| I am a genius. Then it amused me to keep saying so, but now it does not. I expected to be happy sometime. Now I know I shall never be.
| I would rather be a fairly happy wife and mother.
| I want to live quietly.
| I was born to be alone, and I always shall be; but now I want to be.
| Just why I sent it to the publishers would be hard to say, but when I had finished it I felt that it was literature, because it is real and because it was well written. And I know that the world wants such things.
| Fame is indeed beautiful and benign and gentle and satisfying, but happiness is something at once tender and brilliant beyond all things.
| When I was three years old I was taken with my family to a little town in Western Minnesota, where I lived a more or less vapid and ordinary life until I was ten.
| Of poets I put Virgil first - he was greatest.
| My intention to lecture is as vague as my intention is to go on the stage. I will never consider an offer to lecture, not because I despise the vocation, but because I have no desire to appear on the public rostrum.
| When I wrote my book I wanted to love someone. I wanted to be in love. Now I know that I shall never be in love - and I no longer wish to be.
| I love devils.
| The only joy I had was writing what was. That book was. It no longer amuses me to be all the things I was when I wrote that. But it is my story as I was then.
| It is with pain that I read of the dire effects of my book upon the minds of young girls.
| I do not see any beauty in self-restraint.
| One must always say things that aim to interest, because in the world one must after all pay for one's keep.
| I read of the Kalamazoo girl who killed herself after reading the book. I am not at all surprised. She lived in Kalamazoo, for one thing, and then she read the book.
| Genius of a kind has always been with me; an empty heart that has taken on a certain wooden quality; an excellent, strong woman's body and a pitiably starved soul.
| The world is like a little marsh filled with mint and white hawthorn.
| Well, if I am not vulgar, neither is my book. I wrote myself. Suggestiveness is always vulgar. But truth never. My book is not even remotely suggestive. I call things by their names. That is all.
| I have never read a line of Walt Whitman.