But I keep the already-used quote cards filed away in little piles of 50, so it was easy to figure out which quotes were Dragon Dinner. One more time.
1. Science and religion no more contradict each other than light and electricity. –Anon.
2. Religious snobs talk about God as if nobody had ever heard of Him before. –Russell Lynes
3. The secret of success is to do common things uncommonly well. –John D. Rockefeller
4. Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow. –Oscar Wilde
5. We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom. –Michael de Montaigne
6. Jealousy consists more of self-love than of love. –Francois La Rochefoucauld
7. If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind, but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards. –Samuel Johnson
8. There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you. –Peter Di Vries
9. A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places. –Paul Gardner
10. Poetry therefore we will call musical thought. –Thomas Carlyle
11. A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence. –Leopold Stokowski
12. The parent who could see his boy as he really is would shake his head and say, “Willie is no good; I’ll sell him.” –Stephen Leacock
13. The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust. –Samuel Butler
14. Half the promises people say were never kept, were never made. –E.W. Howe
15. No man is rich enough to buy back his past. –Oscar Wilde
16. Never have I seen a word as accurate as “politics.” “Poly” meaning “many,” and “tic” being a blood-sucking thing. –Anon.
17. We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people. -Arthur Schopenhauer
18. In the absence of your judgment, everything will be ok. –Anon.
19. It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity. –Gandhi
20. He who is only just is cruel. Who on earth could live were all judged justly? –Lord Byron
21. The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment. –Anon.
22. Jealousy is the sister of love, as the devil is the brother of angels. –Michael Bier
23. A person is really alive only when he is moving forward to something more. –Winfred Rhoades
24. Men are sometimes accused of pride merely because their accusers would be proud themselves if they were in their places. –William Shenstone
25. You can only predict things after they have happened. –Eugene Donesso
26. I do not think I am any better or any worse than most people, but I know that if I set down every action in my life and every thought that has crossed my mind, the world would consider me a monster of depravity. –W. Somerset Maugham
27. Persecution is a bad and indirect way to plant religion. –Sir Thomas Browne
28. Philanthropist: A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket. –Ambrose Bierce
29. Lowbrows are not Philistines. One has to know enough about the arts to argue about them with highbrows to be a Philistine. –Russell Lynes
30. A philosopher’s duty is not to pity the unhappy – it is to be of use to them. -Voltaire
31. The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to prserve change amid order. Life refuses to be embalmed alive. –Alfred North Whitehead
32. Philosophy is common sense. If it isn’t common sense, it isn’t philosophy. –E.W. Howe
33. Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and goodness. –Pascal
34. I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart, and that is softness of head. –T. Roosevelt
35. Skeptics laugh in order not to weep. –Anatole France
36. There are few men who dare publish to the world the prayers they make to Almighty God. –Montaigne
37. The most terrible thing is your own judgment. –Robert Frost
38. Those who always pray are necessary to those who never pray. –Victor Hugo
39. “. . . his only adequate punishment would be to be preached to death by wild curates.” –Sydney Smith
40. As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. –Marian Anderson
41. Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them, are not really progress at all, but just terrible things. –Russell Baker
42. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. –Sir James Goldsmith
43. Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities, and have them relate to other characters living within him. –Mel Brooks.
44. When man ultimately faces his Maker, he will have to account to Him for those God-given pleasures of life of which he did not take advantage. –Anon.
45. A man who prides himself upon acting upon principle is likely to be a man who insists upon having his own way without learning from experience what is the better way. –John Dewey
46. Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination. –Lionel Stander
47. The disadvantage of politeness is that it is not intelligible to all classes of people. –Tagore
48. A little grit in the eye destroyeth the sight of the very heavens, and a little malice or envy a world of joys. One wry principle in the mind is of infinite consequence. –Thomas Traherne
49. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, and charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. So many people seem to go about their life’s business with their eyes shut. Indeed, they object to other people keeping their eyes open. Unable to play themselves, they dislike the play of others. –Nehru
50. Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people. –Adrian Mitchell
I did not care for most poetry until I was in college, mainly because I never had a teacher who taught it properly, that being, of course, taking students by the hand and throwing a little glory and wonder in their eyes so they would blink, and blink, and really look. A good poem is a work of art, and the teacher who deliberately, for whatever reason, turns that art into drudgery will burn in hell have to account to heaven for that sin. Harsh? Not in the least. Just.
Textbook editors who put bad poetry in a child’s textbook will burn be sorry, too.
And I would have to say that more than half the poems in any given textbook are pretty darn bad. No wonder our kids don’t like poetry. Ditto for literature.
Give them the good stuff to read, and we might be surprised at their reaction.
The right words in the right combinations are more than just the right bubble or a pretty picture; they are windows opening out into worlds we can’t even imagine until we look at those words, close our eyes, and let our mind’s eye take over.
How sad that so much of public education these days seems intent on blinding that mind’s eye. Without it, we’d be nothing but prosaic commoners who can only see things as they are.
Them kind of peoples is soooooo boring.