Bartlett's Familiar Quotations on vision -- we'll need them in 2020

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations on vision -- we'll need them in 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve gone “browsing through Bartlett’s” — looking for quotations to enjoy about various things. But with 2020 looming, I’m getting tired already of various vision-related clichés. So here, for two (or maybe three) posts, I present a few of the best, freshest sayings I’ve found on seeing or vision. We’ll need something fresh next year!

I’ll start with an inspiring quotation from someone who, it appears, would have loved the title of Margaret Serious: Margaret Fairless Barber (1869-1901). Under the name “Michael Fairless,” she wrote:

“Necessity can set me helpless on my back, but she cannot keep me there; nor can four walls limit my vision.”

— from “The Roadmender,” Part II, 6

If you think you’ll get away from vision ideas at church, well, here’s something from the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer, which Bartlett’s cites as the American Revision, 1928:

“An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.”

Here’s a little something that fits the turn of the calendar, from Phoebe Cary (1824-1874):

“Sometimes, I think, the things we see

Are shadows of the things to be;

That what we plan we build;

That every hope that hath been crossed,

And every dream we thought was lost,

In heaven shall be fulfilled.”

— from “Dreams and Realities,” Stanza 7

In closing, here’s something that wouldn’t be so bad as a  New Year’s resolution, courtesy of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1839):

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

— from “Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (1786-1830)


Happy New Year to all!

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  • Great post! All best wishes in the New Year!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Many thanks! All best wishes to you.

  • Goethe's four daily goals should be easy enough to satisfy. Except, of course, for the last one.

  • Ah, jnorto, the distance from "should be" to "are." Thank you for noting the difference in "if it were possible" for the last goal as well.

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