Prison Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Prison. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
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Deepak Chopra
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He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with my news...check if I'm happy...
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Jace shook his blond head in exasperation. "You had to make a crazy jail friend, didn't you? You couldn't just count ceiling tiles or tame a pet mouse like normal prisoners do?
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Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
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The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear
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Aung San Suu Kyi
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Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.
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Bob Marley
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A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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Albert Einstein
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Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business. Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git. Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor. Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.
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Virginia Woolf
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I want to commit the murder I was imprisoned for.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?
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Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
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Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
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Lao Tzu
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We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.
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Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
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Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Don't let the muggles get you down.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Where is Wood?" said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn't there. "Still in the showers," said Fred. "We think he's trying to drown himself.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Little islands are all large prisons; one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow.
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Richard Francis Burton
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There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
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Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
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He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
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Victor Hugo
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As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.
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Nelson Mandela
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I dreamed I was buying new shoes last night," said Ron. "What d'ya think that's gonna mean?" "Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something," said Harry.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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If you want to test cosmetics, why do it on some poor animal who hasn't done anything? They should use prisoners who have been convicted of murder or rape instead. So, rather than seeing if perfume irritates a bunny rabbit's eyes, they should throw it in Charles Manson's eyes and ask him if it hurts.
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Ellen DeGeneres (My Point... And I Do Have One)
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Ester asked why people are sad. "That’s simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.
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Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
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I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?
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J.R.R. Tolkien
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Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
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Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
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Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner!
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Max Lucado
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Are you insane? Of course I want to leave the Dursleys! Have you got a house? When can I move in?
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
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Even paradise could become a prison if one had enough time to take notice of the walls.
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Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1))
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Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, protray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart...no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.
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Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
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HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? I-WANT-TO-TALK-TO-HARRY-POTTER!
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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What are you doing here?” [ndr prison] Selling Girl Scout cookies,” I said. β€œWant some? The Samoas are terrific.” (Max II to Max)
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James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
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Mischief Managed.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.
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Robin S. Sharma
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Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred, and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.
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Wil Zeus (Sun Beyond the Clouds)
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How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.
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Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
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Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
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Stephen King (Different Seasons)
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Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
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Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
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Harry!" said Fred, elbowing Percy out of the way and bowing deeply. "Simply splendid to see you, old boy-" "Marvelous," said George, pushing Fred aside and seizing Harry's hand in turn. "Absolutely spiffing." Percy scowled. "That's enough, now," said Mrs. Weasley. "Mum!" said Fred as though he'd only just spotted her and seizing her hand too. "How really corking to see you-
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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What was there to be gained by fighting the most evil wizard who has ever existed?" said Black, with a terrible fury in his face. "Only innocent lives, Peter!" "You don't understand!" whined Pettigrew. "He would have killed me, Sirius!" "THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black. "DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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What's that?" he snarled, staring at the envelope Harry was still clutching in his hand. "If it's another form for me to sign, you've got another -" "It's not," said Harry cheerfully. "It's a letter from my godfather." "Godfather?" sputtered Uncle Vernon. "You haven't got a godfather!" "Yes, I have," said Harry brightly. "He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with my news...check if I'm happy....
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.
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Antonio Gramsci (Gramsci's Prison Letters)
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The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored
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Albert Camus (The Stranger)
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He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair. "You're one challenging woman," He kisses me, forcing my lips apart with his tongue, taking no prisoners. "It's taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you're mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I'll buy you a fucking car," he growls.
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E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
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Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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What you fear most of all is β€”fear. Very wise...
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Bad news, Harry. I've just been to see Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. She – er, got a bit shirty with me. Told me I'd got my priorities wrong. Seemed to think I cared more about winning the Cup than I do about staying alive. Just because I told her I didn't care if it threw you off, as long as you caught the Snitch first.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Only the man who has known freedom Can define his prison.
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Catherine Fisher (Incarceron (Incarceron, #1))
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I get it,' said the prisoner. 'Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?' If you like.' said Vimes. 'But we're a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?
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Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
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I'm not going to be murdered,' Harry said out loud. 'That's the spirit, dear,' said his mirror sleepily.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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And he knew, also, what the old man was thinking as his tears flowed, and he, Rieux, thought it too: that a loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, of one's work, and of devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.
