Quotes from The Story of My Life

Helen Keller ·  240 pages

Rating: (114.6K votes)


“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Knowledge is love and light and vision.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities? Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life



“The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of
some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“One painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Do not think of todays failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“In a word, literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. The things I have learned and the things I have been taught seem of ridiculously little importance compared with their "large loves and heavenly charities.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together. We have a pattern in mind which we wish to work out in words; but the words will not fit the spaces, or, if they do, they will not match the design. ”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life



“Knowledge is power." Rather, knowledge is happiness, because to have knowledge - broad, deep knowledge - is to know true ends from false, and lofty things from low. To know the thoughts and deeds that have marked man's progress is to feel the great heart-throbs of humanity through the centuries; and if one does not feel in these pulsations a heavenward striving, one must indeed be deaf to the harmonies of life.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“...our enjoyment of the great works of literature depends more upon the depth of our sympathy than upon our understanding.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“It is so pleasant to learn about new things. Every day I find how little I know, but I do not feel discouraged since God has given me an eternity in which to learn more.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“I do not mean to object to a thorough knowledge of the famous works we read. I object only to the interminable comments and bewildering criticisms that teach but one thing: there are as many opinions as there are men.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“They took away what should have been my eyes (but I remembered Milton's Paradise). They took away what should have been my ears, (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears) They took away what should have been my tongue, (but I had talked with god when I was young) He would not let them take away my soul, possessing that I still possess the whole.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life



“For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and joining hands with the winds we felt ourselves divine.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Great poetry, whether written in Greek or in English, needs no other interpreter than a responsive heart.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“In a word, literature is my utopia.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“I read from Mark Twain's lips one or two of his good stories. He has his own way of thinking, saying and doing everything. I feel the twinkle of his eye in his handshake. Even while he utters his cynical wisdom in an indescribably droll voice, he makes you feel that his heart is a tender Iliad of human sympathy.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in, and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding-line, and had no way of knowing how near the harbour was. "Light! give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life



“The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. The touch of some hands is an impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger-tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm. Others there are whose hands have sunbeams in them, so that their grasp warms my heart. It may be only the clinging touch of a child's hand; but there is as much potential sunshine in it for me as there is in a loving glance for others. A hearty handshake or a friendly letter gives me genuine pleasure.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“when one door of happiness closes another opens but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one the one which has opened for us.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“But the examinations are the chief bugbears of my college life. Although I have faced them many times and cast them down and made them bite the dust, yet they rise again and menace me with pale looks, until like Bob Acres I feel my courage oozing out at my finger ends. The days before these ordeals take place are spent in cramming your mind with mystic formula and indigestible dates—unpalatable diets, until you wish that books and science and you were buried in the depths of the sea.

At last the dreaded hour arrives, and you are a favoured being indeed if you feel prepared, and are able at the right time to call to your standard thoughts that will aid you in that supreme effort. It happens too often that your trumpet call is unheeded. It is most perplexing and exasperating that just at the moment when you need your memory and a nice sense of discrimination, these faculties take to themselves wings and fly away. The facts you have garnered with such infinite trouble invariably fail you at a pinch.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“What does this beauty or than music mean to you? You cannot see the waves rolling up the beach or hear their roar. What do they mean to you?' In the most evident sense they mean everything. I cannot fathom or define their meaning any more than I can fathom or define love or religion or goodness.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“There are moments when I feel that the Shylocks, the Judases, and even the Devil are broken spokes in the great wheel of good which shall in due time be mad whole.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life



“Under softest touch hides treacherous claws.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“Is it not true, then, that my life with all its limitations touches at many points the life of the World Beautiful? Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“There is one universal religion, Helen—the religion of love. Love your Heavenly Father with your whole heart and soul, love every child of God as much as ever you can, and remember that the possibilities of good are greater than the possibilities of evil; and you have the key to Heaven.”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


“واذا بى لاول مرة اتطلع فى شوق الى طلوع اليوم التالى !”
― Helen Keller, quote from The Story of My Life


About the author

Helen Keller
Born place: in Tuscumbia, Alabama, The United States
Born date June 27, 1880
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Popular quotes

“If my twelve-year-old self, of whom I had grown rather fond, thinking about him, were to reproach me: 'Why have you grown up such a dull dog, when I gave you such a good start? Why have you spent your time in dusty libraries, catologuing other people's books instead of writing your own? What had become of the Ram, the Bull and the Lion, the example I gave you to emulate? Where above all is the Virgin, with her shining face and curling tresses, whom I entrusted to you'- what should I say?

