Phyllis McGinley Quotes

Kindness is a virtue neither modern nor urban. One almost unlearns it in a city. Towns have their own beatitude; they are not unfriendly; they offer a vast and solacing anonymity or an equally vast and solacing gregariousness. But one needs a neighbor on whom to practice compassion.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "A Garland of Kindness," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Who could deny that privacy is a jewel? It has always been the mark of privilege, the distinguishing feature of a truly urbane culture. Out of the cave, the tribal tepee, the pueblo, the community fortress, man emerged to build himself a house of his own with a shelter in it for himself and his diversions. Every age has seen it so. The poor might have to huddle together in cities for need's sake, and the frontiersman cling to his neighbors for the sake of protection. But in each civilization, as it advanced, those who could afford it chose the luxury of a withdrawing-place.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "A Lost Privilege," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Gossip isn't scandal and it's not merely malicious. It's chatter about the human race by lovers of the same. Gossip is the tool of the poet, the shop-talk of the scientist, and the consolation of the housewife, wit, tycoon and intellectual. It begins in the nursery and ends when speech is past.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "A New Year and No Resolutions," Woman's Home Companion (Jan. 1957).
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Please to put a nickel, Please to put a dime. How petitions trickle In at Christmas time!
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Dear Madam: We Know You Will Want to Contribute ...," Times Three (1960).
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The Enemy, who wears Her mother's usual face And confidential tone, Has access; doubtless stares Into her writing case And listens on the phone.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Fourteenth Birthday," Times Three (1960).
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The thing to remember about fathers is, they're men. A girl has to keep it in mind: They are dragon-seekers, bent on improbable rescues. Scratch any father, you find Someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors, Believing change is a threat— Like your first shoes with heels on, like your first bicycle It took such months to get.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. Girl's-Eye View of Relatives: First Lesson, Times Three (1960).
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Sisters are always drying their hair. Locked into rooms, alone, They pose at the mirror, shoulders bare, Trying this way and that their hair, Or fly importunate down the stair To answer the telephone.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. Girl's-Eye View of Relatives: Triolet against Sisters, Times Three (1960).
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Oh high is the price of parenthood, And daughters may cost you double. You dare not forget, as you thought you could, That youth is a plague and a trouble.
Phyllis McGinley (20th century), U.S. poet, author. "Homework for Anabelle," Times Three (1960).
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Sin has always been an ugly word, but it has been made so in a new sense over the last half-century. It has been made not only ugly but passé. People are no longer sinful, they are only immature or underprivileged or frightened or, more particularly, sick.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "In Defense of Sin," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Sometimes I have a notion that what might improve the situation is to have women take over the occupations of government and trade and to give men their freedom. Let them do what they are best at. While we scrawl interoffice memos and direct national or extranational affairs, men could spend all their time inventing wheels, peering at stars, composing poems, carving statues, exploring continents—discovering, reforming, or crying out in a sacramental wilderness. Efficiency would probably increase, and no one would have to worry so much about the Gaza Strip or an election.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Some of My Best Friends ...," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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