Naturally I drew register a little exaggerated, in order to create something new in the sense of a sublime literature that sings of despair only in order to oppress the reader, and make him desire the good as the remedy.
The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.
When I was twelve, I started reading Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, James Agee, and – do we dare breathe the name – William Faulkner.
Modesty is a learned affectation. And as soon as life slams the modest person against the wall, that modesty drops.
And if a person is religious, I think it’s good, it helps you a bit. But if you’re not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
The French, perhaps more than any other nation, cherish the memory of their dead by ornamenting their places of sepulture with the finest flowers, often renewing the garlands and replacing such plants as decay with vigorous and costly ones.
I think music is one of the hero/sheroes of the African-American existence.
When younger writers and poets, musicians and painters are weakened by a stemming of funds, they come to me saddened, not as full of dreams and excitement and ideas. I am then weakened and diminished, and made less rich.
I do like to have guns around. I don’t like to carry them. But I like – if somebody is going to come into my house and I have not put out the welcome mat, I want to stop them.