The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams (corresponding to factual occurrences) from false. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfil" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive". On the basis of that play on words, true dreams are spoken of as coming through the gates of horn, false dreams as coming through those of ivory.
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Famous quotes containing the words gates of, ivory, gates and/or horn:
“These arts open great gates of a future, promising to make the world plastic and to lift human life out of its beggary to a god- like ease and power.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“To become a celebrity is to become a brand name. There is Ivory Soap, Rice Krispies, and Philip Roth. Ivory is the soap that floats; Rice Krispies the breakfast cereal that goes snap-crackle-pop; Philip Roth the Jew who masturbates with a piece of liver.”
—Philip Roth (b. 1933)
“Go through the gates with closed eyes.
Stand erect and let your black face front the west.”
—Arna Bontemps (19021973)
“Its certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)