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Albert Camus (The Plague)
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Azkaban - the wizard prison, Goyle." said Malfoy, looking at him in disbelief. "Honestly, if you were any slower, you'd be going backward.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
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So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?" "You're under his protection." "What's the difference?" "Pray you never find out.
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Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
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If you made a better rat than a human, it’s not much to boast about, Peter.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Why, dear boy, we don't send wizards to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams.
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Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
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How're we getting to King's Cross tomorrow, Dad?" asked Fred as they dug into a sumptuous pudding. "The Ministry's providing a couple of cars," said Mr. Weasley. Everyone looked up at him. "Why?" said Percy curiously. "It's because of you, Perce," said George seriously. "And there'll be little flags on the hoods, with HB on them-" "-for Humongous Bighead," said Fred.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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I knew I could do it all this time,” said Harry, β€œBecause I'd already done it... does that make sense?
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Turn to page three hundred and ninety-four.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.
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Bill Hicks
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Most haters are stuck in a poisonous mental prison of jealousy and self-doubt that blinds them to their own potentiality.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Two men looked out from prison bars, One saw the mud, the other saw stars.
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Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
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And it's Gryfindor in possession again, as Johnson takes the Quaffleβ€” Flint alongside her β€”poke him in the eye, Angelina β€”it was a joke, professor, it was a joke...
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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Accepting the facts is always tough, so we search for forgiveness to this universe everyday to break the shackles, hurt is a prison and I from a very young young age refused to be held prisoner or even conform.
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Aidan Mc Nally (TWO sons TOO many)
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They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.
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C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
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If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom.
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Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Anger is just anger. It isn't good. It isn't bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It's like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice." Constructive anger," the demon said, her voice dripping sarcasm. Also known as passion," I said quietly. "Passion has overthrown tyrants and freed prisoners and slaves. Passion has brought justice where there was savagery. Passion has created freedom where there was nothing but fear. Passion has helped souls rise from the ashes of their horrible lives and build something better, stronger, more beautiful.
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Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
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For without you, I swear, the town Has become like a prison to me. Distraction and the mountain And the desert, all I desire.
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Rumi (Love: The Joy That Wounds: The Love Poems of Rumi)
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It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
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Nelson Mandela
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Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
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To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
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Lewis B. Smedes (Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve)
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One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.
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Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness)
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Kai neared his desk again, seeing that the fugitive's profile had been transferred to the screen. His frown deepened. Perhaps not dangerous, but young and inarguably good-looking. His prison photo showed him flippantly winking at the camera. Kai hated him immediately.
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Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
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Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated. -Prisoner 24601
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Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
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For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind. But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.
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Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
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Years from now, when I'm successful and happy, ...and he's in prison... I hope I'm not too mature to gloat.
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Bill Watterson
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I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.
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AnaΓ―s Nin (The Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
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Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
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The past does not have to be your prison. You have a voice in your destiny. You have a say in your life. You have a choice in the path you take.
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Max Lucado (When God Whispers Your Name)
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I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.
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Cornel West
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[Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.
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Angela Y. Davis (Are Prisons Obsolete?)
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I am happy in my prison of passion
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about. In my prison, when the sky turned red and a new day slipped into my cell, I found out that she was right.
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Albert Camus (The Stranger)
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We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
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Kahlil Gibran
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I'll fix it up with Mum and Dad, then I'll call you. I know how to use a fellytone nowβ€”" "A telephone, Ron," said Hermione. "Honestly, you should take Muggle Studies next year...
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.
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Winston S. Churchill
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A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.
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William Arthur Ward
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Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig. (150)
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Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
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I am one of the Clave. It's in my blood and bones. So tell me, if you're so sure this wasn't my fault, why is it that the first thought in my mind when I saw Abbadon wasn't for my fellow warriors but for you?" His other hand came up; he was holding her face, prisoned between his palms. "I know-I knew-Alec wasn't acting like himself. I knew something was wrong. But all I could think about was you...
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
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Nelson Mandela
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Love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant.
