Category Archives: Quotes

Not like that Mademoiselle

Poirot looked at her sadly.  “Ah, mais c’est Anglais ça,” he murmured, “everything in black and white, everything clear cut and well defined.  But life, it is not like that, Mademoiselle.  There are things that are not yet, but which cast their shadow before.

– Agatha Christie, The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)

Anything it is supposed to be

When I became a pediatrician, practicing rural medicine in the mansion where I was raised, I often told myself about this childish patient or that one, remembering my own childhood:  “This person has just arrived on this planet, knows nothing about it, has no standards by which to judge it.  This person does not care what it becomes.  It is eager to become absolutely anything it is supposed to be.”

– Dr. Wilbur Swain, Slapstick (Kurt Vonnegut)

This meat hates pain

I am fonder of my middle name, which is “Daffodil-11.”  And I have written this poem about it, and about life itself, of course:
“I was those seeds,
“I am this meat,
“This meat hates pain,
“This meat must eat.
“This meat must sleep,
“This meat must dream,
“This meat must laugh,
“This meat must scream.
“But when, as meat,
“It’s had its fill,
“Please plant it as
“A Daffodil.”

– Dr. Wilbur Swain, Slapstick (Kurt Vonnegut)

A little less love

Love is where you find it.  I think it is foolish to go looking for it, and I think it can often be poisonous.

I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, “Please – a little less love, and a little more common decency.”

– Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick