THERE was a curious social situation in Black Hawk. All the young men felt the attraction of the fine, well-set-up country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and, in nearly every case, to help the father struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school.
Antonia came in and stood before me...It was a shock, of course. It always is, to meet people after long years, especially if they have lived as much and as hard as this woman had. We stood looking at each other. The eyes that peered anxiously at me were - simply Antonia's eyes..As I confronted her, the changes grew less apparent to me, her identity stronger. She was there in the full vigour of her personality, battered, but not diminished...
I had killed a big snake. I was now a big fellow.
I have sometimes thought that his bursts of imaginative talk were fatal to his poetic gift. He squandered too much in the heat of personal communication.
I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away. The light and air abot me told me that the world ended here: only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass.
I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister--anything a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me.
If we never arrived anywhere, it did not matter. Between that earth and that sky i felt erased, blotted out. I did not say my prayers that night: here, i felt what would be would be.
It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the foundation of early races.
She lent herself to immemorial human attitudes which we recognize by instinct as universal and true… she still had that something which fires the imagination, could still stop one's breath for a moment by a look or gesture that somehow revealed the meaning in common things.
There was a new kind of strength in the gravity of her face, and her colors still gave her that look of deep-seated health and ardor.
This is reality, whether you like it or not--all those frivolities of summer, the light and shadow, the living mask of green that trembled over everything, they were lies, and this is what was underneath. This is the truth.
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.
If youth did not matter so much to itself it would never have the heart to go on
A work-room should be like an old shoe; no matter how shabby, it's better than a new one.
When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless.
The irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand.
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
Only solitary men know the full joys of frienship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile, his friends are everything.
A child's attitude toward everything is an artist's attitude.
I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
He had the uneasy manner of a man who is not among his own kind, and who has not seen enough of the world to feel that all people are in some sense his own kind
Every artist makes himself born. It is very much harder than the other time, and longer.
Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons. It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious.
More Willa Cather Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - World - Art - People - Countries - Youth - Love - Nature - Fathers - Silver - Woman - Happiness - Fool - Light - Family - Desire - Friendship - Time - Lies & Deceit - View All Willa Cather Quotations
More Willa Cather Quotations (By Book Titles)
- My Antonia
Leo Buscaglia - Napolean Hill - Helen Keller - Nora Roberts - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelle - Lu Yu - Ken Follett - Jared Diamond - Jackie Collins - Harriet Beecher Stowe