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Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
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Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions- to define, classify, control, and regulate people.
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Michel Foucault
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While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
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Eugene V. Debs
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Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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We experience ourselves our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
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Albert Einstein
β€œ
A prison becomes a home when you have the key.
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George Sterling
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The ones who love us never really leave us, you can always find them in here.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
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The preachers and lecturers deal with men of straw, as they are men of straw themselves. Why, a free-spoken man, of sound lungs, cannot draw a long breath without causing your rotten institutions to come toppling down by the vacuum he makes. Your church is a baby-house made of blocks, and so of the state. ...The church, the state, the school, the magazine, think they are liberal and free! It is the freedom of a prison-yard.
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Henry David Thoreau (I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau)
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We artists are indestructible; even in a prison, or in a concentration camp, I would be almighty in my own world of art, even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.
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Pablo Picasso
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If I maintain my silence about my secret it is my prisoner...if I let it slip from my tongue, I am ITS prisoner.
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Arthur Schopenhauer
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I have always hated crowds. I like deserts, prisons, and monasteries. I have discovered, too, that there are fewer idiots at 3000 meters above sea level than down below.
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Jean Giono (An Italian Journey)
β€œ
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love. For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.
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James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
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A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities
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Jeremy Aldana
β€œ
It had taken her a long time to realize that a prison sometimes isn't a prison at all. Sometimes, it's simply a door you assume is locked because you've never tried to open it.
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Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
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I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
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Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
β€œ
You are in a prison with no bars. I worry about you.
”
”
J.R. Ward (Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3))
β€œ
No man wants to f*ck a skeleton-and nibbling crackers and water like a prisoner of war at dinner isn't attractive.
”
”
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
β€œ
The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself: Are my trousers long enough? Is my veil in place? Can my make-up be seen? Are they going to whip me? No longer asks herself: Where is my freedom of thought? Where is my freedom of speech? My life, is it liveable? What's going on in the political prisons?
”
”
Marjane Satrapi (The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4))
β€œ
Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?
”
”
Rumi
β€œ
Prisons are universities of crime, maintained by the state.
”
”
Pyotr Kropotkin (Russian And French Prison)
β€œ
Bring on the shackles - I'm your prisoner
”
”
Stephenie Meyer
β€œ
In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.
”
”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
β€œ
Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You're caged in. Your hair rules you. You didn't go running with Curt today because you don't want to sweat out this straightness. You're always battling to make your hair do what it wasn't meant to do.
”
”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
β€œ
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
”
”
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
β€œ
One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one willl only in time come to hate. In this there is also a residue of belief that during the move the master will chance to come along the corridor, look at the prisoner and say: "This man is not to be locked up again, He is to come with me.
”
”
Franz Kafka (Blue Octavo Notebooks)
β€œ
Once again you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion!
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Kaladin frowned. β€œWait. Are you wearing cologne? In prison?” β€œWell, there was no need to be barbaric, just because I was incarcerated.” β€œStorms, you’re spoiled,” Kaladin said, smiling. β€œI’m refined, you insolent farmer,” Adolin said. Then he grinned. β€œBesides, I’ll have you know that I had to use cold water for my baths while here.” β€œPoor boy.
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
β€œ
I've finally gotten to a point in my life where I'm not afraid to speak. Where my shadow no longer haunts me. And I don't want to lose that freedom--not again. I can't go backward. I'd rather be shot dead screaming for justice than die alone in a prison of my own making.
”
”
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
β€œ
Yeah, we’ll call you,” muttered Ron as the knight disappeared, β€œIf we ever need someone mental.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
You'd be surprised. Besides, they don't even send royal traitors to prison, Rose. Everyone knows that." I scoffed. "Are you insane? Of course they do. What else do you think they do with traitors? Set them free and tell them not to do it again?" "No," said Abe, just before he turned away. "They execute traitors.
”
”
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
β€œ
When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.
”
”
Thomas Paine (Rights of Man)
β€œ
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple β€œI must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke
β€œ
Three turns should do it.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Wylan looked as if he was ready to wet himself. Helvar appeared grim as always. Jesper just grinned and whispered, "Well, we've managed to get ourselves locked into the most secure prison in the world. We're either geniuses or the dumbest sons of bitches to ever breathe air.