I should have an answer ready. 'Well, it was you who let me down, and I will tell you how. You flew too near to the sun, and you were scorched. This cindery creature is what you made me.'

To which he might reply: 'But you have had half a century to get over it! Half a century, half the twentieth century, that glorious epoch, that golden age that I bequeathed to you!'

'Has the twentieth century,' I should ask, 'done so much better than I have? When you leave this room, which I admit is dull and cheerless, and take the last bus to your home in the past, if you haven't missed it - ask yourself whether you found everything so radiant as you imagined it. Ask yourself whether it has fulfilled your hopes. You were vanquished, Colston, you were vanquished, and so was your century, your precious century that you hoped so much of.”
― L.P. Hartley, quote from The Go-Between


“we would understand much more about life’s complexities if we applied ourselves to an assiduous study of its contradictions, instead of wasting time
on identities and coherences, seeing as these have a duty to provide their own explanations.”
― José Saramago, quote from The Cave


“I have always been taught to be proud of being Latina, proud of being Mexican, and I was. I was probably more proud of being a "label" than of being a human being, that's the way most of us were taught.”
― Erin Gruwell, quote from The Freedom Writers Diary


“Raven paced restlessly across the floor of the cabin, sending Jacques a little self-mocking smile. “I’m very good at waiting.”
“I can see that,” Jacques agreed dryly.
“Come on, Jacques”— Raven made the length of the room again, turned to face him—“ don’t you find this even a little bit nerve-racking?” He leaned lazily back in his chair, flashing a cocky grin.
“Being caged up with a beautiful lunatic, you mean?”
“Ha, ha, ha. Do all Carpathian males think they’re stand-up comedians?”
“Just those of us with sisters-in-law who bounce off walls. I feel like I am watching a Ping-Pong ball. Settle down.”
“Well, how long does something like this take? I thought he implied he’d be in and out of the hospital in two minutes, Jacques. What could have gone wrong? Mikhail was very upset.”
“Mikhail did not actually say anything went wrong, did he?” Jacques asked, blankly innocent.
Raven’s large blue-violet eyes settled on Jacques’s face thoughtfully. Jacques squirmed under her suspicious, steady gaze. There was far too much intelligence in her enormous eyes to suit him. He held up a placating hand. “Now, Raven.”
“Don’t you now-Raven me. That brother of yours, worm that he is, male chauvinist unequaled in modern times, told you something he didn’t tell me, didn’t he?”
Leaning back with studied casualness, Jacques tipped his chair to a precarious angle and raised an eyebrow. “Women have vivid imaginations. I think you have a suspicious nature due to your American upbringing.”
“Intellect, Jacques, not imagination,” she corrected sweetly. “My American upbringing made me incredibly intelligent, and believe me, I can spot one of your pathetic Carpathian plots to protect the helpless woman from information you consider would make her fragile little delicate self unnecessarily fearful.”
He grinned at her. “Carpathian males understand the fragile nature of women’s nerves. Women— especially American women— just cannot take the adversity that we men can.”
“I think I should have enjoyed meeting your mother. How a woman could manage to raise two domineering tyrants like you and Mikhail is beyond me.”
His dark eyes laughed at her. “But we are charismatic, sexy, handsome, and always right.”
Raven hooked her foot around his chair and sent him crashing to the floor. Hands on hips, she regarded him with a superior glint. “Carpathian men are vain, dear brother-in-law,” she proclaimed, “but not too bright.”
Jacques glared up at her with mock ferocity. “You have a mean streak in you, woman. Whatever happened to a soft, sweet, Yes, my lord, you’re always right?
“Try the Dark Ages.”
― Christine Feehan, quote from Dark Prince


“In the painting I saw, in the books I read, I recalled her, for she her had in many ways been the making of me.”
― Vikram Seth, quote from An Equal Music


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