May 20, 2014

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”


“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
John Keats (1795-1821)
       English lyrical poet
       This well-known quote is the opening line from Keats’ first long poem,
Endymion (1818) 
       The poem tells
the story of a young Greek shepherd who falls in love with the moon goddess Selene. Books of famous quotations often include the first five lines of the Endymion, which further expound on the famed opening sentence:
  “A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
       Its loveliness increases; it will never
       Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
       A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
       Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”


“A dead enemy is a joy forever.”
       A quip made by the character
Tyrion Lannister in the novel A Storm of Swords (2000), the third book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of adult fantasy novels. 
       The intelligent, irreverent dwarf Tyrion is memorably played by actor Peter Dinklage in the HBO adaptation of the first book in the series,
Game of Thrones.


“You don’t have to be a thing of beauty to be a joy forever.”
Geraldine Jones  
       One of many great observations made by Geraldine, a character played by American comedian Flip Wilson, on The Flip Wilson Show (1970-1974).


“Face it: a thing of beauty is a joy till sunrise...Then WHAM BAM you’re writing letters to Dear Abby and you're burning black candles at midnight.” 
       Harvey Fierstein
       American actor, playwright and screenwriter
       Part of Fierstein’s opening monologue, as the character Arnold Beckoff, in
Torch Song Trilogy, the 1988 movie adapted from his award-winning play of the same title.


“A Dirty Mind is a Joy Forever!”
       Title of
a Facebook group created “For all of those who love to have a dirty mind and can prove it.” Alas, the page no longer exists. The line is sometimes attributed (wrongly) to Oscar Wilde.


“Climates like those of Mexico and Spain develop a race that finds work tiresome, a ‘thing of duty is a bore forever.’”
       John Wesley Hanson (1823-1901)
       American writer and Universalist minister
       In his book about Southern California,
The American Italy, published in 1896. (I wonder what Hanson would say about the recent study showing that Mexicans work more hours per day than people in any other country in the world.)

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