”
”
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
β€œ
No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.
”
”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
β€œ
Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
What do we want to be prefects for?” said George, looking revolted at the very idea. β€œIt’d take all the fun out of life.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?" said Malfoy. "And he’s supposed to be our teacher!" Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first - SMACK! She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again. "Don’t you dare call Hagrid pathetic you foulβ€”you evilβ€”" "Hermione!" said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back. "Get off Ron!" Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered. "C’mon," Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons. "Hermione!" Ron said again, sounding both stunned and impressed.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters a table leg breaks or when a picture falls off the wall it makes a noise. But as for your heart when that breaks it s completely silent. You would think as it s so important it would make the loudest noise in the whole world or even have some ... Read Moresort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a cymbal or the ringing of a bell. But it s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain. If there is a noise it s internal. It screams and no one can hear it but you. It screams so loud your ears ring and your head aches. It trashes around in your chest like a great white shark caught in the sea it roars like a mother bear whose cub has been taken. That s what it looks like and that s what it sounds like a trashing panicking trapped great big beast roaring like a prisoner to its own emotions. But that s the thing about love no one is untouchable.
”
”
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
β€œ
That's a good fellow,' Sturmhond said to Ivan. 'Now, I'll take the prisoner back to her quarters, and you can run off and do . . . whatever it is you do when everyone else is working.' Ivan scowled. 'I don't thinkβ€”' 'Clearly. Why start now?
”
”
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
β€œ
True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring β€” once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners. And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.
”
”
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
β€œ
Luck has a way of evaporating when you lean on it.
”
”
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
β€œ
I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey.
”
”
Jeffrey Archer (A Prisoner of Birth)
β€œ
You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us?
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
If all goes well, you will be able to save more than one innocent life tonight.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
I'm dying!" Malfoy yelled, as the class panicked. "I'm dying, look at me! It's killed me!
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
The thing that irks me most is this shattered prison, after all. I'm tired, tired of being enclosed here. I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart, but really with it, and in it.
”
”
Emily BrontΓ« (Wuthering Heights)
β€œ
The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.
”
”
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
β€œ
Nasty temper he's got, that Sirius Black.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don't let you off homework today. I assure you that if you do die, you need not hand it in.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
The curse of mortality. You spend the first portion of your life learning, growing stronger, more capable. And then, through no fault of your own, your body begins to fail. You regress. Strong limbs become feeble, keen senses grow dull, hardy constitutions deteriorate. Beauty withers. Organs quit. You remember yourself in your prime, and wonder where that person went. As your wisdom and experience are peaking, your traitorous body becomes a prison.
”
”
Brandon Mull (Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1))
β€œ
I guess Satan was the first superhero [...] In his first adventure, he took the form of a snake to free two prisoners being held naked in a Third World jungle prison by an all-powerful megalomaniac. At the same time, he broadened their diet and introduced them to their own sexuality.
”
”
Joe Hill (Horns)
β€œ
Words are not enough. Not mine, cut off at the throat before they breathe. Never forming, broken and swallowed, tossed into the void before they are heard. It would be easy to follow, fall to my knees, prostrate before the deli counter. Sweep the shelves clear, scatter the tins, pound the cakes to powder. Supermarket isles stretching out in macabre displays. Christmas madness, sad songs and mistletoe, packed car parks, rotten leaves banked up in corners. Forgotten reminders of summer before the storm. Never trust a promise, they take prisoners and wishes never come true. Fairy stories can have grim endings and I don’t know how I will face the world without you.
”
”
Peter B. Forster (More Than Love, A Husband's Tale)
β€œ
To Garan's credit, the treatment of Dellian prisoners did change after that. One particularly laconic man, after a session in which Fire learned positively nothing, thanked her for it specifically. "Best dungeons I ever been in," he said, chewing on a toothpick. "Wonderful," Garan grumbled when he had gone. "We'll grow a reputation for our kindness to lawbreakers.
