February 21

day of the year

Quotes of the day from previous years:

Careful the things you say, children will listen. Guide them along the way, children will see and learn. Children may not obey, but children will look to you for which way to turn; to learn what to be! Careful before you say "Listen to Me." Children will listen. ~ Into the Woods (Sondheim/Lapine)
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

~ W. H. Auden (born 21 February 1907)
When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with. ~ Anaïs Nin (born 21 February 1903)
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

~ W. H. Auden ~
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~ Anaïs Nin
Without Art, we should have no notion of the sacred; without Science, we should always worship false gods. ~ W. H. Auden
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

~ W. H. Auden ~
We are beginning to see the influence of dream upon reality and reality upon dream. ~ Anaïs Nin
I remember thinking how often we look, but never see … we listen, but never hear … we exist, but never feel. We take our relationships for granted. A house is only a place. It has no life of its own. It needs human voices, activity and laughter to come alive. ~ Erma Bombeck (born 21 February 1927)

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

~ W. H. Auden ~
This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.
~ Ellen Page ~
The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it. He hopes to impose his particular vision and share it with others. And when the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
~ Anaïs Nin ~
Erratum : This QOTD originally was presented with the statement "All writers have concealed more than they revealed" at the start of it. This is also quote of Anaïs Nin, but from a later portion of the same work, and after reviewing my notes, I believe its inclusion at the start of this statement was a transcription error entirely on my part, as I rather hurriedly gathered up ideas to use for QOTD in the brief time I had the day before yesterday. In over 11 years of QOTD work, I believe this is the first time I have made this type of error, and will be on guard against repeating it in the future. ~ ♌︎Kalki ⚓︎ 23:58, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. I know many of you have struggled with this. I draw upon your strength and your support, and have, in ways you will never know. I’m here today because I am gay. And because… maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.
~ Ellen Page ~
All of us, can do so much more together than any one person can do alone. And I hope that thought bolsters you as much as it does me.
~ Ellen Page ~
I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but to the Divine. I obey no master, no rules, no law, no social convention, but the Divine. To Him I have surrendered all, will, life and self; for Him I am ready to give all my blood, drop by drop, if such is His will, with complete joy, and nothing in his service can be sacrifice, for all is perfect delight.
~ Mirra Alfassa ~
One handles truths like dynamite. Literature is one vast hypocrisy, a giant deception, treachery. All writers have concealed more than they revealed.
But paradoxically, we create fiction out of human concern for the victims of the revelations. This concern is at the root of literature.
~ Anaïs Nin ~
The creative personality never remains fixed on the first world it discovers. It never resigns itself to anything.
~ Anaïs Nin ~
The intolerant can be viewed as free-riders, as persons who seek the advantages of just institutions while not doing their share to uphold them.
~ John Rawls ~
Whatever the field under discussion, those who engage in debate must not only believe in each other's good faith, but also in their capacity to arrive at the truth.
~ W. H. Auden ~
Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. As you know, Mr. President, I said to you at the beginning, he’s counting on us not sticking together. He was counting on the inability to keep NATO united. He was counting on us not to be able to bring in others on the side of Ukraine.
He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now.
~ Joe Biden ~
The basic stimulus to the intelligence is doubt, a feeling that the meaning of an experience is not self-evident.
~ W. H. Auden ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

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3 : Very Good – strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good – some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable – but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable – not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.
An averaging of the rankings provided to each suggestion produces it’s general ranking in considerations for selection of Quote of the Day. The selections made are usually chosen from the top ranked options existing on the page, but the provision of highly ranked late additions, especially in regard to special events (most commonly in regard to the deaths of famous people, or other major social or physical occurrences), always remain an option for final selections.
Thank you for participating!

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~ Anaïs Nin
  • There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic. ~ Anaïs Nin
  • We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anaïs Nin
    • Used 14 September 2004, selected by Kalki [originally this was an unsourced quote, but is now a disputed one, with no definite source as yet found. ~ Kalki 18:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)]



I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don't believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn't want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn't know how to return the treatment. ~ Malcolm X (Death Date)

  • Liquidice5 14:24, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 23:32, 20 February 2006 (UTC) (but might rank it higher on his birth-date)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 20:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 22:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being. ~ Malcolm X (Death Date)

  • Liquidice5 14:24, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 23:32, 20 February 2006 (UTC) (but even when there are very good quotes available, I generally prefer to use quotes on people's date of birth rather than their date of death).
  • 3 InvisibleSun 20:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 22:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.
~ W. H. Auden

  • 3 InvisibleSun 20:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 20:35, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 22:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

When I consider others I can easily believe that their bodies express their personalities and that the two are inseparable. But it is impossible for me not to feel that my body is other than I, that I inhabit it like a house, and that my face is a mask which, with or without my consent, conceals my real nature from others. ~ W. H. Auden

  • 3 InvisibleSun 20:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 20:35, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 22:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of the gun. The gun which produces the vote should remain its security officer – its guarantor. The people's votes and the people's guns are always inseparable twins. ~ Robert Mugabe (born February 21)

  • 2 because artillery and weaponry is needed just as much as the people's votes, national unity and national protection go hand in hand. Zarbon 04:48, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 23:44, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

It may be necessary to use methods other than constitutional ones. ~ Robert Mugabe (born February 21)

  • 2 because sometimes drastic situations may call for drastic measures. Zarbon 04:48, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 23:44, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we are all supposed to act, dress and speak. They serve no one. Anyone who defies these so-called 'norms' becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny. The LGBT community knows this all too well. Yet there is courage all around us.
~ Ellen Page ~

Love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.
~ Ellen Page ~

The suppression of liberty is always likely to be irrational.
~ John Rawls ~

But hold – a ring, a watch, a locket,

Would drain at once a Poet’s pocket;

He should send songs that cost him nought,

Nor ev’n he prodigal of thought.

~ John Gay ~
  • 1 FPTI (talk) 18:56, 20 February 2024 (UTC)