January 6, 2011

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost” – as adapted for TV…


“‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
       Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
       English poet
       From Canto 27 of his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” (1850)
       This is one of several famous quotes from Tennyson’s long poem, which initially began as the poet’s homage to his friend Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam, the A.H.H. in the title, died unexpectedly from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1833. When the poem was finally published 17 years later, in 1850, it had grown into a far-ranging lyrical discourse on love, death, grief, religious faith, the Victorian debate over Darwin’s theory of evolution and other deep subjects. In addition to the “‘Tis better…” lines, this poem includes the famous, dark description of the animal world “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (from Canto 56) and the familiar phrases “so near and yet so far” (Canto 97) and “Ring out the old, ring in the new” (Canto 106).


“We have a saying in Germany. It is better to have loved and lost than to engage in a land war with Russia in the winter.”
       Heidi Klum, as herself,
in the TV series Spin City (1996-2002)


Holly (actor Norman Lovett): “It’s better to have loved and lost than to listen to an album by Olivia Newton-John.”
Cat (actor Danny John-Jules): “Why’s that?”
Holly: “Anything’s better than to listen to an album by Olivia Newton-John.”
       From the “Stasis Leak” episode of the Red Dwarf TV series (1988-1999)


“It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
       Woodrow Call (actor Tommy Lee Jones)
       Comment after handing a gun to Newt (Rick Schroder) in the TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989)


Mung Daal (voiced by Dwight Schultz): “I have a saying: it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”
Chowder (voiced by Nicky Jones): “What does that mean?”
Mung Daal: “It means love stinks.”
       From the “Mahjongg Night/Stinky Love” episode of the Cartoon Network’s animated TV series Chowder (2007-2010)

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Further reading: books of quotations about love…

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