The Birth of a Quote: “She was free in her wildness…”

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”

  • Roman Payne (“The Wanderess”)

 

How this quote became so popular, I have no idea.  I wrote it about one woman:  The heroine of “The Wanderess,” Saskia; yet I wrote these lines to describe Saskia at her best—praising the qualities of a heroine that all women should strive to have, or keep if they have them.  I wrote these lines to make Saskia be like a statue of Psyche or Demeter.  The masculine sculptor doesn’t see rock when he carves Aphrodite.  He sees before him the carving of the perfect feminine creature.

 

I was creating my ‘perfect feminine creature’ when I wrote about Saskia.  She is completely wild and fearless in her dramatic performance of life.  She knows that she may only have one life to live and that most people in her society wish to see her fail in her dream of living a fulfilled life.  For if a woman acts and lives exactly as society wants her to live, she will never be truly happy, never fulfilled.  For societies do not want girls and women to wander.

 

I am surprised that this quote became so famous, since I didn’t spend more than a few seconds writing it.  It was written merely as three sentences in a novel.  I didn’t write it to be a solitary poem.  This quote that touches so many people is no more than an arrangement of twenty-four words in a book of three-hundred pages.

What touches me the most is when fans send me photos of tattoos they’ve had done of this quote—either a few words from it or the whole quote. The fact that these wonderful souls are willing to guard words that I’ve written on their precious skin for the rest of their lives makes me feel that what I am writing is worth something and not nothing.  When I get depressed and feel the despair that haunts me from time to time, and cripples me, I look at these photos of these tattoos, and it helps me to think that what I am doing is important to some people, and it helps me to start writing again.

Am I a masculine version of the wanderess in this quote?  Of course I am!  I am wild and fearless, I am a wanderer who belongs to no city and to nobody; I am a drop of free water.  I am—to cite one of my other quotes—“free as a bird.  King of the world and laughing!”

(-Roman Payne, January 1, 2018, Marrakech, Morocco)

 

* * *  Ask the novelist and poet who wrote this famous quote a question.  Ask him anything at:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/359352.Roman_Payne/questions

 

 

 

“A girl without braids is like a city without bridges.”

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“A girl without braids
is like a city without bridges.”

― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”

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“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”

― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Literary Quote by Roman Payne: Woman at the Window

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“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”

― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Literary Quote for Spring: She Wakes in a Puddle of Sunlight

roman-payne-she-wakes-in-sunlight

“She wakes in a puddle of sunlight.
Her hands asleep beside her.
Her hair draped on the lawn
like a mantle of cloth.”
– Roman Payne

Men Must Live for Pleasure and Beauty

Literary Quote about Manhood

“As I look back on my life, I think of how few rules should be followed. As for men, we must learn bravery and live for Pleasure and for Beauty. More important than those two things should stand only one thing for us… Honor. A man’s honor should be more sacred to him than his life — especially in our age, a time when very few men know what honor is.”

– Roman Payne

Quote for Young Women, from “The Serenade” by Roman Payne

Quote for Young Women, by Roman Payne

“As for you girls, you must risk everything for Freedom, and give everything for Passion, loving everything that your hearts and your bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.”

– Roman Payne

Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”       

– Roman Payne

Recollection of Champagne, Feasts, and Summer Nights (Quote from Rooftop Soliloquy)

Roman Payne Quote from Rooftop Soliloquy

“Champagne arrived in flûtes on trays, and we emptied them
with gladness in our hearts… for when feasts are laid
and classical music is played, where champagne is drunk
once the sun has sunk, and the season of summer is alive
in spicy bloom, and beautiful women fill the room,
and are generous with laughter and smiles…
these things fill men’s hearts with joy and remind one
that life’s bounty is not always fleeting
but can be captured, and enjoyed.
It is in writing about this scene that I relive
this night in my soul.”

~ Roman Payne    (Rooftop Soliloquy)

“If Only One Could Leave This Life Slowly” (Roman Payne by Photographer Marta Szczesniak)

Photo Copyright 2014 Marta Szczesniak

roman-payne_marta01“It’s not that we have to quit
this life one day, but it’s how
many things we have to quit
all at once: music, laughter,
the physics of falling leaves,
automobiles, holding hands,
the scent of rain, the concept
of subway trains… if only one
could leave this life slowly!”
Roman Payne,

Literary Quote for Travelers and Wanderers, by Roman Payne

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“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”

Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

Saul on “Youth” (Quote from The Wanderess)

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SAUL FROM THE WANDERESS:  “When I was younger,
I would cling to life because life was at the top of the
turning wheel. But like the song of my gypsy-girl, the
great wheel turns over and lands on a minor key. It is
then that you come of age and life means nothing to
you. To live, to die, to overdose, to fall in a coma in
the street… it is all the same. It is only in the peach
innocence of youth that life is at its crest on top of
the wheel. And there being only life, the young cling
to it, they fear death… And they should! …For they
are in life.”

― Roman Payne
(The Wanderess, Chapter XVII)

Pour La France !! (“For France!”)

