Some of my favorite poems, quotes, and, words.

  • An erudite is someone who displays less than he knows; a journalist or consultant the opposite.
  • The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind's flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality without exploiting them for fun and profit.
  • Hard science gives sensational results with a horribly boring process; philosophy gives boring results with a sensational process; literature gives sensational results with a sensational process; and economics gives boring results with a boring process.
  • Games were created to give nonheroes the illusion of winning. In real life, you don't know who really won or lost (except too late), but you can tell who is heroic and who is not.
The Bed of Proctrustes, Nassim Taleb

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus Musee De Beaux Arts | W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Image: Landscape of the Fall of Icarus, Peter Breughel

Scaffolding | Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

We look back upon our life only as on a thing of broken pieces, because our misses and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have done, and attained.

Maxims and Reflections, Goethe

Every man has enough power left to carry out that of which he is convinced.

Maxims and Reflections, Goethe

It is evident that men speak of genius only where they find the effects of the great intellect most agreeable and, on the other hand, where they do not want to feel envy. To call someone "divine" means "Here we do not have to compete." Furthermore, everything that is complete and perfect is admired; everything evolving is underestimated.

§164 Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche

The Rainy Day | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

The Tables Turned | William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

सितारों से आगे जहाँ और भी हैं | अल्लामा इक़बाल

सितारों से आगे जहाँ और भी हैं
अभी इश्क़ के इम्तिहाँ और भी हैं
तही ज़िंदगी से नहीं ये फ़ज़ाएँ
यहाँ सैकड़ों कारवाँ और भी हैं
क़नाअत न कर आलम-ए-रंग-ओ-बू पर
चमन और भी आशियाँ और भी हैं
अगर खो गया इक नशेमन तो क्या ग़म
मक़ामात-ए-आह-ओ-फ़ुग़ाँ और भी हैं

तू शाहीं है परवाज़ है काम तेरा
तिरे सामने आसमाँ और भी हैं
इसी रोज़ ओ शब में उलझ कर न रह जा
कि तेरे ज़मान ओ मकाँ और भी हैं
गए दिन कि तन्हा था मैं अंजुमन में
यहाँ अब मिरे राज़-दाँ और भी हैं

मिरे जुनूँ का नतीजा ज़रूर निकलेगा | अमीर क़ज़लबाश

मिरे जुनूँ का नतीजा ज़रूर निकलेगा
इसी सियाह समुंदर से नूर निकलेगा
गिरा दिया है तो साहिल पे इंतिज़ार न कर
अगर वो डूब गया है तो दूर निकलेगा
उसी का शहर वही मुद्दई वही मुंसिफ़
हमें यक़ीं था हमारा क़ुसूर निकलेगा
यक़ीं न आए तो इक बात पूछ कर देखो
जो हँस रहा है वो ज़ख़्मों से चूर निकलेगा
उस आस्तीन से अश्कों को पोछने वाले
उस आस्तीन से ख़ंजर ज़रूर निकलेगा