event by which a person is forced away from home

Exile, or Banishment, means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country), while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment.

Quotes edit

  • By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
    There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
    for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
    How can we sing the songs of the LORD
    while in a foreign land?
    If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its skill.
    May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    if I do not remember you,
    if I do not consider Jerusalem
    my highest joy.
  • EXILE, n. One who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an ambassador.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • I’m in exile from the mother tongue—in exile from the foreign tongue—in exile from all the tongues that wag with the familiarity of knowing—with the credibility and the certainty—and without any kind of doubt that this is their town and country. I laugh out loud—and my laughter is as mother tongue as any laughter in any foreign tongue—but the joke is on me—because my laughter is not cheering for the other team which is roasting the barbaric tongue over an open flame of racist jokes and innuendos which is what the mother of all eggs laid in the foreign tongue wants—to leave me speechless—without a motherland—a land to mother my thoughts or a bed to lie down in.
  • You are engaged with an elsewhere that cannot be reached: Isn't that the defining characteristic of exile?
    • Breyten Breytenbach, "The Exile as African", in Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile, ed. Marc Robinson (Boston: Faber & Faber, 1994), p. 181.
You know, when you go outside on the streets after having spent the day writing, you feel like a foreign body, even in your own country. This sensation perhaps feels more natural when you are really outside your country. ~ Joseph Brodsky
  • Here in this Babylon, that’s festering
    forth as much evil as the rest of the earth;
    Here where true Love deprecates his worth,
    as his powerful mother pollutes everything.
    Here where evil is refined and good is cursed,
    and tyranny, not honor, has its way;
    Here where the Monarchy, in disarray,
    blindly attempts to mislead God, and worse.
    Here in this labyrinth, where Royalty,
    willingly, chooses to succumb
    before the Gates of Greed and Infamy;
    Here in this murky chaos and delirium,
    I carry out my tragic destiny,
    but never will I forget you, Jerusalem!
  • Of troubles none is greater than to be robbed of one's native land.
    • Euripides, Medea (431 BC), line 651, trans. David Kovacs
  • When you are exiled from a space, you are exiled from a time.
    • William H. Gass, "Exile", in Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile, ed. Marc Robinson (Boston: Faber & Faber, 1994), p. 219.
  • An exile is a person compelled to leave or remain outside his country of origin on account of well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; a person who considers his exile temporary (even though it may last a lifetime), hoping to return to his fatherland when circumstances permit—but unwilling or unable to do so as long as the factors that made him an exile persist.
    • Paul Tabori, The Anatomy of Exile: A Semantic and Historical Study (London: George G. Harrap, 1972), p. 27.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations edit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 56-57.
  • The world was all before them, where to choose
    Their place of rest, and Providence their guide;
    They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
    Through Eden took their solitary way.
  • Had we no other quarrel else to Rome, but that
    Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
    From twelve to seventy; and pouring war
    Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
    Like a bold flood o'erbear.
  • No, my good lord: banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins; but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company: banish plump Jack and banish all the world.
  • Have stooped my neck under your injuries
    And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
    Eating the bitter bread of banishment.
  • Banished?
    O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
    Howlings attend it: How hast thou the heart,
    Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
    A sin-absolver, and my friend profess'd,
    To mangle me with that word—banished?

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