Welcome to our collection of quotes by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry, simply known as de Saint-Exupéry (UK: , US: , French: [ɑ̃twan də sɛ̃t‿ɛɡzypeʁi]; 29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944), was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate of several of France's highest literary awards and also won the United States National Book Award. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) and for his lyrical aviation writings, including Wind, Sand and Stars and Night Flight.
Saint-Exupéry was a successful commercial pilot before World War II, working airmail routes in Europe, Africa, and South America. He joined the French Air Force at the start of the war, flying reconnaissance missions until France's armistice with Germany in 1940. After being demobilised from the French Air Force, he travelled to the United States to help persuade its government to enter the war against Nazi Germany.
Saint-Exupéry spent 28 months in America, during which he wrote three of his most important works, then joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa—although he was far past the maximum age for such pilots and in declining health. He disappeared and is believed to have died while on a reconnaissance mission from Corsica over the Mediterranean on 31 July 1944.
Prior to the war, Saint-Exupéry had achieved fame in France as an aviator. His literary works posthumously boosted his stature to national hero status in France, including The Little Prince which has been translated into 300 languages. He earned further widespread recognition with international translations of his other works. His 1939 philosophical memoir Terre des hommes (titled Wind, Sand and Stars in English) became the name of an international humanitarian group; it was also used as the central theme of Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec. His birthplace of Lyon also named its main airport after him.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
People where you live grow five thousand roses in one garden...yet they don't find what they are looking for.
Tu reviendras me dire adieu, et je te ferai cadeau d'un secret.
It's the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important...People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn't forget it. You become responsible forever for what you've tamed. You're responsible for your rose.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me.
The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.
The soldier's body becomes a stock of accessories that are not his property.
For, to conceited men, all other men are admirers.
A civilization is built on what is required of men, not on that which is provided for them.
It was the contemplation of God that created men who were equal, for it was in God that they were equal.
But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.
And that heart which was a wild garden was given to him who only loved trim lawns. And the imbecile carried the princess into slavery.
But games always cover something deep and intense, else there would be no excitement in them, no pleasure, no power to stir us.
Friendship is born from an identity of spiritual goals -- from common navigation toward a star.
It is the duty of the ship's captain to make port, cost what it may.
It is not a question of living dangerously. That formula is too arrogant, too presumptuous. I don't care much for bull-fighters. It's not the danger I love. I know what I love. It is life itself.
We are forever responsible for that which we have tamed.
I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.
What does tamed mean? It's something that's been too often neglected. It means to create ties.
You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.
If France is to be judged, judge her not by the effects of her defeat but by her readiness to sacrifice herself.
Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings.
Living is being born slowly. It would be a little too easy if we could borrow ready-made souls.
Only the children know what they are looking for.
Only the children know what they are looking for. They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry.
Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.
To become a man is to be responsible; to be ashamed of miseries that you did not cause.
Good taste is a virtue of the keepers of museums. If you scorn bad taste, you will have neither painting nor dancing, neither palaces nor gardens.
I shall never again admire a merely brave man.
We understand … that what constitutes the dignity of a craft is that it creates a fellowship, that it binds men together and fashions for them a common language.
To be a man is to feel that one's own stone contributes to building the edifice of the world.
It is not for us to forecast the future, but to shape it.
Peace dies when the framework is ripped apart. When there is no longer a place that is yours in the world. When you know no longer where your friend is to be found.
Mad is the man who is forever gritting his teeth against that granite block, complete and changeless, of the past.
Nothing can match the treasure of common memories.
Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.
You cannot plant an acorn in the morning, and expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of an oak.
The flower you single out is a rejection of all other flowers; nevertheless, only on these terms is it beautiful.
The magic of the craft has opened for me a world in which I shall confront, within two hours, the black dragons and the crowned crests of a coma of blue lightnings, and when night has fallen I, delivered, shall read my course in the starts.
Truths may clash without contradicting each other.
Demagoguery enters at the moment when, for want of a common denominator, the principle of equality degenerates into the principle of identity.
Real love begins where nothing is expected in return.
Love does not cause suffering: what causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love's opposite.
If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.
You will have five hundred million little bells, and I shall have five hundred million springs of fresh water.
All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming -- a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness.
The friend within the man is that part of him which belongs to you and opens to you a door which never, perhaps, is opened to another. Such a friend is true, and all he says is true; and he loves you even if he hates you in other mansions of his heart.
Navigating by the compass in a sea of clouds over Spain is all very well, it is very dashing, but -- you want to remember that below the sea of clouds lies eternity.
I was too young to know how to love her.
I don't believe you! Flowers are weak creatures. They are naive. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons.
There is no hope of joy except in human relations.
We live not by things, but by the meaning of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation.
Action and personal happiness have no truck with each other; they are eternally at war.
Experience will guide us to the rules. You cannot make rules precede practical experience.
Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.
Cries of despair, misery, sobbing grief are a kind of wealth.
If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
One day, I watched the sun setting forty-four times......You know...when one is so terribly sad, one loves sunsets.
The essential things in life are seen, not with the eyes but with the heart.
Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness.
True love is visible not to the eyes but to the heart, for eyes may be deceived.
He who must travel happily must travel light.
What do we mean by setting a man free? You cannot free a man who dwells in a desert and is an unfeeling brute.
If you tame me, it would be as if the sun came to shine on my life.
If you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow.
You're beautiful, but you're empty.... No one could die for you.
Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the asronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it's because you're truly a wise man.
The dignity of the individual demands that he be not reduced to vassalage by the largesse of others.
You're not a man, you're a mushroom!
For there is but one problem -- the problem of human relations. We forget that there is no hope or joy except in human relations.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Attitude is a paintbrush. It colors everything!
Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than iteself.
What place would you advise me to visit now? he asked. The planet Earth, replied the geographer. It has a good reputation.
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Nothing comes of severity if there be no leanings towards a change of heart. And if there be natural leanings towards a change of heart, what need for severity?
If I were to command a general to turn into a seagull, and if the general did not obey, that would not be the general's fault. It would be mine.
True, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd, but see not there the worse form of slavery, which is when the herd crushes out the man.
The Beauty of the Mountain is hidden for all those who try to discover it from the top, supposing that, one way or an other, one can reach this place directly. The Beauty of the Mountain reveals only to those who climbed it.
When one is building a ship, one does not begin with gathering timber and cutting planks, but rather by arousing in people the yearning for the great wide sea.
Defeat is a thing of weariness, of incoherence, of boredom, and above all futility.
He who never says no is no true man.
You know... when you are sad you love the sunsets.