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Suffering quotes

My children cause me the most exquisite suffering of which I have any experience. It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness. Sometimes I seem to myself, in my feelings toward these tiny guiltless beings, a monster of selfishness and intolerance.

- Rich, Adrienne

Concerning God, freewill and destiny: Of all that earth has been or yet may be, all that vain men imagine or believe, or hope can paint or suffering may achieve, we descanted.

- Shelley, Percy Bysshe

You can't drown your sorrows, they always float to the surface.


Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us we will realize that we are somehow being carried forward even as we tumble. We are actually being -helped even as we cry for help.

- Maxwell, Neal A.

You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.

- John Ciardi

One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.

- Fitzgerald, F. Scott

The being who, for most men, is the source of the most lively, and even, be it said, to the shame of philosophical delights, the most lasting joys; the being towards or for whom all their efforts tend for whom and by whom fortunes are made and lost; for whom, but especially by whom, artists and poets compose their most delicate jewels; from whom flow the most enervating pleasures and the most enriching sufferings -- woman, in a word, is not, for the artist in general... only the female of the human species. She is rather a divinity, a star.

- Baudelaire, Charles

Where there's hope, there's life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again. We'll need to be brave to endure the many fears and hardships and the suffering yet to come.

- Anne Frank

If suffer we must, let's suffer on the heights.

- Victor Hugo

Whenever you think of our Lord's resurrection and ascension, remember always that the background of His triumph is a tomb. Remember that it is the triumph over suffering; a triumph of One who still bears the prints of the nails in His sacred hands and feet, and the wound of the spear in His side; like many a poor soul who has followed Him, triumphant at last, and yet scarred, and only not maimed in the hard battle of life.

- All Saints' Day Sermons. 1870.

Surely there must be some way to find a husband or, for that matter, merely an escort, without sacrificing one's privacy, self-respect, and interior decorating scheme. For example, men could be imported from the developing countries, many parts of which are suffering from a man excess, at least in relation to local food supply.

- Ehrenreich, Barbara

Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some.

- Jose Marti

A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.

- Seneca

I claim that in losing the spinning wheel we lost our left lung. We are, therefore, suffering from galloping consumption. The restoration of the wheel arrests the progress of the fell disease.

- Gandhi, Mahatma

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.


A reader who quarrels with postulates, who dislikes Hamlet because he does not believe that there are ghosts or that people speak in pentameters, clearly has no business in literature. He cannot distinguish fiction from fact, and belongs in the same category as the people who send checks to radio stations for the relief of suffering heroines in soap operas.

- Frye, Northrop

Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just.

- Weil, Simone

Men are not suffering from the lack of good literature, good art, good theatre, good music, but from that which has made it impossible for these to become manifest. In short, they are suffering from the silent shameful conspiracy (the more shameful since it is unacknowledged) which has bound them together as enemies of art and artists.

- Miller, Henry

We all choke.

- Strange, Curtis

One must really have suffered oneself to help others.

- Mother Teresa

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