The "sayings" of a community, its proverbs, are its characteristic comment upon life; they imply its history, suggest its attitude toward the world and its way of accepting life. Such an idiom makes the finest language any writer can have; and he can never get it with a notebook. He himself must be able to think and feel in that speech—it is a gift from heart to heart.
Willa Cather (1873–1947), U.S. novelist. originally published in The Best Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett (1925); repr. In Willa Cather on Writing. The Best Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett, preface, University of Nebraska Press (1988).