The life of a wise man is most of all extemporaneous, for he lives out of an eternity which includes all time.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 332, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
(John Milton (1608-1674), British poet. repr. In Complete Prose Works of Milton, ed. Ernest Sirluck (1959). Areopagitica: a Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England (1644).)
It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived. Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be.
(Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), U.S. poet. repr. In "Return from the Excursion," Riders on Earth (1978). "Heaven and Earth and the Cage of Form," Rockefeller University Forum (January-February 1968).)