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Diane Ackerman Quotes

Diane Ackerman (October 7, 1948 - )


Diane Ackerman is an American poet and prose writer, whose works on science and natural history reflect a wonder of the natural world. Diane Ackerman describes herself as a sensuist.

Selected Diane Ackerman Quotations

• We live on the leash of our senses.

• There is no way in which to understand the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses.

• Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth.

• If a mind is just a few pounds of blood, urea, and electricity, how does it manage to contemplate itself, worry about its soul, do time-and-motion studies, admire the shy hooves of a goat, know that it will die, enjoy all the grand and lesser mayhems of the heart?

• Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant inside a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes in a gym bag.

• People sometimes ask me about all of the science in my work, thinking it odd that I should wish to combine science and art, and assuming that I must have some inner pledge or outer maxim I follow. But the hardest job for me is trying to keep science out of my writing. We live in a world where amino acids, viruses, airfoils, and such are common ingredients in our daily sense of Nature. Not to write about Nature in its widest sense, because quasars or corpuscles are not "the proper realm of poetry," as a critic once said to me, is not only irresponsible and philistine, it bankrupts the experience of living, it ignores much of life's fascination and variety.

• I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

• Look in the mirror. The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secret.

• Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is.

• It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

• There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.

• After all, coffee is bitter, a flavor from the forbidden and dangerous realm.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Diane Ackerman Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/ackerman.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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