Longing Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old longing quotes, longing sayings, and longing proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Longing is not always a reciprocal thing.     

Kate Dicamillo

The yearning for an afterlife is the opposite of selfish: it is love and praise for the world that we are privileged, in this complex interval of light, to witness and experience.     

John Updike

Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.     

Jim Elliot

Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade.     

Marcel Proust

Passing into higher forms of desire, that which slumbered in the plant, and fitfully stirred in the beast, awakes in the man.     

Henry George

The longing for peace is rooted in the hearts of all men. But the striving, which at present has become so insistent, cannot lay claim to such an ambition as leading the way to eternal peace, or solving all disputes among nations.     

Alva Myrdal

Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.     

Albert Einstein

There is a space between man's imagination and man's attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.     

Kahlil Gibran

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.     

Oscar Wilde

If some longing goes unmet, don't be astonished. We call that life.     

Anna Freud

The longing for light is the longing for consciousness.     

Carl Jung

Art is longing. You never arrive, but you keep going in the hope that you will.     

Anselm Kiefer

We are all wondering the earth, alone, longing to be longed for.     

William C. Hannan

Only longing can fill with more of itself.     

Virginia Woolf

Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful.     

John C. Maxwell

Desires are central to the soul's unfolding and should not be dismissed before giving them careful attention.     

Thomas Moore

Longing, the hope for fulfillment, is the one unwavering passion of the world's commerce.     

E. L. Doctorow

Our longing is our pledge, and blessed are the homesick, for they shall come home.     

Isak Dinesen

Longing and desire goes further than instant satisfaction. That's human nature.     

Anna Sui

The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.     

Iris Murdoch

Longing on a large scale makes history.     

Don DeLillo

Is there anything better than to be longing for something, when you know it is within reach?     

Greta Garbo

Longing is a compass that guides us through life. We may never get what we really want, that's true, but every step along the way will be determined by it.     

Joan D. Chittister

One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen.     

John O'Donohue

The act of longing for something will always be more intense than the requiting of it.     

Gail Godwin

Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.     


It is the future that creates his present. All is an interminable chain of longing.     

Robert Frost

Longing is like a seed that wrestles in the ground.     

Emily Dickinson

Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, suffer the pain. Your desires must be disciplined And what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.     


He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.     

William Blake