Do you want my one-word secret of happiness—It's growth—mental, financial, you name it.Harold S. Geneen
- Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
- "An Arundel Tomb," The Whitsun Weddings (1964) [20 February 1956]
- The glare of that much-mentioned brilliance, love,
Broke out, to show
Its bright incipience sailing above,
Still promising to solve, and satisfy,
And set unchangeably in order. So
To pile them back, to cry,
Was hard, without lamely admitting how
It had not done so then, and could not now.
- "Love Songs in Age," The Whitsun Weddings (1964) [1 January 1957]
- Get stewed:
Books are a load of crap.
- "A Study of Reading Habits," The Whitsun Weddings (1964) [20 August 1960]
- Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word — the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.
- "MCMXIV," The Whitsun Weddings (1964)
- They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
- "This Be The Verse," High Windows (1974) [April ? 1971]
- The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
- "The Mower," Humberside (Hull Literary Club magazine) (Autumn 1979) [12 June 1979]
- Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.
- "A voice for our time," interview with Miriam Gross in The Observer, (16 December 1979); republished in Required Writing (1983) Faber and Faber