For centuries, stairs have symbolized journeys, rites of passage,
transitions, and stages of life in art, literature, and music.
My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul
– William Butler Yeats
Stairs are climbed step by step.
– Turkish Proverb
Children’s stories tell tales of boys and girls discovering treasures upstairs in the
attic and fearing what is downstairs in the basement.
Faith is taking the first step even when
you don’t see the whole staircase.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe,
grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts,
emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
– John Steinbeck
My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be
through Earth’s loveliness.
Mother to Son
Well, Son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor –
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now –
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
- Langston Hughes
Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
Halfway up the stairs
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
It’s somewhere else
– A.A. Milne