Quotations about Advice and the Dead
June 19, 2010 4:26 PM   Subscribe

What are some good quotations involving the phrase "the dead" or the word "advice?"

For the phrase "the dead," I mean for it to refer to those who have already died. As in "Funerals aren't for the dead, they're for the living." This is more of a philosophical quotation I'm looking for, so please... no zombies.

For the word "advice," I'm looking for quotations on the subject itself - the act of giving or receiving it, what constitutes good or bad advice, etc. This doesn't have to relate in any way to advice columnists.

FYI I'm already using quotations from Thomas Lynch's "The Undertaking" and Billy Collins' poem "The Dead."

I'm open to pretty much anything - song lyrics, poetry, prose, scripture. I'd love to see what the hive mind comes up with. Thanks in advance!
posted by avoision to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've always liked "Only the dead have seen the end of war." I believe that's Plato.
posted by lholladay at 5:12 PM on June 19, 2010

I've used the Quotations Page with some success before.

Here's a search for "the dead."

Here's a search for "advice."
posted by GPF at 5:16 PM on June 19, 2010

Is this not the sort of thing google was made for?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:18 PM on June 19, 2010

Response by poster: I was looking for a bit of curation, and hoping MeFites would have favorite quotes of theirs that they wouldn't mind sharing.

That said, I should have done some more searching on my own first. I've generally had bad luck with quotation sites like the ones listed, but several results definitely fit the bill. So my fault on posting before searching a little more diligently.
posted by avoision at 5:41 PM on June 19, 2010

"Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

James Joyce, "The Dead"
posted by cirripede at 6:02 PM on June 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

I suppose it's not terribly philosophical, but this quote from Braveheart comes to mind:

"Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing."
posted by Brak at 7:06 PM on June 19, 2010

"Advice is bad experience painted over and sold for more than it's worth."

Read it somewhere before and it stuck in my head. Don't know who said/wrote it.
posted by perpetualstroll at 7:15 PM on June 19, 2010

On a plaque commemorating a murdered antifascist in Berlin: "Die Toten Mahnen die Lebenden." The dead warn the living.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:34 PM on June 19, 2010

what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

- T. S Eliot, Four Quartets (#4, Little Gidding)
posted by jfuller at 8:14 PM on June 19, 2010

Depending on exactly what you're looking for, Wendell Berry's "At a Country Funeral"


But our memory of ourselves, hard earned,
is one of the land’s seeds, as a seed
is the memory of the life of its kind in its place,
to pass on into life the knowledge
of what has died. What we owe the future
is not a new start, for we can only begin
with what has happened. We owe the future
the past, the long knowledge
that is the potency of time to come.
That makes of a man’s grave a rich furrow.


"Free advice is seldom cheap." (Ferengi rule of Acquisition #59 from Deep Space Nine)

Wendell Berry and ST in teh same post. Time for bed...
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:22 PM on June 19, 2010

"The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive." — Pvt. Joker, Full Metal Jacket
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:52 AM on June 21, 2010

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