If I were to tell you that your life is already perfect, whole, and complete just as it is, you would think I was crazy. Nobody believes his or her life is perfect. And yet there is something within each of us that basically knows we are boundless, limitless.
I’ve said what I’m prepared to say in my poems, and then journalists think that you’re going to tell them a whole lot more.
Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.
Women live lives of continual apology. They are born and raised to take the blame for other people’s behavior. If they are treated without respect, they tell themselves that they have failed to earn respect. If their husbands do not fancy them, it is because they are unattractive.
We know that we’re not supposed to be racially biased, and we don’t want to think of ourselves as racially biased, so we tell ourselves a different story.
Read my letter to the old folks, and give my love to them, and tell my brothers to be always watching unto prayer, and when the good old ship of Zion comes along, to be ready to step aboard.
Many poets write books. They’ll tell you: Well, I’ve got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me.
No court presumes to tell a jury that they are to try a capital case with the same indifference and unconcern as to consequences, that they would a case where the results of their decision would be less important.
We look before and after, And pine for what is not; Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Millions of Americans cannot tell you who lived at Mount Vernon or who wrote the Declaration of Independence – let alone the Emancipation Proclamation. But they know that to be ‘a Benedict Arnold’ is to be a traitor of the deepest dye – someone who coldly betrays not only a sacred cause but every moral scruple along the way.