Isak Dinesen Quotes

Most popular Isak Dinesen Quotes

The divine art is the story.


A great artist is never poor.


Who tells a finer tale than any of us. Silence does.
— Isak Dinesen
The entire being of a woman is a secret which should be kept.
— Isak Dinesen


The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.

sweat tears

All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

sorrow stories

Man and woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other.

men and women

Death—a passage outside the range of imagination, but within the range of experience.


If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages.


Upon the library shelves tall tomes, with their backs to the world, preserved the ponderous knowledge of ages.


Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17 - to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90.
— Isak Dinesen
Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness.
— Isak Dinesen


Some travelers are drawn forward by a goal lying before them in the way iron is drawn to the magnet.  Others are driven on by a force lying behind them.  In such a way the bowstring makes the arrow fly.


I had time after time watched the progression across the plain of the Giraffe, in their queer, inimitable, vegetative gracefulness, as if it were not a herd of animals but a family of rare, long-stemmed, speckled gigantic flowers slowly advancing.