Alice Walker

(9 February 1944 - / Eatonton Georgia)

Expect Nothing - Poem by Alice Walker

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.


Comments about Expect Nothing by Alice Walker

  • (2/22/2018 12:18:00 PM)


    This poem was amazing, but didn't answer my question of how to floss your bellybutton (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (1/6/2018 12:15:00 PM)


    Good advice but this will not answer why we exist! (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry James Mclain (1/6/2018 10:14:00 AM)


    Nor empathy forget.. James McLain (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (1/6/2018 7:46:00 AM)


    Good advice that I subscribe to. From this perspective and posture everything that comes is a gift; it nurtures gratitude. What a good metaphor—making wild disappointment a parka for the soul. -GK (Report) Reply

  • (1/6/2018 3:35:00 AM)


    a poem full of everything needed for a contented life? ..............well penned Alice (Report) Reply

  • (1/6/2018 2:51:00 AM)


    Wish for nothing larger
    Than your own small heart
    Or greater than a star, Oh with what greatness of thought she has composed this poem is matchless as frugality is not only the basis of quiet, but of beneficence........outstanding.........thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (1/6/2018 1:55:00 AM)


    Alice, you have brought in a piece of philosophy which advocates- Be content with what you have. This is insightful and simple. Thanks. I like the expression.
    if compassion be freely / Given out / Take only enough
    Stop short of urge to plead / Then purge away the need.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/6/2018 1:47:00 AM)


    If compassion be freely given out! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • (1/25/2016 10:32:00 PM)


    Beautiful and meaningful poem and thought provoking too. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

  • (1/25/2016 7:01:00 PM)


    I like seagulls they
    only take what they
    need and nothing is
    wasted...go watch them
    (Report) Reply

  • val Rogers (1/25/2016 7:00:00 PM)


    This is GREAT. FROM BEING to end. Live FRUGALLY BY SURPRISE. Val Brooklyn Rogers. (Report) Reply

  • (5/1/2015 7:19:00 AM)


    Wish for nothing larger than your own small heart..... Those words surround and define my entire soul Alice.... I love your poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (3/20/2015 1:04:00 AM)


    There is no end to desires. What is needed is how to tame this headstrong horse to be at peace with the world around us. Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (2/15/2015 7:04:00 AM)


    Tame wild disappointment
    With caress unmoved and cold
    Make of it a parka
    For your soul.- -Really it is too necessary to lead a peaceful life. Very nicely envisioned the poem Expect nothing.Words choice is very good. Many htanks respected Alice madam.
    (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (10/15/2014 7:05:00 AM)


    I love this poem that is full of much wisdom.
    Also there is a sense of humbleness that
    encircles this write. Leave room for surprise.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/22/2014 10:11:00 AM)


    We can have expectations but no more than we can achieve someday. When we are unable to achieve the expected we must not be disenchanted or disillusioned.Also compassion to fellow human being is a positive behaviour as well as good for community goodness. A good poem any way to read and self awareness. It likes much and also being it short one small is beautiful anyway so says. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard Snyder (3/20/2014 12:04:00 PM)


    The people of the world wouldnt be so disappointed if they didn't have any expectations! (Report) Reply

  • (2/21/2014 9:35:00 AM)


    this is really really bad (Report) Reply

  • Albert Price (3/20/2013 8:48:00 PM)


    Live frugally - - - let surprises energize. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • (3/20/2012 8:36:00 AM)


    Wonderful stoical sentiments economically unrolled. Great poem! (Report) Reply

    (5/20/2018 2:35:00 PM)

    Yup I agree

Read all 28 comments »

# 153 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: star, heart



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 20, 2012


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