Diane Ackerman

Literary Birthday – 7 October – Diane Ackerman

Happy Birthday, Diane Ackerman, born 7 October 1948.


  1. We live on the leash of our senses.
  2. Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.
  3. Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is.
  4. A poem records emotions and moods that lie beyond normal language, that can only be patched together and hinted at metaphorically.
  5. Words are small shapes in the gorgeous chaos of the world.
  6. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
  7. There is no way in which to understand the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses.
  8. Libraries change lives. They are the soul of a people.
  9. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
  10. We can’t enchant the world, which makes its own magic; but we can enchant ourselves by paying deep attention.

Diane Ackerman is an American author, poet, and naturalist. She is well known for her work A Natural History of the Senses. Her writing style combines poetry, colloquial history, and popular science.

Source for Image


Liz Butler, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 7th October 2013