„Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves?“

The Observer (15 December 1991).

Last update Feb. 22, 2021. History
Yevgeny Yevtushenko photo
Yevgeny Yevtushenko17
Russian poet, film director, teacher 1932 - 2017

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Tom Robbins photo

„Genius may stand on the shoulders of giants, but it stands alone.“

—  Tom Robbins American writer 1932

The Syntax of Sorcery (2012)

John Scotus Eriugena photo

„One man stands head and shoulders above his contemporary scholars: head and shoulders, some hold, above the Middle Ages: John Scotus Erigena.“

—  John Scotus Eriugena Irish theologian 810 - 877

Helen Waddell The Wandering Scholars (Harmondsworth: Penguin, [1927] 1954) pp. 77-78.
Criticism

Thornton Wilder photo
Sandra Fluke photo

„What female students might not remember is that the men with whom we stand shoulder-to-shoulder at graduation don't face the same financial challenges.“

—  Sandra Fluke American women's rights activist and lawyer 1981

Fluke, Sandra. (April 17, 2012). "Who says women don't care about wages?" http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/17/opinion/fluke-equal-pay-for-women/, CNN, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. accessed April 17, 2012.
Articles

Tracy Chevalier photo
Terence McKenna photo
Isaac Newton photo

„If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.“

—  Isaac Newton British physicist and mathematician and founder of modern classical physics 1643 - 1727

Letter to Robert Hooke (15 February 1676) [dated as 5 February 1675 using the Julian calendar with March 25th rather than January 1st as New Years Day, equivalent to 15 February 1676 by Gregorian reckonings.] A facsimile of the original is online at The digital Library https://digitallibrary.hsp.org/index.php/Detail/objects/9792. The quotation is 7-8 lines up from the bottom of the first page. The phrase is most famous as an expression of Newton's but he was using a metaphor which in its earliest known form was attributed to Bernard of Chartres by John of Salisbury: Bernard of Chartres used to say that we [the Moderns] are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants [the Ancients], and thus we are able to see more and farther than the latter. And this is not at all because of the acuteness of our sight or the stature of our body, but because we are carried aloft and elevated by the magnitude of the giants. Modernized variants: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Variant: If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.
Source: The Correspondence Of Isaac Newton

Natalie Merchant photo
José Martí photo

„Wings I saw springing
from fair women's shoulders,
and from beneath rubble
I've seen butterflies flutter.“

—  José Martí Poet, writer, Cuban nationalist leader 1853 - 1895

I (Yo soy un hombre sincero) as translated by Esther Allen in José Martí : Selected Writings (2002), p. 273
Simple Verses (1891)

Jim Morrison photo

„Death makes angels of us all
and gives us wings
where we had shoulders
smooth as raven's
claws“

—  Jim Morrison lead singer of The Doors 1943 - 1971

An American Prayer (1978)
Variant: Death makes angels of us all
and gives us wings
where we had shoulders
smooth a raven´s claws…

John Reid, Baron Reid of Cardowan photo
R. A. Lafferty photo

„It's not on my great shoulders, it is amazing head on my great shoulders that maintains all.“

—  R. A. Lafferty American writer 1914 - 2002

Atlas, on bearing the burden of maintaining the worlds, in Ch. 4
Space Chantey (1968)
Context: I tried to tell you, but words will not convey it. One has to be inside it to comprehend the magnitude. … It was the beginning. It's the only thing there is. But it was haphazard for so many aeons that it spooks me to think about it. There were always three or four maintaining it, but there was no one person strong enough to take it all over. "Somewhere there must be someone strong enough to take it all over," I said to myself in a direful moment, but the strongest person I could think of was myself. I've been doing it ever since. … By my attention I hold it all in being. Nothing exists unless it is perceived. If perception fails for a moment, then that thing fails forever. … I hate to be misjudged. They say that I bear it all on my shoulders, as though I were a stud or a balk. It's not on my great shoulders, it is amazing head on my great shoulders that maintains all.

Michel De Montaigne photo

„And to bring in a new word by the head and shoulders, they leave out the old one.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 5. Upon some Verses of Virgil
Essais (1595), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Charles Bukowski photo
David Almond photo
Lois McMaster Bujold photo

„I may be small, but I screw up big because I'm standing on the shoulders of GIANTS.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

This evokes the statement by Newton: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
Vorkosigan Saga, The Vor Game (1990)

Hal Abelson photo

„If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.“

—  Hal Abelson computer scientist 1947

Abelson attributes this thought to his Princeton roommate Jeff Goll
Source: Public Knowledge - Hal Abelson http://www.publicknowledge.org/about/who/board/abelson; also quoted in Vortex dynamics in thin films of amorphous Mo77Ge23, 1998, p. 6

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

1910s, Address to the Knights of Columbus (1915)
Context: All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. We must insist on the maintenance of the American standard of living. We must stand for an adequate national control which shall secure a better training of our young men in time of peace, both for the work of peace and for the work of war. We must direct every national resource, material and spiritual, to the task not of shirking difficulties, but of training our people to overcome difficulties. Our aim must be, not to make life easy and soft, not to soften soul and body, but to fit us in virile fashion to do a great work for all mankind. This great work can only be done by a mighty democracy, with these qualities of soul, guided by those qualities of mind, which will both make it refuse to do injustice to any other nation, and also enable it to hold its own against aggression by any other nation. In our relations with the outside world, we must abhor wrongdoing, and disdain to commit it, and we must no less disdain the baseness of spirit which lamely submits to wrongdoing. Finally and most important of all, we must strive for the establishment within our own borders of that stern and lofty standard of personal and public neutrality which shall guarantee to each man his rights, and which shall insist in return upon the full performance by each man of his duties both to his neighbor and to the great nation whose flag must symbolize in the future as it has symbolized in the past the highest hopes of all mankind.

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