”
”
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
β€œ
They say: sufferings are misfortunes," said Pierre. 'But if at once this minute, I was asked, would I remain what I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again, I should say, for God's sake let me rather be a prisoner and eat horseflesh again. We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal before us.
”
”
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
β€œ
Lucien had been prepared to take me against my will. Fae males were territorial, dominant, arrogantβ€”but the ones in the Spring Court … something had festered in their training. Because I knewβ€”deep in my bonesβ€”that Cassian might push and test my limits, but the moment I said no, he’d back off. And I knew that if … that if I had been wasting away and Rhys had done nothing to stop it, Cassian or Azriel would have pulled me out. They would have taken me somewhereβ€”wherever I needed to beβ€”and dealt with Rhys later. But Rhys … Rhys would never have not seen what was happening to me; would never have been so misguided and arrogant and self-absorbed. He’d known what Ianthe was from the moment he met her. And he’d understood what it was like to be a prisoner, and helpless, and to struggleβ€”every dayβ€”with the horrors of both.
”
”
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
β€œ
In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…
”
”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
β€œ
Change is freedom, change is life. It's always easier not to think for oneself. Find a nice safe hierarchy and settle in. Don't make changes, don't risk disapproval, don't upset your syndics. It's always easiest to let yourself be governed. There's a point, around age twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities. Those who build walls are their own prisoners. I'm going to go fulfil my proper function in the social organism. I'm going to go unbuild walls.
”
”
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
β€œ
We've got it [Percy's Head Boy badge]," Fred whispered to Harry. "We're improving it." The badge now read Bighead Boy.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no . . . anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just β€” exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever . . . lost.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Prisons are full of sociopaths and psychopaths, but when questioned, the imprisoned sociopath will honestly admit that they will commit any number of crimes to help a friend. A friend will help you move; a true friend will help you move a body. A friend will bail you out of jail; a true friend will be sitting beside you. Who wouldn’t want to have a true friend? But they sound a lot like a sociopath.
”
”
Tanya Thompson (Assuming Names: A Con Artist's Masquerade)
β€œ
You are β€” truly your father’s son, Harry. . . .
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
HARRY, THIS IS NO TIME TO BE A GENTLEMAN!" Wood roared as Harry swerved to avoid collision. "KNOCK HER OFF HER BROOM IF YOU HAVE TO!
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
I’m very busy with schoolwork, of course." "How can she be?" said Ron in horror. "We’re on vacation!
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Mental illness People assume you aren’t sick unless they see the sickness on your skin like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting. My heart is a prison of Have you tried?s Have you tried exercising? Have you tried eating better? Have you tried not being sad, not being sick? Have you tried being more like me? Have you tried shutting up? Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying, and yes, I am still sick. Sometimes monsters are invisible, and sometimes demons attack you from the inside. Just because you cannot see the claws and the teeth does not mean they aren’t ripping through me. Pain does not need to be seen to be felt. Telling me there is no problem won’t solve the problem. This is not how miracles are born. This is not how sickness works.
”
”
Emm Roy (The First Step)
β€œ
The moon will never lie to anyone. Be like the moon. No one hates the moon or wants to kill it. The moon does not take antidepressants and never gets sent to prison. The moon never shot a guy in the face and ran away. The moon has been around a long time and has never tried to rip anyone off. The moon does not care who you want to touch or what color you are. The moon treats everyone the same. The moon never tries to get in on the guest list or use your name to impress others. Be like the moon. When others insult or belittle in an attempt to elevate themselves, the moon sits passively and watches, never lowering itself to anything that weak. The moon is beautiful and bright. It needs no makeup to look beautiful. The moon never shoves clouds out of its way so it can be seen. The moon needs not fame or money to be powerful. The moon never asks you to go to war to defend it. Be like the moon.
”
”
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
β€œ
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
”
”
Henry Beston (The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod)
β€œ
We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. {Letter from the commissioners, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, to John Jay, 28 March 1786}
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist--a master--and that is what Auguste Rodin was--can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body.