 

Cliquez sur l'image pour l'agrandir.

Cliquez sur l’image pour l’agrandir.

Incipit de la version française du roman Wanderess, (bientôt disponible en France !) http://www.wanderess.com (infos, email : francais@wanderess.com)

 

 

Wanderess Quote, Version N°12

She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.

(“The Wanderess” V°12.  Click to Enlarge)

From the novel, The Wanderess, by Roman Payne.

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”

(Quote from “The Wanderess” – Chapter XXV)

She was a free bird one minute: queen of the world and laughing. The next minute she would be in tears like a porcelain angel, about to teeter, fall and break. She never cried because she was afraid that something 'would' happen; she would cry because she feared something that could render the world more beautiful, 'would not' happen.... Roman Payne, The Wanderess

“She was a free bird one minute: queen of the world and laughing. The next minute she would be in tears like a porcelain angel, about to teeter, fall and break. She never cried because she was afraid that something ‘would’ happen; she would cry because she feared something that could render the world more beautiful, ‘would not’ happen.”

― Roman Payne, The Wanderess, Chapter XXV

 

 

On the Beauty of Women and Champagne… (Literary Quote from Rooftop Soliloquy)

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“One of my favorite lyric passages in Rooftop Soliloquy.” – Roman Payne

“Champagne arrived in flûtes on trays, and we emptied them with gladness in our hearts… for when feasts are laid and classical music is played, where champagne is drunk once the sun has sunk and the season of summer is alive in spicy bloom, and beautiful women fill the room, and are generous with laughter and smiles… these things fill men’s hearts with joy and remind one that life’s bounty is not always fleeting but can be captured, and enjoyed. It is in writing about this scene that I relive this night in my soul.”

― Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

“She was free in her wildness…” (Literary Quote)

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ABOVE: Thank you to Jawed Akhtar for sourcing the photograph of this sublime woman of the sea.

BELOW-TOP: Canadian Artist Desere Pressey created her own visual with my quote. 

BELOW-BOTTOM: Pressey’s portfolio on Facebook is inspiring!  I wished I’d had this scene of the girl/woman and child vagabonding in the forest to frame the words of my Wanderess … https://www.facebook.com/DeserePressey.Artist 

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perssey-painting

“In my errant life I roamed…” (literary quote from “The Wanderess”)

Roman Payne Literary Quote Travel

“In my errant life I roamed

To learn the secrets of women and men,

Of gods and dreams.

I’ve known all the countries of our world,

I’ve lived a thousand lives:

Many lives I lived in love,

other lives I squandered.

For in my life I never traveled,

All I did was wander.”

– Roman Payne, from The Wanderess

www.wanderess.com

“ODE TO SPRING” (from “Rooftop Soliloquy”)

Roman Payne Quote Image Ode to Spring

“Did I live the spring I’d sought?

It’s true in joy, I walked along,

took part in dance,

and sang the song.

and never tried to bind an hour

to my borrowed garden bower;

nor did I once entreat

a day to slumber at my feet.

Yet days aren’t lulled by lyric song,

like morning birds they pass along,

o’er crests of trees, to none belong;

o’er crests of trees of drying dew,

their larking flight, my hands, eschew

Thus I’ll say it once and true…

From all that I saw,

and everywhere I wandered,

I learned that time cannot be spent,

It only can be squandered.”

― Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

www.parisquest.com

What the Poet Believed… (Literary Quote)

The poet believed that 'Beauty' first entered  the world not at its creation, nor with the first  garden, the first sunrise, the birth of the first  man and woman and their first sexual act.  The poet believed that 'Beauty' entered the  world the day the first child blushed. - Roman Payne

“The poet believed that ‘Beauty’ first entered
the world not at its creation, nor with the first
garden, the first sunrise, the birth of the first
man and woman and their first sexual act.
The poet believed that ‘Beauty’ entered the
world the day the first child blushed.”

– Roman Payne

Literary Quote: “The disappearance of beauty…” by Roman Payne

I sat up in the strange bed fearing it  had been a dream, afraid I would never  see her again. Not because I wanted  anything from her, only her presence.  The disappearance of the presence of  beauty is the most despairing of events  on this time-wheel of ours that rolls  onward towards death. -- Roman Payne

“I sat up in the strange bed fearing it
had been a dream, afraid I would never
see her again. Not because I wanted
anything from her, only her presence.
The disappearance of the presence of
beauty is the most despairing of events
on this time-wheel of ours that rolls
onward towards death.”

– Roman Payne

“When she was a child, my love carried a roadmap…” (Literary Quote by Roman Payne)

“When she was a child, my love carried a road-map in her hand the way other girls carried handkerchiefs.” ― Roman Payne

“When she was a child,

my love carried a road-map in her hand

the way other girls carried handkerchiefs.”

― Roman Payne

@RomanPayne | www.romanpayne.com | www.wanderess.com | www.facebook.com/payneroman | www.culturalbook.com/profile/RomanPayne