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date: 24 April 2024

The Present 

see also Past
  1. To-morrow for the young the poets exploding like bombs,
    The walks by the lake, the weeks of perfect communion;
    To-morrow the bicycle races
    Through the suburbs on summer evenings: but to-day the struggle.
    W. H. Auden 1907–73 English poet: ‘Spain 1937’ (1937) st. 20
  2. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    The Bible (Authorized Version, 1611): St Matthew ch. 6, v. 34
  3. Few people can say: I am here. They look for themselves in the past and see themselves in the future.
    Georges Braque 1882–1963 French painter: Alex Danchev Georges Braque (2005)
  4. Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies.
    And be it gash or gold it will not come
    Again in this identical disguise.
    Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 American poet: ‘Exhaust the little moment’ (1949)
  5. The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today.
    Lewis Carroll 1832–98 English writer and logician: Through the Looking-Glass (1872) ch. 5
  6. The present is the funeral of the past,
    And man the living sepulchre of life.
    John Clare 1793–1864 English poet: ‘The present is the funeral of the past’ (written 1845)
  7. Forever—is composed of nows.
    Emily Dickinson 1830–86 American poet: ‘Forever—is composed of nows’ (c. 1863)
  8. Ah, fill the cup:—what boots it to repeat
    How time is slipping underneath our feet:
    Unborn tomorrow, and dead yesterday,
    Why fret about them if today be sweet!
    Edward Fitzgerald 1809–83 English scholar and poet: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1859) st. 37
  9. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
    Seize the day, put no trust in the future.
    Horace 65–8 bc Roman poet: Odes bk. 1, no. 11, l. 8
  10. When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London.
    Bette Midler 1945–  American actress: attributed
  11. Below my window…the blossom is out in full now…I see it is the whitest, frothiest, blossomiest blossom that there ever could be, and I can see it. Things are both more trivial than they ever were, and more important than they ever were, and the difference between the trivial and the important doesn't seem to matter. But the nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous.
    on his heightened awareness of things, in the face of his imminent death
    Dennis Potter 1935–94 English television dramatist: interview with Melvyn Bragg on Channel 4, March 1994
  12. The New Age? It's just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds.
    James Randi 1928–  Canadian-born American conjuror: in Observer 14 April 1991
  13. Life is one tenth Here and Now, nine-tenths a history lesson. For most of the time the Here and Now is neither now nor here.
    Graham Swift 1949–  British writer: Waterland (1984)
  14. The present enables us to understand the past, not the other way round.
    A. J. P. Taylor 1906–90 British historian: The Troublemakers: Dissent over British Foreign Policy, 1792–1939 (1957)