Phyllis McGinley Quotes

Of course we women gossip on occasion. But our appetite for it is not as avid as a man's. It is in the boys' gyms, the college fraternity houses, the club locker rooms, the paneled offices of business that gossip reaches its luxuriant flower.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Some of My Best Friends ...," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Women are the fulfilled sex. Through our children we are able to produce our own immortality, so we lack that divine restlessness which sends men charging off in pursuit of fortune or fame or an imagined Utopia. That is why we number so few geniuses among us. The wholesome oyster wears no pearl, the healthy whale no ambergris, and as long as we can keep on adding to the race, we harbor a sort of health within ourselves.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Some of My Best Friends ...," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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A Mother's hardest to forgive. Life is the fruit she longs to hand you, Ripe on a plate. And while you live, Relentlessly she understands you.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. The Adversary, A Certain Age (1960).
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The East is the hearthside of America. Like any home, therefore, it has the defects of its virtues. Because it is a long-lived-in house, it bursts its seams, is inconvenient, needs constant refurbishing. And some of the family resources have been spent. To attain the privacy that grown-up people find so desirable, Easterners live a harder life than people elsewhere. Today it is we and not the frontiersman who must be rugged to survive.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "The Happy Exile," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Say what you will, making marriage work is a woman's business. The institution was invented to do her homage; it was contrived for her protection. Unless she accepts it as such—as a beautiful, bountiful, but quite unequal association—the going will be hard indeed.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "The Honor of Being a Woman," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Frigidity is largely nonsense. It is this generation's catchword, one only vaguely understood and constantly misused. Frigid women are few. There is a host of diffident and slow-ripening ones.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "The Honor of Being a Woman," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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The system—the American one, at least—is a vast and noble experiment. It has been polestar and exemplar for other nations. But from kindergarten until she graduates from college the girl is treated in it exactly like her brothers. She studies the same subjects, becomes proficient at the same sports. Oh, it is a magnificent lore she learns, education for the mind beyond anything Jane Austen or Saint Theresa or even Mrs. Pankhurst ever dreamed. It is truly Utopian. But Utopia was never meant to exist on this disheveled planet.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "The Honor of Being a Woman," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "The Honor of Being a Woman," The Province of the Heart (1959).
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A lady is smarter than a gentleman, maybe, She can sew a fine seam, she can have a baby, She can use her intuition instead of her brain, But she can't fold a paper in a crowded train.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. Trial and Error.
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The knowingness of little girls Is hidden underneath their curls.
Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. What Every Woman Knows, Times Three (1960).
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