Willa Cather Quotes

Most popular Willa Cather Quotes

Accomplishments are the ornaments of life.

life accomplishment

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
— Willa Cather
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.

miracles love

She would take any amount of trouble to avoid trouble.


A child's attitude toward everything is an artist's attitude.
— Willa Cather
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.

learning experience

Beauty is the sense of life, and the awe one has in its presence.
— Willa Cather
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.


Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.


The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.
— Willa Cather


Money is a protection, a cloak; it can buy one quiet, and some sort of dignity.

money dignity

Religion is different from everything else; because in religion seeking is finding.


Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.


In this world people have to pay an extortionate price for any exceptional gift whatever.

beauty talent

Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness.
— Willa Cather
The universal human yearning is for something permanent, enduring, without shadow of change.
— Willa Cather
The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own.

heart relationships understanding others

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.


The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
— Willa Cather
A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves.


When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them, as if their reason had left them.


There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.

stories the human condition

It's all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends?
— Willa Cather


The world is little, people are little, human life is little.  There is only one big thing—desire.  And before it, when it is big, all is little.


Her sarcasm was so quick, so fine at the point—it was like being touched by a metal so cold that one doesn't know whether one is burned or chilled.
What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself—life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.


Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand—a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods—or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is not market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.


One realizes that even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe in our neighbour's household, and, underneath, another – secret and passionate and intense – which is the real life that stamps the faces and gives character to the voices of our friends. Always in his mind each member of these social units is escaping, running away, trying to break the net which circumstances and his own affections have woven about him. One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. In those simple relationships of loving husband and wife, affectionate sisters, children and grandmother, there are innumerable shades of sweetness and anguish which make up the pattern of our lives day by day.
— Willa Cather

family the human condition the self relationships