47+ Stephen Vincent Benet Quotes To Motivate You

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If you want to be a writer, you first need to develop a thick skin. That’s what Stephen Vincent Benet said, and he should know – he was one of the most successful writers of his generation.

Benet was born in 1898 and started writing at a young age. He sold his first poem when he was just 17, and his first collection of poems, Five Men and Morals, was published when he was 19. From there, his career took off. He wrote novels, short stories, plays, and poetry and won numerous awards for his work, including two Pulitzer Prizes.

Despite all his success, Benet never lost sight of the importance of thick skin. In an interview shortly before he died in 1943, he said: “I would advise any young aspirant to literature who feels discouraged because of early failures to toughen up his hide as soon as possible.”

Benet’s advice is as relevant today as it was nearly a century ago. If you want to be a writer – or pursue any creative endeavour – you need to learn how to take rejection in stride. It’s not easy, but it’s essential to succeed.


Motivational Stephen Vincent Benet Quotes

  • “Whatever poetry that was in me was coming out in the form of constructing art books!” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “The art finds kingdoms in a foot of ground.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Life was a storm to wander through.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I died in my boots like a pioneer With the whole wide sky above me.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Life is not lost -dying; life is lost minute -minute, day -dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “You can take off your hats now, gentlemen, and I think perhaps you’d better.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Money is sullen And wisdom is sly, But youth is the pollen That blows through the sky And does not ask why.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Truth is a hard deer to hunt. If you eat too much truth at once, you might die of the truth.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Our fathers and ourselves sowed dragon’s teeth. Our children know and suffer the armed men.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Books are not men and yet they are alive.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Defeat is a fact and victory can be a fact. If the idea is good, it will survive defeat, it may even survive the victory.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I tried to think of my knowledge, but it was a squirrel’s heap of winter nuts. There was no strength in my knowledge any more and I felt small and naked as a new-hatched bird.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “We do not fight for the real but for shadows we make. A flag is a piece of cloth and a word is a sound, But we make them something neither cloth nor a sound, Totems of love and hate, black sorcery-stones.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “As for what you’re calling hard luck – well, we made New England out of it. That and codfish.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “If two New Hampshiremen aren’t a match for the devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “It’s to a younger people’s advantage to work with evolving computer technologies that provide so many ways to explore the use and distribution of text, including sound, images and motion.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I had lost something in my youth and made money instead.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “A phrase may come to me as I am walking, and, once I write it down in my journal, the rest of the poem will unravel from that catalyst.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I am tired of loving a foreign muse.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Books are not men and yet they are alive. They are man’s memory and his aspiration, the link between his present and his past, the tools he builds with.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “At first I was blogging everyday, but I don’t do that anymore. It varies; sometimes I’ll write these little essays and other times political commentaries. Other times it’ll just be new work that I’m doing.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Sometimes a sign or a quote is simply interesting by itself and does not require anything beyond being framed on a page.” — Stephen Vincent Benét


Famous  Stephen Vincent Benet Quotes

Stephen Vincent Benet was an American poet and writer. He is best known for his short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and his poem “John Brown’s Body”. His work often dealt with patriotic or historical themes. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1929 for his collection “Western Star”.

Benet was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of a lawyer. He was educated at Yale University, where he became interested in literature and writing. After graduation, he worked as a journalist and began to write poetry. His first book of poems, “Five Men and a Friend”, was published in 1916.

In 1923, Benet married Rosemary Carr. The couple had two children before Carr died in 1926. Benet later married Elise Maclay, with whom he had another child.

Benet’s poetry often explored patriotic or historical themes. His most famous poem, “John Brown’s Body”, was published in 1928 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry the following year. The verse tells the story of John Brown, the abolitionist who led a raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.

Benet also wrote many short stories, including “The Devil and Daniel Webster”. The report, which was adapted into a film in 1941, tells the tale of a man who makes a deal with the devil.

Stephen Vincent Benet was a highly celebrated poet and writer during his lifetime. His work continues to be.

  • “I admire the attention other writers can give to the world we’re walking in.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Occasionally I encounter people getting into their cars who will say, “Oh, you haven’t been walking lately” – like I’m a symbol of the ancient art of walking!” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “The other week I wrote a piece on a photograph I got at a flea market, and I got about I think a lot of people must be interested in flea markets.”  — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Few people have written significant books about San Francisco. Robert Duncan was, in my opinion, often in the clouds. If he walked the streets a lot he didn’t write about as such.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Basically when I’m walking I’m not consciously writing or intending anything. In the manner I have learned from meditation practice, I let things unfold.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I think a blog is a catalyst for a number of possible kinds of writing besides being its own medium.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Most of the time I’m not really attracted to writing that’s focused on filling and fighting it out within a well-defined container. I like work that gets out in the world and lets the world shape the poem.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “One cannot balance tragedy in the scales Unless one weighs it with the tragic heart.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I’ve been reading a lot lately about Indian captives. One woman who had been captured by the Indians and made a squaw was resentful when she was rescued because she’d found that there was a lot more work to do as the wife of a white man.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Even in hell, if a man was a man, you’d know it.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I do think that the kind of writing that I do will always be around and printed in books, magazines, and now blogs.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “There’s nothing compared to the history of writing about the city of New York that you get, say, in Charles Reznikoff.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “When Daniel Boone goes by at night The phantom deer arise And all lost, wild America Is burning in their eyes.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Technology will never rescue anyone from being a bad poet, but if you’re good, it has the potential to do a lot of exciting things.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years – a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “I have fallen in love with American names, the sharp, gaunt names that never get fat.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “American Muse, whose strong and diverse heart So many men have tried to understand But only made it smaller with their art, Because you are as various as your land.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Our earth is but a small star in a great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexxed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “And Thames and all the rivers of the kings Ran into Mississippi and were drowned. They planted England with a stubborn trust But the cleft dust was never English dust.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Oh, Georgia booze is mighty fine booze, The best yuh ever poured yuh, But it eats the soles right offen yore shoes, For Hell’s broke loose in Georgia.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Go play with the towns you have built of blocks, The towns where you would have bound me! I sleep in my earth like a tired fox, And my bufdfalo have found me.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “The blog is also a way to continue to register what I see and hear in a day – no matter what the form. In fact, my blog is a complete mixture of forms.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “It is better the truth should come little by little. I have learned that, being a priest. Perhaps, in the old days, they ate knowledge too fast.” — Stephen Vincent Benét
  • “Remember that when you say “I will have non of this exile and this stranger for his face is not like my face and his speech is strange,” you have denied America with that word.” — Stephen Vincent Benét


One of my favourite Stephen Vincent Benet quotes, “A moment comes, which comes but once in life when we step out from the old, familiar world and into the new.” This quote has always inspired me to seize opportunities and embrace change.

Another great quote by Benet is, “The artistic task is to save yourself from the groupthink that exists around you.” This is so important for artists and creative people to remember. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and lose your unique voice. But as Benet reminds us, staying true to ourselves and our art is important.

Finally, one of my all-time favourite Bennet quotes is, “There is no substitute for talent.” This is something that I have always believed in, and it’s been a mantra of mine throughout my career. No matter how hard you work or how lucky you get, there will always be a limit to your success if you don’t have talent. So always strive to be the best you can be and never give up on your dreams.

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