Best 46 of John Cowper Powys quotes - MyQuotes

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John Cowper Powys
By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

It is that cricket field that, in all the sharp and bitter moments of life as they come to me now, gives me a sense of wholesome proportion: 'At least I am not playing cricket!

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Having once aroused in our mind enough faith in our own will-power to create a universe of contemplation and forget everything else, there are few limitations to the happiness we may enjoy.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The world is not made of bread and honey…nor of the sweet flesh of girls. This world is made of clouds and of the shadows of clouds. It is made of mental landscapes, porous as air, where men and women are as trees walking, and as reeds shaken by the wind.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

"The meaning of culture" is nothing less than the conduct of life itself, fortified, thickened, made more crafty and subtle, by contact with books and with art.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Man is the animal who weeps and laughs - and writes. If the first Prometheus brought fire from heaven in a fennel-stalk, the last will take it back - in a book.

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Reason? Justice? The forces that victimized and paralysed him now were those that had created the world. Who was he to contend against them?

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

There was a general stir in the room and a craning forward of necks. The seasoned cronies of the Three Peewits had long ago discovered that the most delectable of all social delights was a quarrel that just stopped short of physical violence.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The strongest of all psychic forces in the world is unsatisfied desire.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

No refining of one's taste in matters of art or literature, no sharpening of one's powers of insight in matters of science or psychology, can ever take the place of one's sensitiveness to the life of the earth. This is the beginning and the end of a person's true education.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The love that interferes and knows not how to leave alone is a love alien to Nature's ways.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

To read great books does not mean one becomes ‘bookish’; it means that something of the terrible insight of Dostoyevsky, of the richly-charged imagination of Shakespeare, of the luminous wisdom of Goethe, actually passes into the personality of the reader; so that in contact with the chaos of ordinary life certain free and flowing outlines emerge, like the forms of some classic picture, endowing both people and things with a grandeur beyond what is visible to the superficial glance.

By Anonym 20 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Wolf, as he watched her, felt weak, despicable, faltering. He felt like a finical attendant watching the splendid fury of some Sophoclean heroine. He became aware that her anger leaped up from some incalculable crevasse in the rock crust of the universe, such as he himself had never approached. The nature of her feelings, its directness, its primordial simplicity, reduced his own emotion to something ridiculous. She towered above him there with that grand convulsed face and those expanded breasts; while her fine hands, clutching at her belt, seemed to display a wild desire to strip naked before him, to overwhelm him with the wrath of her naked maternal body, bare to the outrage of his impiety.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Up is infinite. Down is infinite. Pantheism, dualism, pluralism!

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Suddenly, with a cynical frankness, he began comparing his feelings for these two girls. ‘The truth is,’ he said to himself, ‘I love them both! I love Gerda because she’s so simple, and because I’ve slept with her all these months ; and I love Christie because she’s so subtle, and because I’ve never slept with her!

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The mistake we make is to turn upon our past with angry wholesale negation. … The way of wisdom is to treat it airily, lightly, wantonly, and in a spirit of poetry; and above all to use its symbols, which are its spiritual essence, giving them a new connotation, a fresh meaning.

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The day was warm; but the fact that the sky was covered with a filmy veil of grey clouds gave to the vast plain before him the appearance of a landscape whose dominant characteristic consisted in a patient effacement of all emphatic or outstanding qualities. The green of the meadows was a shy, watery green. The verdure of the elm trees was a sombre, blackish monotony. The yellow of the stubble land was a whitish-yellow, pallid and lustreless.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Most of the pathetic scenes in almost everybody's life are scenes unnoted by anyone and totally disregarded by the person in question.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Cowper Powys

If only — so he thought to himself later — Gerda's face had been a little less flawless in its beauty, the beauty of her body would have remained as maddening to his senses as it was at the beginning. But the more he had seen of her the more beautiful her face had grown; until it had now reached that magical level of loveliness which absorbs with a kind of absoluteness the whole aesthetic sense, paralysing the erotic sensibility.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

It is strange how few people make more than a casual cult of enjoying Nature. And yet the earth is actually and literally the mother of us all. One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

We'll teach it that the humblest insect measuring out its miserable days by the pug-wuggery and skull duggery of the old Slug of Time is worth far more than this defecating bubble!

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The more money you give to people the better; and the less advice.

By Anonym 20 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Wolf’s wits, moving now, in spite of the fumes of smoke and alcohol, with restored clarity, achieved a momentous orientation of many obscure matters.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

There was something about the man's abject humility that excited him in a way he could not have explained.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

What is the importance of human lives? Is it their continuing alive for so many years like animals in a menagerie? The value of a man cannot be judged by the number of diseases from which he escapes. The value of a man is in his human qualities: in his character, in his conscience, in the nobility and magnanimity, of his soul. Torturing animals to prolong human life has separated science from the most important thing that life has produced - the human conscience.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The influence of friendship upon culture differs from that of love, in that it assumes the basic idiosyncrasies of personal taste to be unalterable. Love, in spite of all rational knowledge to the contrary, is always in the mood of believing in miracles.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The poet’s whole frame seemed to hug itself together, to contract, to tighten. Then he said: ‘I’m not in the least annoyed by anyone’s ways. We’re all beetles in the dung of the earth. If you go about with me Solent, you won’t be able to think of yourself like you like to do, or about any of your young ladies either! You’ll be glad enough to get three good meals every day and to sleep as long as you can. … You’ll learn from me more about the value of sleep than about courting young ladies. … So my advice is, get back to London, where that lord of your is and teach -' He was interrupted by the opening of the front door and the sound of Olwen’s shrill voice [...]

