, wistful soul of mankind, which had been here before he was born and would be here when he was dead--still groping, yearning, struggling upward, on and on--to something distant as the sun. And still would he be part of it all, through the eager lives of his children.
Clouds overlaid the sky as with a shroud of mist, and everything looked sad, rainy, and threatening under a fine drizzle which was beating against the window-panes, and streaking their dull, dark surfaces with runlets of cold, dirty moisture. Only a scanty modicum of daylight entered to war with the trembling rays of the ikon lamp. The dying man threw me a wistful look, and nodded. The next moment he had passed away.
Though men in the mass forget the origins of their need, they still bring wolfhounds into city apartments, where dog and man both sit brooding in wistful discomfort. The magic that gleams an instant between Argos and Odysseus is both the recognition of diversity and the need for affection across the illusions of form. It is nature's cry to homeless, far-wandering, insatiable man: "Do not forget your brethren, nor the green wood from which you sprang. To do so is to invite disaster.
And with light lips yet full of their swift smile, And hands that wist not though they dug a grave, Undid the hasps of gold, and drank, and gave, And he drank after, a deep glad kingly draught: And all their life changed in them, for they quaffed. Death; if it be death so to drink, and fare. As men who change and are what these twain were. And shuddering with eyes full of fear and fire. And heart-stung with a serpentine desire. He turned and saw the terror in her eyes. That yearned upon him shining in such wise. As a star midway in the midnight fixed. Their Galahault was the cup, and she that mixed; Nor other hand there needed, nor sweet speech. To lure their lips together; each on each. Hung with strange eyes and hovered as a bird. Wounded, and each mouth trembled for a world; Their heads neared, and their hands were drawn in one, And they saw dark, though still the unsunken sun. Far through fine rain shot fire into the south; And their four lips became one burning mouth.
All the golden societies of the past to which historians point and turn their wistful smiles have had what patience-players would call a discard pile. They operated on two levels with a slave class who worked, ate, slept, and died and a leisured class who reclined on one elbow and spoke. Naturally it is from this latter group that we learn what life at that time was like. It often makes charming reading but we can hardly take it to be the whole truth.
For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a 'fianc,' why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
The pageant of the river bank had marched steadily along, unfolding itself in scene-pictures that succeeded itself in stately procession. Purple loosestrife arrived early, shaking luxuriant locks along the edge of the mirror whence its own face laughed back at it. Willow-herb, tender and wistful, like a pink sunset-cloud was not slow to follow. Comfrey, the purple hand-in-hand with the white, crept forth to take its place in the line; and at last one morning the diffident and delaying dog-rose stepped delicately on the stage, and one knew, as if string music has announced it in stately chords that strayed into a gavotte, that June at last was here. One member of the company was still awaited; the shepherd-boy for the nymphs to woo, the knight for whom the ladies waited at the window, the prince that was to kiss the sleeping summer back to life and love. But when meadow-sweet, debonair and odorous in amber jerkin, moved graciously to his place in the group, then the play was ready to begin.