An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





I will indulge my sorrows, and give way to all the pangs and fury of despair.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


Despair, in short, seeks its own environment as surely as water finds its own level.


A. Alvarez (1929-, British critic, poet, novelist)


Then my verse I dishonor, my pictures despise, my person degrade and my temper chastise; and the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; and my talents I bury, and dead is my fame.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.


Antonin Artaud (1896-1948, French theater producer, actor, theorist)


So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.


Antonin Artaud (1896-1948, French theater producer, actor, theorist)


Action is the antidote to despair.


Joan Baez (1941-, American singer, songwriter)


To those who despair of everything, reason cannot provide a faith but only passion, and in this case it must be the same passion that lay at the root of the despair, namely humiliation and hatred.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


The depth of our despair measures what capability and height of claim we have to hope.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Let judges secretly despair of justice: their verdicts will be more acute. Let generals secretly despair of triumph; killing will be defamed. Let priests secretly despair of faith: their compassion will be true.


Leonard Cohen (1934-, Canadian-born American musician, songwriter, singer)


But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o clock in the morning, day after day.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Despair gives courage to a coward.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Indian political, spiritual leader)


Melancholy has ceased to be an individual phenomenon, an exception. It has become the class privilege of the wage earner, a mass state of mind that finds its cause wherever life is governed by production quotas.


Gunther Grass (1927-, German author)


Every message of despair is the statement of a situation from which everybody must freely try to find a way out.


Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994, Romanian-born French playwright)


Despair is criminal.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, the emptiness of ages in his face, and on his back the burden of the world.


Edwin Markham (1852-1940, American poet and editor)


Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial proletariat does not belong to the category of such classes.


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924, Russian revolutionary leader)


Depression is the inability to construct a future.


Rollo May (1931-, American psychologist)


All my life I believed I knew something. But then one strange day came when I realized that I knew nothing, yes, I knew nothing. And so words became void of meaning. I have arrived too late at ultimate uncertainty.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


To be thoroughly conversant with a man's heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair.


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


The person who lives by hope will die by despair.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


Despair is the only genuine atheism.


Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825, German novelist)


Life begins on the other side of despair.


Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980, French writer, philosopher)


Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


O God, O God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you.


William M. Thackeray (1811-1863, Indian-born British novelist)


It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future, but a way to death.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Man dies of cold, not of darkness.


Miguel De Unamuno (1864-1936, Spanish philosophical writer)


Because I remember, I despair.; because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.


Elie Wiesel (1928-, Rumanian-born American writer)


Through our sunless lanes creeps Poverty with her hungry eyes, and Sin with his sodden face follows close behind her. Misery wakes us in the morning and Shame sits with us at night.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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