Treasure Island

Gwendolyn Brooks

(7 June 1917 – 3 December 2000 / Topeka, Kansas)

Quotations

  • ''They had never had one in the house before.
    The strangeness of it all. Like unleashing
    A lion, really. Poised
    To pounce. A puma. A panther. A black
    Bear.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Bronzeville Woman in a Red Hat."
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  • ''The lariat lynch-wish I deplored./The loveliest lynchee was our Lord.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), African American poet and fiction writer. "The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock," lines 59-60 (1957). The Chicago Defender was an African American newspaper; the "man" referred to is a reporter. Racially-segregated Little Rock, Arkansas was in turmoil over the issue of integration.
  • ''It is brave to be involved,
    To be not fearful to be unresolved.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Do not be afraid of no."
  • ''The little lifting helplessness, the queer
    Whimper-whine; whose unridiculous
    Lost softness softly makes a trap for us.
    And makes a curse.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The children of the poor," 1.
  • ''To say yes is to die
    A lot or a little. The dead wear capably their wry
    Enameled emblems. They smell.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Do not be afraid of no."
  • ''What shall I give my children? who are poor,
    Who are adjudged the leastwise of the land,
    Who are my sweetest lepers....''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The Children of the Poor," 2.
  • ''With the narcotic milk of peace for men
    Who find Thy beautiful center ...''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Firstly inclined to take what it is told."
  • ''And plenitude of plan shall not suffice
    Nor grief nor love shall be enough alone
    To ratify my little halves who bear
    Across an autumn freezing everywhere.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The children of the poor," 2.
  • ''For youth is a frail thing, not unafraid.
    Firstly inclined to take what it is told.
    Firstly inclined to lean. Greedy to give
    Faith tidy and total. To a total God.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Firstly inclined to take what it is told."
  • ''Children, confine your lights in jellied rules;
    Resemble graves; be metaphysical mules;
    Learn Lord will not distort nor leave the fray.''
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The children of the poor," 3.

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The Independent Man

Now who could take you off to tiny life
In one room or in two rooms or in three
And cork you smartly, like the flask of wine
You are? Not any woman. Not a wife.
You'd let her twirl you, give her a good glee
Showing your leaping ruby to a friend.
Though twirling would be meek. Since not a cork
Could you allow, for being made so free.

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