I’ve long had a special place in my heart for the author, lecturer, and humorist Mark Twain. Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910). He was born just after Haley’s Comet passed the earth in 1835. He often commented that he would also “go out with it” as well. And, he did, back in 1910. He’s been quoted as saying: “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year(1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together”.
As excellent a writer as he was, I actually am a fanboy of his powerful and poignant quotes. That’s why you’ll find many of his quotes turned into printable poster designs here at Print-A-Poster.com. His command of the English language and ability to convey complex concepts in easy to understand quotes helps him earn a permanent place in our collection. His sense of humor is charming in a down-home country boy style. But, his talent at making statements that apply to the masses in a way that can be easily understood is what sets him apart.
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was his first noted success. He gained national attention when it was published by The Saturday Press in New York back in 1865 when he was only 30. Mark Twain moved to Quarry Farm in Hartford, CT (1874–1891), and wrote many of his best loved novels: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876); The Prince and the Pauper (1881); Life on the Mississippi (1883); Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885); and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). A complete accounting of all of his written works is difficult to put together. Many of his speeches and lectures that he gave were not recorded and have been lost. Researchers are still discovering materials that he wrote more than 100 years ago.
According to Wikipedia:
He maintained that his primary pen name came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats, where two fathoms, a depth indicating water safe for the passage of boat, was a measure on the sounding line. Twain is an archaic term for “two”, as in “The veil of the temple was rent in twain.” The riverboatman’s cry was “mark twain” or, more fully, “by the mark twain”, meaning “according to the mark [on the line], [the depth is] two [fathoms]”, that is, “The water is 12 feet (3.7 m) deep and it is safe to pass.” He also wrote many articles in several different pen names (W. Epaminondas Adrastus Perkins, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, Quintius Curtius Snodgrass, Josh, and others).
If we were supposed to talk more than we listen…
One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.” It’s so easy to understand, and so true. We took a goofy looking photo of a young girl holding her ears and sticking out her tongue to represent this clever quote. I’ve always felt this photo did justice to Mark Twain’s humorous quote.
In his early days he was a licensed river-boat pilot. Mark Twain was a good friend to Nikola Tesla, the brilliant inventor. Mark spent many days at Tesla’s laboratory discussing science and scientific principles. He even secured three patents for inventions he came up with. Twain was also a very popular speaker on the lecture circuit – here and abroad. Twain would “perform” humorous talks that in today’s society could be thought of as stand-up comedy. He travelled extensively and was well received wherever he went. He was a publisher – the very successful Ulysses S. Grant’s Memoirs was published with his publishing house. And, he was even a businessman – invested heavily in the Paige typesetting machine, which later became obsolete.
His quotes are famous even in Spanish…
Mark Twain is known for his wit and literary substance worldwide. That’s one reason we like to have his famous quotes translated into Spanish and available for free as printable mini-posters here at Print-A-Poster.com. Another reason is simply because his quotes are so universal. I’ve included below a very mood inspiring design showing two friends by the river bank. When I found this image I could see the characters from Twain’s stories discussing life’s lessons along the great Mississippi river. The image exuded a time gone by when life was a little slower. Here is the quote:
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really Great make you feel that you, too, can become Great.”
And, the Spanish translation is as follows:
“Mantente lejos de la gente que intenta menospreciar tus ambiciones. La gente insignificante hace siempre eso, pero los Ilustres en realidad te hacen sentir que puedes llegar a ser grande tú también.”
One more for fun…
Here’s one more design that I really like. The image of the baseball reminded me that sometimes the game is played for fun, but also as a career. It seemed fitting for this well thought out quote.
“Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.”
Enjoy Mark Twain’s many quotes…
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