Monday, May 3, 2010

Words on the Walls

by Julia Buckley
An elegant decorating idea for the modern booklover is to put a favorite quotation directly on the wall.

Since I just painted my dining room, I decided that I would like to choose a wonderful literary quotation that all of my visitors would read while helping themselves to food at, say, a birthday party buffet. It seemed not so wild a dream--except that, after viewing many wall art websites and picking out my favorite quotes, I had to run them past the family. My husband shrugged. "If you want to do that, you have to pick something we want to see every day. It has to be something inspirational."

I agreed with this; I perused more websites, as well as books of literary quotations. Together with my husband, I culled out a list of twenty sayings, from Shakespeare to Thoreau to Bob Dylan (and, since I love mysteries, these included quotes by Christie and Chandler). We showed them to our sons, only to get the thumbs down.

"These are dumb," said my eldest, ever willing to disagree with the topic at hand. "I don't want any of these on our walls."

So I went back to the books. Suddenly, faced with the idea of finding one perfect, beautiful quotation, we were at a stand-off. No one could agree, and no quotation seemed just right.

So I decided to open up the question at Poe's Deadly Daughters. Does anyone have a favorite literary (or pop culture) quotation that I can submit as a candidate for our dining room wall? I'll be happy to share the results once we decide.

Meanwhile, here are some of the lovely ones I found while surfing the net:

(The art at the top can be found at and, and


signlady217 said...

Unfortunately, your boys would probably like this one the best. It's from "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Their dad was teaching the kids Morse code and had painted a bunch of sentences in code all over house, and this one he put in the dining room (his wife made him paint over it): "Two maggots were fighting in dead Ernest." Every time I think about it, it makes me laugh!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. Nothing seems to suit. Maybe I can get an idea from your readers.

Julia Buckley said...

Signlady, that is hilarious! Maybe I can save that one for their room.

Marilynne, you probably have the same malady that I do: so many quotations are wonderful, until you have to pick the BEST one.

kathy d. said...

Do your children have any ideas about what can be put up on the wall?

All I can think of is old sayings my father would tell me years ago, like "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." (and I'd assume Jill a dull girl)

Or "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and all is well." (This one actually works with having heavy-duty dental work. I just keep telling myself this.)

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Kathy--I like both of those!

You're right about the boys--I should put them in charge of the project. :)