”
”
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
β€œ
You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
I took an oath June. I am still bound by that oath. I will die with honor for sacrificing everything I have-everything-for my country.. And yet, Day is a legend, while I am to be executed." His voice finally breaks with all his anger and inner torment, the injustice he feels. "It makes no sense." I stand up. Behind me, guards move toward the cell door. "You're wrong," I say sadly. "It makes perfect sense." "Why?" "Because Day chose to walk in the light." I turn my back on him for the last time. The door opens; the cell's bars make way for the hall, a new rotation of prison guards, freedom. "And so did Metias.
”
”
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
β€œ
To have faith requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot have faith; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense, where distance and possession are his means of security, makes himself a prisoner. To be loved, and to love, need courage, the courage to judge certain values as of ultimate concernβ€”and to take the jump and to stake everything on these values.
”
”
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
β€œ
ALL THINGS THAT ARE, ARE OURS. BUT WE MUST CARE. FOR IF WE DO NOT CARE, WE DO NOT EXIST. IF WE DO NOT EXIST, THEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT BLIND OBLIVION. AND EVEN OBLIVION MUST END SOMEDAY. LORD, WILL YOU GRANT ME JUST A LITTLE TIME? FOR THE PROPER BALANCE OF THINGS. TO RETURN WHAT WAS GIVEN. FOR THE SAKE OF PRISONERS AND THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS. Death took a step backwards. It was impossible to read expression in Azrael's features. Death glanced sideways at the servants. LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?
”
”
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
β€œ
I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.
”
”
Charles W. Colson
β€œ
when you walk, you look like you’re trying to disappear. your back is gonna be fucked up. why do you think change is so hard? is it because you’re afraid? people might think you’re pretty, but they’ll never love you. you talk like you’re apologizing for your own voice. speak up. grow up. find your spine, stop shrinking. there is nothing brave about keeping silent. how many times have you been in love? I can’t picture it ever happening for you. you lie because it makes you feel free. this is a prison. you’re always gonna think about him. you will never get him out of your system. I wish I never had to see you again. you poor thing. go to hell. you may be a nice person but you will never be a good person. no one is ever going to want to touch you. is there a vision in your head of who you want to be? you do not have the strength to become her. there is no boat big enough to keep you from drowning in the sea of yourself. go to bed, baby. you are tired from all of this nothing. sleep. rest.
”
”
Caitlyn Siehl
β€œ
Black’s gaunt face broke into the first true smile Harry had seen upon it. The difference it made was startling, as though a person ten years younger were shining through the starved mask; for a moment, he was recognizable as the man who had laughed at Harry’s parents’ wedding.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of lost, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this weary, unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.
”
”
Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
β€œ
I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.
”
”
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
β€œ
My net search is finding only a Cadet Carswell Thorne, of the American Republic, imprisoned in New Beijing prison onβ€”" "That's him," said Cinder, ignoring Thorne's glare. Another silence as the heat in the engine room hovered just upside of comfortable. The, "You're... rather handsome, Captain Thorne." Cinder groaned. "And you, my fine lady, are the most gorgeous ship in these skies, and don't let anyone ever tell you different." The temperature drifted upward, until Cinder dropped her arms with a sigh. "Iko, are you intentionally blushing?" The temperature dropped back down to pleasant. "No," Iko said. Then, "But am I really pretty? Even as a ship?" "The prettiest," said Thorne.
”
”
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
β€œ
The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity - of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.β€” from Bhagat Singh's prison diary, p. 124
”
”
Bhagat Singh (The Jail Notebook And Other Writings)
β€œ
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone. A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.
”
”
Osho
β€œ
The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.
”
”
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
β€œ
Wanting to Die Since you ask, most days I cannot remember. I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage. Then the almost unnameable lust returns. Even then I have nothing against life. I know well the grass blades you mention, the furniture you have placed under the sun. But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters they want to know which tools. They never ask why build. Twice I have so simply declared myself, have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy, have taken on his craft, his magic. In this way, heavy and thoughtful, warmer than oil or water, I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole. I did not think of my body at needle point. Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone. Suicides have already betrayed the body. Still-born, they don't always die, but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet that even children would look on and smile. To thrust all that life under your tongue!β€” that, all by itself, becomes a passion. Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say, and yet she waits for me, year after year, to so delicately undo an old wound, to empty my breath from its bad prison. Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet, raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon, leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss, leaving the page of the book carelessly open, something unsaid, the phone off the hook and the love, whatever it was, an infection.
