Rod McKuen Quotes

Who is Rod McKuen?

Rodney Marvin McKuen was an American poet, singer-songwriter, and actor. In the 1960s, McKuen was one of the best-selling poets and spoken word artists.

Born April 29, 1933
Died January 29, 2015

Books by Rod McKuen


Best 40 Quotes by Rod McKuen | Page 1 of 2

“A poet can't afford to be aloof. The tools of his trade are the people he bumps up against.”

“Cats have it all - admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.”

“Even when you feel you've reached the end or edge of life, hold on. Life itself will ultimately take care of you.”

“Everybody has the answers or they'll make them up for you. Just once I'd like to hear a brand-new question.”

“Extending your hand is extending yourself.”

“I chose the shadows; they did not choose me. I stay here securely not just because I feel plain, but because disappearance is by now the easy way. The habit. The worn path that I can trod knowingly and be assured safe passage home.”

“I have never known a cat that couldn't quiet me down just by walking slowly past my chair.”

“If I could do it over, I'd do better.”

“If you love somebody, tell them.”

“Laws and machines are shaped to fit the classes.”

“Love is a sweet thing caught a moment and held in a golden eye.”

“Never fear being alone, because you never are.”

“Once I thought ideas were exceptions not the rule. That is not so. Ideas are so plentiful that they ride on air. You have only to reach out and snatch one.”

“People are not born b*stards. They have to work at it.”

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“People often say 'I live for my art.' Bullsh*t! If you are given a talent it's to be used. It's not in the private domain.”

“Poetry is fact given over to imagery.”

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“Retrospectively, I would agree with Luis Buñuel that sex without sin is like an egg without salt.”


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“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.”

“The gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.”

“The journey back is always longer than the forward run.”

“The world needs writers. We will always be necessary. There are few professions that can claim that distinction.”

“There is no other way to find ourselves but in each others faces.”

“There's no misery in not being loved, only in not loving.”

“To understand others you should get behind their eyes and walk down their spines.”

“Unless you call attention
to your presence
who will know you're there?

Even a country
has to weave and wave a flag
as proof of its existence.”

“We come into the world alone. We go away the same. We're meant to spend the interlude between in closeness or so we tell ourselves. But it's a long way from the morning to the evening.”

“We will all wake up semi-angels,
If we wake at all.”

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“And if the world breaks down, I'll be around.”

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“Crowded rooms and lonesome tunes and very little sky.”

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“I want to see the world within the circle of your arms and sail the wide sea of your thighs.”

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“I will not ask you where you have been tonight. I'll only say hello and hope.”

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“A war against terrorism is an impracticable conception if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism.”


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