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krose1223's avatar

What is the most powerful quote, song lyrics, or poem you know?

Asked by krose1223 (3244 points ) December 22nd, 2008

I know this has been asked before but I couldn’t find one I REAAAAALLLLLLY liked. The reason I ask is because I am getting myself another tattoo for my birthday and I’d like it to be a short quote, excerpt from a poem or lyrics from a song. I have some in mind already but I want to make sure if I am getting it tattooed I have found one that I will forever want on my body.

So help me out guys, my birthday is the 23rd.

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40 Answers

jazzjeppe's avatar

My favourite one is the one of Gandhi:
*You must be the change
you wish to see in the world.*

tigran's avatar

mind sharing the one you got? Sry I can’t remember anything right now

shrubbery's avatar

it is better to have lived one day as a tiger than one thousand years as a sheep – unknown

asmonet's avatar

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Everyone loves that poem, it’s everywhere. But it sums up the way I see the world as fleeting, and the importance of making choices, and the unknown adventures to come. In the poem it’s just a path, but it’s everything, really. I think the poem is a bit cliche nowadays though, since it’s so popular.

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed——and gazed——but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I’ve loved this poem since I was about four. When I think about it and imagine it, I get the same feeling of bliss and peace I do when I paint. The fact that someone can do that in a few lines and I need a few hours of work to pull it out of me is astonishing to me.

But these are personal to me. They might have little effect on you. :)

steven's avatar

“The woods are lovely ,dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep”

Frost

mrdh's avatar

“flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo”
If I cannot move the Gods, I will turn to the Devil
a bit death-metal-ish, but I found this while researching for an essay on Bismarck. Apparently it was one of his favourite sayings.

GAMBIT's avatar

Forever Young – Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
And May you stay forever young,

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
And May you stay forever young,

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
And May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

bythebay's avatar

Carpe Diem
“Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”
Have Faith
Simplify
Grace & Gratitude
Just Be

I’m not sure I’d want any of these tattooed on my person, but I find I say them to myself often.

flameboi's avatar

it’s my life
it’s now or never
cuz I’m not gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I’m alive!

Mr_M's avatar

“Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”

Bono’s part from “Feed the World”.

tekn0lust's avatar

“I Hope You Dance”
and to add to the above
“Just Be”

janbb's avatar

“Scuse me while I kiss the sky”

“What a long, strange trip it’s been”

MissAnthrope's avatar

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

—William Ernest Henley

aanuszek1's avatar

“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villan.”
—The late Heath Ledger

Judi's avatar

@gambit,;I nefver really listened to those lyrics! Wow!

Judi's avatar

Not only in the words you say
Not only in your deeds confessed
But in the most unconscious way
is Christ expressed

Is it a beatific smile?
A holy Light upon your brow?

Oh No
I felt his presence when you laughed just now.

To me twas not the truth you taught
to you so clear to me so dim
But when you came to me you brought
A sense of him
And from your eyes he beacons me
And from your lips his love is shed
Til I loose sight of you and see
The Christ instead.
By Beatrice Clelland

GAMBIT's avatar

@Judi – I was going to choose Blowin in the Wind but I thought Forever Young was a good one too. I like reading Dylan as poetry sometimes instead of music.

queenzboulevard's avatar

“Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”
—Michael Corleone

“You don’t call retarted people retards, it’s bad taste. You call your friends retards when they’re acting retarted.”
—Michael Scott

“Think Different.”
—Apple, Inc.

coffeenut's avatar

Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
-Shakespeare

steelmarket's avatar

Fidelis
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Santayana
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Jesus

aidje's avatar

@aanuszek1: No reason to give the actor credit for what was written by a writer and said by a character. Also, it was said by Harvey Dent, not by the Joker.

srmorgan's avatar

From Virgil—-

Fortes fortuna adiuvat”.

Translates to Fortune favors the bold.

SRM

Mr_M's avatar

I used excepts from Rod Stewart’s “FOREVER YOUNG” in my daughter’s school yearbook:

“And when you finally fly away
Ill be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
Im right behind you, win or lose
Forever young, forever young”

wondersteph's avatar

be joyful always.

Skyrail's avatar

“One day, your life will flash in front of your eyes… Make it worth watching”

“Be the change you want to see in your life”

And a not so ‘deep’ quote:

“For every difficult and complicated question there is an answer that is simple, easily understood, and wrong.”

There are probably some song lyrics I love to, but I can’t remember them right now.

asmonet's avatar

Lots of lines from the song Love Me by The Free Design.

nebule's avatar

I found this poem for my son’s Christmas present from me to him last year ( I framed it with a picture of him next to it) By Thom Gunn

Tamer and Hawk

I thought i was so tough
But gentled at your hands
Cannot be quick enough
to fly for you and show
That when i go i go
At your commands.

Even in flight above
I am no longer here
You seeled me with your love
I am blind to other birds
The habit of your words
Has Hooded me

As formerly, i wheel
i hover and i twist
But only want the feel,
In my possessive thought,
Of catcher and of caught
Upon your wrist

You but half-civilise
Taming me this way.
But having only eyes for you
I fear to lose,
I lose to keep, and choose
Tamer as Prey.

Sorceren's avatar

What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
— Goethe

VzzBzz's avatar

Outwitted by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

eaglei20200's avatar

Stick your finger anywhere in The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson. You’ll either get something weirdly silly or something that will knock your socks off.

Zen's avatar

“I get the news I need from the weather report,” P. Simon.

hartford3's avatar

‘isn’t it good..Norwegian Wood.

Gossamer's avatar

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head ;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread

nebule's avatar

Time of day i can’t recall
The kind of thing that takes it’s toll
Over years and over time
Over smiles and over wine
All in all it wasn’t bad
All in all it wasn’t good
But i still care
That’s the problem with the days
They’re never long enough to say
What it is you never said
All the books you never read
I throw myself into the wind
Hoping somebody will pick me up
And carry me again

Where are you now
Do you let me down
Do you make me grieve for you
Do i make you proud
Do you get me now
Am i your pride and joy
I believe this to be true
Nothing sacred nothing new
No one tells you when its time
There are no warnings only signs
And you know that you’re alone
You’re not a child anymore
But you’re still scared
All your mountains turn to rocks
All your oceans turn to drops
They are nothing like you thought
Can’t be something you are not
Life is not a looking glass
Don’t get tangled in your past
Like i am learning not to

Pride and Joy Brandi Carlile

TexasDude's avatar

Marriage by Gregory Corso
This Celluloid Dream by AFI
and
On a Wedding Anniversary by Dylan Thomas.

VS's avatar

I second Gambit’s selection…it was what I had in mind as soon as I read the question and also the song I plan to have played at my funeral/memorial. I LOVE the lyrics and I love the idea of forever young…

pauliepaul's avatar

she will promise you more than the garden of eden, then carelessly cut you and laugh as you’re bleeding

jobieh's avatar

“Every act which has no heart will be found out in the end. Every gesture.” —Cormac McCarthy

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” —Ernest Hemingway
One of the very finest words written in the English language, and I was so inspired by it that I rushed out and had “Strong at the Broken Places” tattooed on the inner bicep of my right arm.

nicjoe99's avatar

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.”

Dec 13, 1881— Konstantin Josef Jireček (July 24, 1854, in Vienna – January 10, 1918, in Vienna). He was a Czech historian, diplomat and slavist

VS's avatar

I’m sure you have already gotten that tattoo by now, but a short, to-the-point quote I like a lot is something we all eventually learn: Life goes on

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