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





To be exempt from the passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing solitude.


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


Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


A writer who writes, "I am alone"... can be considered rather comical. It is comical for a man to recognize his solitude by addressing a reader and by using methods that prevent the individual from being alone. The word alone is just as general as the word bread. To pronounce it is to summon to oneself the presence of everything the word excludes.


Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003, French literary theorist, author)


The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community. Silence and speech have the same inner correspondence and difference as do solitude and community. One does not exist without the other. Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945, German Lutheran pastor and theologian)


The higher we rise, the more isolated we become; all elevations are cold.


Louis-Francois Boufflers (1644-1711, French writer, soldier, and academician)


The right to be alone -- the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized man.


Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941, American judge)


Get away from the crowd when you can. Keep yourself to yourself, if only for a few hours daily.


Arthur Brisbane (American editor, columnist)


No matter how close to yours another's steps have grown, in the end there is one dance you'll do alone.


Jackson Browne


I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


In solitude, where we are least alone.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


History shows that the majority of people that have done anything great have passed their youth in seclusion.


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


Solitude shows us what should be; society shows us what we are.


Robert Cecil (1830-1903, British conservative politician, Prime Minister)


The whole business of your life overwhelms you when you live alone. One's stupefied by it. To get rid of it you try to daub some of it off on to people who come to see you, and they hate that. To be alone trains one for death.


Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961, French author)


If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry.


Anton Chekhov (1860-1904, Russian playwright, short story writer)


Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again.


E. M. Cioran (1911-1995, Rumanian-born French philosopher)


The worst vice of the solitary is the worship of his food.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


Solitude can be used well by very few people. They who do must have a knowledge of the world to see the foolishness of it, and enough virtue to despise all the vanity.


Abraham Cowley (1618-1667, British poet)


Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me anymore.


William Cowper (1731-1800, British poet)


I'm still the little southern girl from the wrong side of the tracks who really didn't feel like she belonged.


Faye Dunaway (1941-, American actress)


The best thinking has been done in solitude.


Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931, American inventor, founder of GE)


I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.


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


Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.


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


Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.


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


It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.


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


The good and the wise lead quiet lives.


Euripides (BC 480-406, Greek tragic poet)


Solitude is impractical and yet society is fatal.


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


We never touch but at points.


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


We walk alone in the world.


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


I want to be left alone.


Greta Garbo (1905-1990, Swedish-born American film actress)


In the tumult of men and events, solitude was my temptation; now it is my friend. What other satisfaction can be sought once you have confronted History?


Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970, French president during World War II)


By all means use some times to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear. Dare to look in thy chest,


George Herbert (1593-1632, British metaphysical poet)


In solitude, be a multitude to thyself.


George Herbert (1593-1632, British metaphysical poet)


True solitude is a din of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colors, or a clamor of tracks in the snow.


Edward Hoagland (1932-, American novelist, essayist)


A man by himself is in bad company.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


Violent passions are formed in solitude. In the busy world no object has time to make a deep impression.


Henry Home


The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favorable to virtue. Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Solitude is un-American.


Erica Jong (1942-, American author)


O Solitude! If I must with thee dwell, Let it not be among the jumbled heap of murky buildings


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


Though the most beautiful creature were waiting for me at the end of a journey or a walk; though the carpet were of silk, the curtains of the morning clouds; the chairs and sofa stuffed with cygnet's down; the food manna, the wine beyond claret, the window opening on Winander Mere, I should not feel -- or rather my happiness would not be so fine, as my solitude is sublime.


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.


Omar Khayyam (1048-1131, Persian astronomer, poet)


There is convincing evidence that the search for solitude is not a luxury but a biological need. Just as humans possess a herding instinct that keeps us close to others most of the time, we also have a conflicting drive to seek out solitude. If the distance between ourselves and others becomes too great, we experience isolation and alienation, yet if the proximity to others becomes too close, we feel smothered and trapped.


Jeffrey Kottler


Solitude: a sweet absence of looks.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


This great misfortune -- to be incapable of solitude.


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


A solitude is the audience-chamber of God.


Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864, British poet, essayist)


Solitude begets whimsies.


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British society figure, letter writer)


Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak to one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Solitude is as needed to the imagination as society is wholesome to the character.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


To have a quiet mind is to possess one's mind wholly; to have a calm spirit is to possess one's self.


Hamilton Wright Mabie


To have a quiet mind is to possess one's mind wholly; to have a calm spirit is to possess one's self.


Hamilton Wright Mabie


Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.


Thomas Mann (1875-1955, German author, critic)


In the world a man lives in his own age; in solitude in all ages.


William Mathews


An artist is always alone -- if he is an artist. No, what the artist needs is loneliness.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


What call thou solitude? Is not the earth with various living creatures, and the air replenished, and all these at thy command to come and play before thee?


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


Well has he lived who has lived well in obscurity.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


One hour of thoughtful solitude may nerve the heart for days of conflict -- girding up its armor to meet the most insidious foe.


Lord Percival


Every man is nearest himself.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


If you are choosing between bad company and loneliness, choose the second option.


Spanish Proverb (Sayings of Spanish origin)


Life without a friend is death without a witness.


Spanish Proverb (Sayings of Spanish origin)


Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light, the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone and leave it alone.


Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859, British author)


If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.


Jules Renard (1864-1910, French author, dramatist)


We are all prone to the malady of the introvert who, with the manifold spectacle of the world spread out before him, turns away and gazes only upon the emptiness within. But let us not imagine there is anything grand about the introvert's unhappiness.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio, or looked at a TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would mark.


Carl Sa


A man can be himself only so long as he is alone.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


The strong man is strongest when alone.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


Solitude cherishes great virtues and destroys little ones.


Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British writer, clergyman)


One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.


Henri B. Stendhal (1783-1842, French writer)


In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British author)


I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone; I never found the companionable as solitude.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


I have never found a companion so companionable as solitude.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


May God be gracious to each lonely one who walks in silence towards the setting sun.


Author Unknown


Solitude is the despair of fools, the torment of the wicked, and the joy of the good.


Author Unknown


You have already failed if you need a lot of inspectors.


Author Unknown


In solitude we are in the presence of mere matter (even the sky, the stars, the moon, trees in blossom), things of less value (perhaps) than a human spirit. Its value lies in the greater possibility of attention.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


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