”
”
Anne Sexton
β€œ
If what's always distinguished bad writing--flat characters, a narrative world that's clichΓ©d and not recognizably human, etc.--is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then [Bret] Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving. There's some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who's come to love his cage… The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naΓ―vetΓ©. Sentiment equals naΓ―vetΓ© on this continent. You burn with hunger for food that does not exist. A U. S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.
”
”
David Foster Wallace
β€œ
I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land... I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of 'stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.' I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each otherβ€”devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.
”
”
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
β€œ
A proverb in the Old Testament states: 'He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city'. It is when we become angry that we get into trouble. The road rage that affects our highways is a hateful expression of anger. I dare say that most of the inmates of our prisons are there because they did something when they were angry. In their wrath they swore, they lost control of themselves, and terrible things followed, even murder. There were moments of offense followed by years of regret. . . . So many of us make a great fuss of matters of small consequence. We are so easily offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.
”
”
Gordon B. Hinckley
β€œ
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgement. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgement of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting cell, which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in the cement shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it. The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true. to close his eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn't need God for that little masterpiece.
”
”
Albert Camus (The Fall)
β€œ
Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different. And while we're on the subject, I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. As if "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in. If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn't you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real. As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.
”
”
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
β€œ
The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless "reforms" that changed little. Dostoevski once said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." It had long been true, and prisoners knew this better than anyone, that the poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail. This was not just because the poor committed more crimes. In fact, they did. The rich did not have to commit crimes to get what they wanted; the laws were on their side. But when the rich did commit crimes, they often were not prosecuted, and if they were they could get out on bail, hire clever lawyers, get better treatment from judges. Somehow, the jails ended up full of poor black people.
”
”
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
β€œ
I will live this day as if it is my last. …I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, Yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?” I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?
”
”
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World)
β€œ
Irony and cynicism were just what the U.S. hypocrisy of the fifties and sixties called for. That’s what made the early postmodernists great artists. The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. The virtuous always triumph? Ward Cleaver is the prototypical fifties father? "Sure." Sarcasm, parody, absurdism and irony are great ways to strip off stuff’s mask and show the unpleasant reality behind it. The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do? Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone. Once everybody knows that equality of opportunity is bunk and Mike Brady’s bunk and Just Say No is bunk, now what do we do? All we seem to want to do is keep ridiculing the stuff. Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.
”
”
David Foster Wallace
β€œ
Sure you can manage that broom, Potter?" said a cold, drawling voice. Draco Malfoy had arrived for a closer look, Crabbe and Goyle right behind him. "Yeah, reckon so," said Harry casually. "Got plenty of special features, hasn't it?" said Malfoy, eyes glittering maliciously. "Shame it doesn't come with a parachute - in case you get too near a Dementor." Crabbe and Goyle sniggered. "Pity you can't attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy," said Harry. "Then it could catch the Snitch for you.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
you must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face you must hide the surprise of tasting other men on your lips your mother is a woman and women like her cannot be contained. you find the black tube inside her beauty case, where she keeps your fathers old prison letters, you desperately want to look like her film star beauty, you hold your hand against your throat your mother was most beautiful when sprawled out on the floor half naked and bleeding. you go to the bathroom to apply the lipstick, somewhere no one can find you your teeth look brittle against the deep red slickness you smile like an infant, your mouth is a wound you look nothing like your mother you look everything like your mother. you call your ex boyfriend, sit on the toilet seat and listen to the phone ring, when he picks up you say his name slow he says i thought i told you to stop calling me you lick your lips, you taste like years of being alone.
”
”
Warsan Shire
β€œ
He was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it's because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he'd seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love.