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Cowper Powys

If by the time we're sixty we haven't learned what a knot of paradox and contradiction life is, and how exquisitely the good and the bad are mingled in every action we take, and what a compromising hostess Our Lady of Truth is, we haven't grown old to much purpose.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

This killing of his 'mythology' how could he survive it? His 'mythology' had been his escape from life, his escape into a world where machinery could not reach him, his escape into a deep, green, lovely world where thoughts unfolded themselves like large, beautiful leaves growing out of fathoms of blue-green water!

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

To a real child anything will serve as a toy.

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The first discovery of Dostoievsky is, for a spiritual adventurer, such a shock as is not likely to occur again. One is staggered, bewildered, insulted. It is like a hit in the face, at the end of a dark passage; a hit in the face, followed by the fumbling of strange hands at one's throat. Everything that has been forbidden, by discretion, by caution, by self-respect, by atavistic inhibition, seems suddenly to leap up out of the darkness and seize upon one with fierce, indescribable caresses.   All that one has felt, but has not dared to think; all that one has thought, but has not dared to say; all the terrible whispers from the unspeakable margins; all the horrible wreckage and silt from the unsounded depths, float in upon us and overpower us. There is so much that the other writers, even the realists among them, cannot, will not, say. There is so much that the normal self-preservative instincts in ourselves do not want said. But this Russian has no mercy. Such exposures humiliate and disgrace? What matter? It is well that we should be so laid bare. Such revelations provoke and embarrass? What matter? We require embarrassment. The quicksilver of human consciousness must have no closed chinks, no blind alleys. It must be compelled to reform its microcosmic reflections, even down there, where it has to be driven by force. It is extraordinary how superficial even the great writers are; how lacking in the Mole's claws, in the Woodpecker's beak! They seem labouring beneath some pathetic vow, exacted by the Demons of our Fate, under terrible threats, only to reveal what will serve their purpose! This applies as much to the Realists, with their traditional animal chemistry, as to the Idealists, with their traditional ethical dynamics. It applies, above all, to the interpreters of Sex, who, in their conventional grossness, as well as in their conventional discretion, bury such Ostrich heads in the sand!

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Let none count themselves wise who have not with the nerves of their imagination felt the pain of the vivisected.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Love is always in the mood of believing in miracles.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The permanent mental attitude which the sensitive intelligence derives from philosophy is an attitude that combines extreme reverence with limitless skepticism.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Back therefore we find ourselves returning. Back to the wisdom of the plough; back to the wisdom of those who follow the sea. It is all a matter of the wheel coming full-circle. For the sophisticated system of mental reactions to which we finally give our adherence is only the intellectualised reproduction of what more happily constituted natures, without knowing what they possess, possess. Thus between true philosophers and the true simple people there is a magnetic understanding; whereas, the clever ones whose bastard culture only divorces them from the wisdom of the earth remain pilloried and paralysed on the prongs of their own conceit".

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Nothing is against nature!" he retorted. "That's the mistake people make; and it causes endless unhappiness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

This swallowing up of life in nothingness, this obliteration of life by nothingness is what the emotion of malice ultimately desires. The eternal conflict between love and malice is the eternal contest between life and death. And this contest is what the complex vision reveals, as it moves from darkness to darkness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Not the wretchedest man or woman but has a deep secretive mythology with which to wrestle with the material world and to overcome it and pass beyond it. Not the wretchedest human being but has his share in the creative energy that builds the world. We are all creators. We all create a mythological world of our own out of certain shapeless materials.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Every day that we allow ourselves to take things for granted, every day that we allow some little physical infirmity or worldly worry to come between us and our obstinate, indignant, defiant exultation, we are weakening our genius for life.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Cowper Powys

He remembered to the end of his life what he felt at that moment, while the bone of his lower jaw met the bones of his knuckles pressed so hard against them. He felt absolutely alone – alone in an emptiness that was different from empty space. He did not pity himself. He did not hate himself. He just endured himself and waited – waited till whatever it was that enclosed him made some sign.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Who has not watched a mother stroke her child's cheek or kiss her child in a certain way and felt a nervous shudder at the possessive outrage done to a free solitary human soul?

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Damn these indecisions! This accursed difficulty of deciding, of deciding anything at all, seemed to have grown into an obsession with him. To have to decide...that was the worst misery on earth!

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Cowper Powys

The first thing he did was to attempt to analyse a mental device he was in the habit of resorting to - a device that supplied him with the secret substratum of his whole life. This was a certain trick he had of doing what he called 'sinking into his soul’. This trick had been a furtive custom with him from very early days. In his childhood his mother had often rallied him about it in her light-hearted way, and had applied to these trances, or these fits of absent-mindedness, an amusing but rather indecent nursery name. His father, on the other hand, had encouraged him in these moods, taking them very gravely, and treating him, when under their spell, as if he were a sort of infant magician. It was, however, when staying in his grandmother's house at Weymouth that the word had come to him which he now always used in his own mind to describe these obsessions. It was the word ‘mythology’ ; and he used it entirely in a private sense of his own.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Cowper Powys

There occurred within a causal radius of Brandon Station one of those infinitesimal ripples in the creative silence of the First Cause. In the soul of the great blazing sun there were complicated superhuman vibrations [connected] ... with the feelings of a few intellectual sages who had enough imagination to recognise the conscious personality of this fiery orb as it flung far and wide its life-giving magnetic forces. Roaring, cresting, heaving, gathering, mounting, advancing, receding, the enormous fire-thoughts of this huge luminary surged relentlessly to and fro, evoking a turbulent aura of psychic activity.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Ambition is the grand enemy of all peace.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Cowper Powys

Our rulers at the present day, with their machines and their preachers, are all occupied in putting into our heads the preposterous notion that activity rather than contemplation is the object of life.