If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
My poverty is not complete: it lacks me.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Society comprises two classes: those who have more food than appetite, and those who have more appetite than food.
~Sébastien-Roch Nicholas de Chamfort, Maximes
Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Poverty sits by the cradle of all our great men and rocks all of them to manhood.
We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.
You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.
~P.J. O'Rourke, A Parliament of Whores
The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.
Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.
~Eli Khamarov, Lives of the Cognoscenti
The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
Seldom do people discernEloquence under a threadbare cloak.
It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.
Every man has a right to be poor.
Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving.
~O. Henry, Heart of the West, 1907
We didn't starve, but we didn't eat chicken unless we were sick, or the chicken was.
A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
Affluence creates poverty.
The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.
~Willem de Kooning
Poverty is the mother of crime.
The poor are poor because the rich are rich.
Hunger makes a thief of any man.
~Pearl S. Buck
To a man with an empty stomach food is God.
Almsgiving tends to perpetuate poverty; aid does away with it once and for all.
Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient.
~Sydney Smith, His Wit and Wisdom, 1900
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
~Henry David Thoreau
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 1929
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.