Stanisław Jerzy Lec

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If I had been present at creation, I would have given some useful hints.
Alfonso The Wise
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Stanisław Jerzy Lec (1909-03-06 - 1966-05-07) was a Polish poet and aphorist.


  • "Burząc pomniki, oszczędzajcie cokoły. Zawsze mogą się przydać."
    • Translation: "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals - they always come in handy."
    • Unkempt Thoughts (Myśli nieuczesane)
  • "Wszystko jest w rękach człowieka. Dlatego należy je często myć."
    • Translation: "All is in the hands of man. Therefore you should wash them often."
    • Unkempt Thoughts (Myśli nieuczesane)
  • "Nawet w jego milczeniu były błędy językowe."
    • Translation: "There were grammatical errors even in his silence."
    • Unkempt Thoughts (Myśli nieuczesane)
  • "'Pogrożę mu tylko palcem'" - rzekł, kładąc go na cynglu."
    • Translation: "'I will just wag my finger at him', he said, putting it on the trigger."
    • Unkempt Thoughts (Myśli nieuczesane)


  • A dream will always triumph over reality, once it is given the chance.
  • Do not trust people. They are capable of greatness.
  • To torture a man you have to know his pleasures.
  • We know we are on the wrong track, but we are compensating for this shortcoming by accelerating.
    • Cited by Hermann Scheer in his book Energy Autonomy
  • The exit is usually where the entrance was."
  • He who limps is still walking.
  • In a war of ideas it is people who get killed.
  • The mob shouts with one big mouth and eats with a thousand little ones.
  • Even a glass eye can see its blindness.
  • To whom should we marry Freedom, to make it multiply?
  • I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward.
  • You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.
  • Optimists and pessimists differ only on the date of the end of the world.
  • Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork? (Hence the title Cannibals with Forks by John Elkington)
  • If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?
  • No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
  • All is in the hands of man. Therefore wash them often.
  • Do not ask God the way to heaven; he will show you the hardest one.
  • If you are not a psychiatrist, stay away from idiots. They are too stupid to pay a layman for his company.
  • Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man, but they don't bite everybody.
  • The first condition of immortality is death.
  • Suppose you succeed in breaking the wall with your head. And what, then, will you do in the next cell?

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