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





No one ever discovers the depths of his own loneliness.


Georges Bernanos (1888-1948, French novelist, political writer)


Only in a house where one has learnt to be lonely does one have this solicitude for things. One's relation to them, the daily seeing or touching, begins to become love, and to lay one open to pain.


Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973, Anglo-Irish novelist)


Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.


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


A lonely man is a lonesome thing, a stone, a bone, a stick, a receptacle for Gilbey's gin, a stooped figure sitting at the edge of a hotel bed, heaving copious sighs like the autumn wind.


John Cheever (1912-1982, American author)


Who knows what true loneliness is -- not the conventional word, but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion. Now and then a fatal conjunction of events may lift the veil for an instant. For an instant only. No human being could bear a steady view of moral solitude without going mad.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


The eternal quest of the human being is to shatter his loneliness.


Norman Cousins (1915-1990, American editor, humanitarian, author)


What torments my soul is its loneliness. The more it expands among friends and the daily habits or pleasures, the more, it seems to me, it flees me and retires into its fortress. The poet who lives in solitude, but who produces much, is the one who enjoys those treasures we bear in our bosom, but which forsake us when we give ourselves to others. When one yields oneself completely to one's soul, it opens itself to one, and then it is that the capricious thing allows one the greatest of good fortunes... that of sympathizing with others, of studying itself, of painting itself constantly in its works.


Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863, French artist)


You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Columbus discovered no isle or key so lonely as himself.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


There is none more lonely than the man who loves only himself.


Abraham Ibn Esra


In cities no one is quiet but many are lonely; in the country, people are quiet but few are lonely.


Geoffrey F. Fisher (1887-1972, British archbishop of Canterbury)


At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self.


Brendan Francis


One aged man -- one man -- can't fill a house.


Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


We enter the world alone, we leave the world alone.


James A. Froude (1818-1894, British historian)


I was never less alone than when by myself.


Edward Gibbon (1737-1794, British historian)


It is very lonely sometimes, trying to play God.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.


Germaine Greer (1939-, Australian feminist writer)


What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.


Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Swedish statesman, Secretary-General of the UN)


On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.


Janis Joplin (1943-, American folk singer)


The essence of this man [Richard M. Nixon] is loneliness.


Henry Kissinger (1923-, American Secretary of State)


All men's misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.


Oscar Levant (1906-1972, American pianist, actor)


Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.


Oscar Levant (1906-1972, American pianist, actor)


We are never the same with others as when we are alone. We are different, even when we are in the dark with them.


Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949, Belgian author)


To most people loneliness is a doom. Yet loneliness is the very thing which God has chosen to be one of the schools of training for His very own. It is the fire that sheds the dross and reveals the gold.


Bernard M. Martin


All men are lonely. But sometimes it seems to me that we Americans are the loneliest of all. Our hunger for foreign places and new ways has been with us almost like a national disease. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest, and our writers have been great wanderers.


Carson McCullers (1917-1967, American author)


In our extreme youth, in our most humiliating sorrow, we think we are alone. When we are older we find that others have suffered too.


Suzanne Moarny


When Christ said: "I was hungry and you fed me," he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger.


Mother Teresa (1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)


People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.


Joseph Fort Newton


Man's loneliness is but his fear of life.


Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953, American dramatist)


A man is never completely alone in this world. At the worst, he has the company of a boy, a youth, and by and by a grown man -- the one he used to be.


Cesare Pavese (1908-1950, Italian poet, novelist, translator)


Strife is better than loneliness.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


Loneliness breaks the spirit.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.


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


To live alone is the fate of all great souls.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


When thinking about companions gone, we feel ourselves doubly alone.


Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832, British novelist, poet)


It is a rather pleasant experience to be alone in a bank at night.


William Sutton


We're all in this alone.


Lily Tomlin (1939-, American comedienne)


We are most of us very lonely in this world; you who have any who love you, cling to them and thank God.


Author Unknown


Of my friends I am the only one left.


Terence (Roman writer of comedies)


Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.


Paul Tillich (1886-1965, German protestant theologian, philosopher)


Be good and you will be lonely.


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


There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought -- a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!


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


The gift of loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one's people that has not previously been taken into account.


Alice Walker (1944-, American author, critic)


When people are lonely they stoop to any companionship.


Lew Wallace (1827-1905, American writer, soldier)


I celebrate myself, and sing myself.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.


Tennessee Williams (1914-1983, American dramatist)


When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.


Tennessee Williams (1914-1983, American dramatist)


The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.


Thomas Wolfe (1931-, American author, journalist)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking