Quotes by Jean Cocteau

It is not I who become addicted, it is my body.
– Jean Cocteau
Life is a horizontal fall.
– Jean Cocteau
Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.
– Jean Cocteau
Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity.
– Jean Cocteau
One must be a living man and a posthumous artist.
– Jean Cocteau
One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends.
– Jean Cocteau
Poetry is indispensable - if I only knew what for.
– Jean Cocteau
Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.
– Jean Cocteau
Silence moves faster when it's going backward.
– Jean Cocteau
Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
– Jean Cocteau
Such is the role of poetry. It unveils, in the strict sense of the word. It lays bare, under a light which shakes off torpor, the surprising things which surround us and which our senses record mechanically.
– Jean Cocteau
Tact in audacity consists in knowing how far we may go too far.
– Jean Cocteau
Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job. The rest is literature.
– Jean Cocteau
That pile of paper on his left side went on living like the watch on a dead soldier's wrist.
– Jean Cocteau
The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee.
– Jean Cocteau
The extreme limit of wisdom, that's what the public calls madness.
– Jean Cocteau
The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.
– Jean Cocteau
The joy of youth is to disobey; but the trouble is that there are no longer any orders.
– Jean Cocteau
The Louvre is a morgue; you go there to identify your friends.
– Jean Cocteau
The poet doesn't invent. He listens.
– Jean Cocteau