”
”
Jonathan Franzen
β€œ
Making mistakes is part of learning to choose well. No way around it. Choices are thrust upon us, and we don't always get things right. Even postponing or avoiding a decision can become a choice that carries heavy consequences. Mistakes can be painful-sometimes they cause irrevocable harm-but welcome to Earth. Poor choices are part of growing up, and part of life. You will make bad choices, and you will be affected by the poor choices of others. We must rise above such things.
”
”
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
β€œ
And what makes you so certain I won't enlighten the world about your romantic indiscretions?" "Because it won't save you from prison. And if you ruin Rose, you'll destroy whatever weak chance you had of Lissa helping you with your warped fantasy." Victor flinched just a little; Dimitri was right. Dimitri stepped forward, pressing close to the bars as I had earlier. I'd though I had a scary voice, but when he spoke his next words, I realized I wasn't even close. "And it'll be pointless anyway, because you won't stay alive long enough in prison to stage your grand plans. You aren't the only one with connections." My breath caught a little. Dimitri brought so many things to my life: love, comfort, and instruction. I got so used to him sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. As he stood there, tall and threatening while he glared down at Victor, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered how when I had first come to the Academy, people said Dimitri was a god. In this moment, he looked like it.
”
”
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
β€œ
You were already in a prison. You've been in a prison all your life. Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all. Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. He knew affection and tenderness but only briefly. Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom? It's not an uncommon story, Evey. Many convicts meet with miserable ends. Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one, taken out behind the chemical sheds... and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences. I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.' 'You're wrong! It's just life, that's all! It's just how life is. It's what we've got to put up with. It's all we've got. What gives you the right to decide it's not good enough?' 'You're in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You've been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there's a world outside. That's because you're afraid, Evey. You're afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You're afraid because freedom is terrifying. Don't back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body. You said you'd rather die. You faced the fear of your own death and you were calm and still. The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside.
”
”
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
β€œ
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, And I intend to end up there. This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly off, But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all. We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups. That's fine with us. Every morning We glow and in the evening we glow again.
”
”
Rumi
β€œ
Hermione, if Harry’s seen a Grim, that’s β€” that’s bad,” he said. β€œMy β€” my uncle Bilius saw one and β€” and he died twenty-four hours later!” β€œCoincidence,” said Hermione airily, pouring herself some pumpkin juice. β€œYou don’t know what you’re talking about!” said Ron, starting to get angry. β€œGrims scare the living daylights out of most wizards!” β€œThere you are, then,” said Hermione in a superior tone. β€œThey see the Grim and die of fright. The Grim’s not an omen, it’s the cause of death! And Harry’s still with us because he’s not stupid enough to see one and think, right, well, I’d better kick the bucket then!
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
β€œ
Rosie, I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say. I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick. He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try. I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to. Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always. Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy. All my love, Alex
”
”
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
β€œ
Right. Lack of opportunities," Daddy says. "Corporate America don't bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain't quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don't prepare us well enough. That's why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don't get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It's easier to find some crack that it is the find a good school around here. "Now, think 'bout this," he says. "How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking 'bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don't know anybody with a private jet. Do you?" "No." "Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they're destroying our community," he says. "You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can't get jobs unless they're clean, and they can't pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That's the hate they're giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That's Thug Life.
”
”
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
β€œ
CUSTOMER: Which was the first Harry Potter book? BOOKSELLER: The Philosopher’s Stone. CUSTOMER: And the second? BOOKSELLER: The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: I’l take The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t want The Philosopher’s Stone. BOOKSELLER: Have you already read that one? CUSTOMER: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don’t want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning. BOOKSELLER: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it’s very good. CUSTOMER: Are you working on commission? BOOKSELLER: No. CUSTOMER: Right. How many books are there in total? BOOKSELLER: Seven. CUSTOMER: Exactly. I’m not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I’l take the second one. BOOKSELLER: . . . If you’re sure. (One week later, the customer returns) BOOKSELLER: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban? CUSTOMER: What’s that? BOOKSELLER: It’s the book after The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how on earth are children supposed to understand it if I can’t? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I’m not going to bother with the rest. BOOKSELLER: . . .
”
”
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
β€œ
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one's neighbor that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.
”
”
Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man and Prison Writings)
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The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
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John Richard Spencer
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For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
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Andrea Gibson