A gathering of flowers. (Word flowers.)

Hey, you found the florilegium!

What's a florilegium?

In medieval Latin, "florilegium" was used to denote a collection of extracts from longer written texts.

(It also could be applied literally, to mean a collection of paintings or books about plants.)

In short, though, it's a list of quotes.

Why is this on your site?

Writers have one (maybe only one) thing in common: Love of language.

For me, this takes the form of:

  1. Reading constantly, everything I can get my hands on
  2. Writing. Daily.
  3. Memorizing and reciting poetry
  4. Making lists of quotes that are funny, interesting, clever, or change the way I see the world

As far back as I can remember, I have loved making lists of quotes.

I'd be at a party and one of my friends would say something funny or clever, and I'd go running for a pen and piece of paper so I could write it down before I forgot.

I've kept lists of quotes at workplaces and while watching TV shows. I've had entire logs of quotes from favorite professors. I've been known to scribble down quotes in complete darkness in the middle of rock concerts and comedy shows. My very first website, way back in 1996, had a florilegium (although I didn't call it that, at the time).

I included another florilegium as an appendix to my master's thesis in 2012.

Whenever I see something phrased well, my brain just wants to hang onto it.

Since I now care about great phrases for a living, this compulsion seems like it was always leading me somewhere.

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could." ― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead

"One day, you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through, and it will be someone else’s survival guide." — Brené Brown

"A professional's work has style; it is distinctively his own. But he doesn't let his signature grandstand for him. His style serves the material. He does not impose it as a means of drawing attention to himself. This doesn't meant that the professional doesn't throw down a 360 tomahawk jam from time to time, just to let the boys know he's still in business." — Steven Pressfield

"There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s stories and write your own." — Albert Einstein

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." — Maya Angelou

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If a story is in you, it has to come out." — William Faulkner

"In the end, we’ll all become stories." — Margaret Atwood

"If you think you're having a bad day, spare a thought for the helmsman who somehow managed to stick his giantass ship sideways in the goddamn Suez Canal and blocked it into literal gridlock and is currently costing every seafaring nation of Earth like millions of dollars every hour." — Shiv Ramdas (@nameshiv)

"The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow." —Marian Anderson

"Platitude — An idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true." — H.L. Mencken

"Well-done is better than well-said." — Ben Franklin

"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood." — Audre Lorde

"Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now." — Annie Dillard

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." — Joan Didion

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." — Gloria Steinem

"Everything, absolutely everything, changes continuously. A person is not a static thing. He or she is a becoming." — Alexander Jodorowsky

"When I am dust, sing these words over my bones: She was a voice." — Sue Monk Kidd

"Find what you love and let it kill you." — Charles Bukowski

"I have never agreed with Jefferson once
We have fought on like seventy-five diff'rent fronts
But when all is said and done
Jefferson has beliefs; Burr has none." — Lin-Manuel Miranda

"A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste — It's hearty, it's healthy, it's physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I'm against." — Diana Vreeland

"This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it." — Marilynne Robinson

"Paradise has a limited vocabulary. Hell is far more eloquent." — Daniel Poppick

"A critic is someone who comes onto the battlefield after the battle is over and shoots the wounded." — Murray Kempton

"Trespassing, huh? That's where it starts. Next thing you know, it's rabies!" — Charles Barkley (SNL)

"Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there shining." — Anne Lamott

"What a luxury, to tell one's story. To be read, remembered." — V.E. Schwab

"All of humankind has one thing in common: The sandwich. I believe that all anyone wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich." — Liz Lemon

"Their underestimatin' me... Who I was had nothing to do with it. Because if they were curious, they would've asked questions. You know? Questions like, 'Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?"" — Ted Lasso

"Rain is grace. Rain is the sky descending to the earth. Without rain, there would be no life." — John Updike

"You can depend on Americans to do the right thing when they have exhausted every other possibility." — Abba Eban

"If I cannot fly, let me sing." — Stephen Sondheim

"The only thing better than singing is more singing." — Ella Fitzgerald

"If you haven't experienced this — to die, and so, to grow — you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again." — Ed Ricketts

"Women don't need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to be encouraged to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen." — Meghan Markle

"Everything starts from a dot." — Wassily Kandinsky

"The degree to which you can receive and accurately interpret intuitive messages will be commensurate with your ability to be okay with not being certain." — Carmen Spagnola

"Art and love are the same thing: It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you." — Chuck Klosterman

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful, than a life spent doing nothing." — George Bernard Shaw

"Nobody who likes their own life is gonna waste time trying to belittle yours. Take up allllllll the space you want." — Niecy Nash

"If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here." — Amir Khusru

"A diet changes the way you look. A fast changes the way you see." — Lisa Bevere

"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: 1. Is it true? 2. Is it necessary? 3. Is it kind?" — Rumi

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." — Steve Jobs

"Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." Brené Brown

"Reading and writing cannot be separated. Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out." — Pam Allyn

"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." — Confucius

"Take your pleasure seriously." — Charles Eames

"Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager." — Susan Sontag

"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying 'I don't want to.'" — Lao Tzu

"One luminary clock against the sky proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night." — Robert Frost

"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." — Deepak Chopra

"They were poor then, but everyone had been poor. He hadn't minded the sweeping, just the thought of it. Like now, when people ask him what he's thinking, and he says, 'I'm listening.'" — Rita Dove

"Do I contradict myself? ... Very well then, I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" — Walt Whitman

"Being solitary is being alone well. Being alone, luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence, rather than the absence of others." — Alice Koller

"And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling 'This is important!' And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart, and say 'No, this is what's important.'" — Iain Thomas

"And then Harold Godwinson assumes the throne. But then this other Harold — there's always another Harold — Harold Hardrararrhghhhgh..." (on the fight for the English throne after the death of Edward the Confessor) It was hot Harold-on-Harold action." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"It's a good thing they had a tapestry artist on the scene of the battle to depict this." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"As any of you who've dealt with Celts know, you can conquer some of the Celts, but not all." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"Just in case this were in danger of turning into a literature class where we'd get to enjoy reading some poetry, I want to make sure we don't have any enjoyment." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"We begin with the question that so many parents have to face at some point: 'Mommy, where do phonemes come from?'" — Dr. Matt Gordon

"And we got a lot of loanwords from French. For instance, 'my liege.' Again, stay away from renaissance faires." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"Only people who don't know would spell it pone. Pwn is the correct spelling, you'd expose yourself as a n00b if you spell it the other way. Who would like to explain pwning? Um... pwning is when you totally pwn someone." — Dr. Matt Gordon

"What if you could only say 'Missouri,' and you could never say 'Missourah'? Well, if you were a Republican politician, can you imagine how hamstrung that would make you, not to be able to express your man-of-the-people-hood?" — Dr. Matt Gordon

"Where do they say 'pop'? Chicago, Kansas City, everywhere God-fearing Americans live. Where do they say 'soda'? St. Louis, Sodom, right. 'Soda' is the dominant form on the East Coast, and California, and other places without moral values." — Dr. Matt Gordon

""If you've met people from Michigan, which I don't necessarily recommend, you would have heard this vowel shift." — Dr. Matt Gordon