Make your own free website on


Spoken Words Newsletter | Articles | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | About tongue | Contact Info | Archives | Quotes

Here are some of the quotes from past newsletters. Enjoy...

I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.
~ Pearl S. Buck ~

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
~ Anna Quindlen ~

"I don't know what makes me a writer, but I know why I write about people who are displaced. Most of the generations I know of in my family have abandoned the places they were born. They were fortunate in being pulled forward by desire, not driven from behind by terror and persecutionFor me coming to the United States for college was a combination of exile and return. Once upon a time, I thought this kind of life made me unusual, but in the world as it is now, I think that movement bonds me with the way many people live."
~ Kate Wheeler ~

"expression is the need of my soul
i was once a vers libre bard
but i died and my soul went into the body of a cockroach
it has given me a new outlook upon life"
~ Don Marquis ~ excerpt of "the coming of archy" from the book "archy and mehitabel"

We have a beautiful mother
her green lap immense
her brown embrace eternal
her blue body everything
we know.
~ Alice Walker ~ from the poem We Have a Beautiful Mother

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
~ Mark Twain ~

Fine words! I wonder where you stole them.
~ Jonathan Swift ~

There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
~ Ernest Hemingway ~

If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
~ Toni Morrison ~

"A writer needs 3 things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others."
~ William Faulkner ~

"i want to write
a poem that rhymes
but revolution doesn't lend
itself to be-bopping"
~ Nikki Giovanni, For Saundra ~

"...the trouble
is I tell you, how can I
sound just like and only my self
and then could you dig it if I could?"
-Carolyn M. Rodgers, Breakthrough

"it is not who or what
you see
but how you see
~ Quincy Troupe, It Is Not ~

"First they said I was too light
Then they said I was too dark
Then they said I was too different
Then they said I was too much the same
Then they said I was too young
Then they said I was too old
Then they said I was too interracial
Then they said I was too much a nationalist
Then they said I was too silly
Then they said I was too angry
Then they said I was too idealistic
Then they said I was too confusing altogether:
Make up your mind! They said. Are you militant
or sweet? Are you vegetarian or meat? Are you straight
or are you gay?
And I said, Hey! It's not about my mind."
~ June Jordan ~ "A Short Note to My Very Critical and Well-Beloved Friends and Comrades." 1936-2002

"We do not want a Nation, we are a Nation .... We are unconscious captives until we realize this."
~ Amiri Baraka ~

"Not all writers are artists. But all of us like the idea of somebody in the year 2283 blowing the dust off one of our books, thumbing through it and exclaiming, "Hey, listen to what this old guy had to say back in the twentieth century!" ~ William Attwood (b. 1919) ~

If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up. ~ Adrienne Rich ~

Writers are the main landmarks of the past. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton ~

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill. ~ Edmund Morrison ~

To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author. ~ Charles Caleb Colton ~

Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes, and always count their change when it is handed to them. ~ Catherine Drinker Bowen ~

Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats. ~ Howard Aiken ~

"For a writer, everything is grist for the mill, and a writer cannot know too much. Sooner or later everything he does know will find its uses. A writer's brain is like a magician's hat. If you're going to get anything out of it, you have to first put something in."  ~ Louis L'amour ~

"I am about to put foward some major ideas; they will be heard and pondered. If not all of them please, surely a few will; in some sort, then, I shall have contributed to the progress of our age, and shall be content." ~ Marquis de Sade ~

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken ~

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~ from "The Prophet"

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
~ Thomas Paine ~

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963 ~

It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself
~ Betty Friedan ~

"I think the greatest gift anyone can give to another is the desire to know, to understand." ~ Louis L'amour ~

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~ Henry David Thoreau ~ from "Walden"

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."
~ William Shakespeare, As You Like It ~

What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith ~

"And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears
into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more."
~ Isaiah, Isaiah 2:4 ~

"You'd be surprised how little I knew even up to yesterday."
~ Jack Kerouac ~

When you want to test the depth of a stream, don't use both feet
~ Chinese Proverb ~

I put all my genius into my life; I put only talent into my works.
~ Oscar Wilde ~

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: "I'm with you kid. Let's go."
~ Maya Angelou ~

If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.
~ Kingsley Amis ~

"Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you." -
~ Winnie the Pooh ~

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.
~ Malcolm X ~

As I am a poet I express what I believe, and I fight against whatever I oppose, in poetry.
~ June Jordan ~

"There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the '50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up. There were cases, I knew them, someday someone will write about them."
~ Gregory Corso, excerpted from Stephen Scobie's account of the Naropa Institute tribute to Ginsberg, July 1994 (speaking about the women writers of the Beat Generation) ~

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anias Nin ~

Have a favorite quote about writing or poetry? Send it to