The words 'the beginning is always today' written in pink and white on a yellow background

The best literary quotes about new beginnings

As we start 2022, these words from books, poems and authors provide some literary wisdom on new beginnings.

We are, finally, at the start of a new year. What's passed is past and the future – for now – is ripe with possibility. How to make the best of it?

These words of wisdom from some of literature's greatest authors and books can help with your resolutions and plans for the 12 months ahead...

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come / Whispering 'it will be happier'...”
-from 'Robin Hood and Maid Marion' by Alfred Tennyson

 “Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need / For this bright morning dawning for you / The horizon leans forward / Offering you space to place new steps of change.”
-from 'On the Pulse of Morning' by Maya Angelou

“The beginning is always today”
-from The Short Stories of Mary Shelley by Mary Shelley

“The year is done. I spread the past three hundred sixty-five days before me on the living room carpet… I fold the good days up and place them in my back pocket for safekeeping. Draw the match. Cremate the unnecessary. The light of the fire warms my toes. I pour myself a glass of warm water to cleanse myself for January. Here I go. Stronger and wiser into the new.”
-from The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.”
-from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticising, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."
-Anais Nin

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
-from 'Little Gidding' by T. S. Eliot

“New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
-Mark Twain

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearth rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.”
-from Sever by Lauren DeStefano

“We can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them."
-from The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

"I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end."
-from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more