Tennessee Williams

(1911-1983 / United States)

Tennessee Williams Quotes

  • ''I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, sc. 11 (1947). Blanche's final words in the play.
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  • ''I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire, sc. 3 (1947).
  • ''Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an' death's the other.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Brick, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 2.
  • ''It is almost as if you were frantically constructing another world while the world that you live in dissolves beneath your feet, and that your survival depends on completing this construction at least one second before the old habitation collapses.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Camino Real, author's foreword, published in New York Times (March 15, 1953). Written prior to the play's Broadway première; real name is Thomas Lanier.
  • ''We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Chris, in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, sc. 6 (1963).
  • ''When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Don Quixote, in "Prologue," Camino Real.
  • ''Everyone says he's sincere, but everyone isn't sincere. If everyone was sincere who says he's sincere there wouldn't be half so many insincere ones in the world and there would be lots, lots, lots more really sincere ones!''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Esmeralda, in Camino Real, block 12.
  • ''The most dangerous word in any human tongue is the word for brother. It's inflammatory.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Gutman, in Camino Real, block 2. Birth name Thomas Lanier Williams.
  • ''You said, "They're harmless dreamers and they're loved by the people."M"What," I asked you, "is harmless about a dreamer, and what," I asked you, "is harmless about the love of the people?—Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams."''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Gutman, in Camino Real, block 2. Speaking to the Generalissimo; birth name is Thomas Lanier Williams.
  • ''You can be young without money but you can't be old without it.''
    Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. Margaret, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 1.

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Best Poem of Tennessee Williams

The Wine-Drinkers

The wine-drinkers sit on the porte cochère in the sun.
Their lack of success in love has made them torpid.
They move their fans with a motion that stirs no feather,
the glare of the sun has darkened their complexions.

Let us commend them on their conversations.
One says "oh" and the other says "indeed."

The afternoon must be prolonged forever, because the night
will be impossible for them.
They know that the bright and very delicate needles
inserted beneath the surfaces of their skins
will work after dark--at present are ...

Read the full of The Wine-Drinkers

My Little One

My little one whose tongue is dumb,
whose fingers cannot hold to things,
who is so mercilessly young,
he leaps upon the instant things,

I hold him not. Indeed, who could?
He runs into the burning wood.
Follow, follow if you can!
He will come out grown to a man

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