Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy. This gives the experience of reading a sublimity and power unequalled by any other form of communication.
His words leap across rivers and mountains, but his thoughts are still only six inches long.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Humour plays close to the big, hot fire, which is the truth, and the reader feels the heat.
Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.
Commuter - One who spends his life in riding to and from his wife; a man who shaves and takes a train, and then rides back to shave again.
A poet dares to be just so clear and no clearer; he approaches lucid ground warily, like a mariner who is determined not to scrape his bottom on anything solid. A poet's pleasure is to withhold a little of his meaning, to intensify by mystification. He unzips the veil from beauty, but does not remove it. A poet utterly clear is a trifle glaring.
There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.
I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart 'til it stops beating."
Advice to young writers who want to get ahead without any annoying delays: don't write about Man, write about a man.
There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.
It is easier for a man to be loyal to his club than to his planet; the bylaws are shorter, and he is personally acquainted with the other members.
The terror of the atom age is not the violence of the new power but the speed of man's adjustment to it, the speed of his acceptance.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.
A writer is like a bean plant - he has his little day, and then gets stringy.
All we need is a meteorologist who has once been soaked to the skin without ill effect. No one can write knowingly of the weather who walks bent over on wet days.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy; today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tidings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.
I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.
Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.