Enjoy these amazing quotes filled with truth and seasoned with humor.
1.“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
“The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.”
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”
“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”
“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
“No good deed goes unpunished.”
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
“Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”
“Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.”
“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
20.“A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”
“To define is to limit.”
“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”
23.“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
“I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”
“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
“A good friend will always stab you in the front.”
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
“I am not young enough to know everything.”
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
“The heart was made to be broken.”
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
“Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
“The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.”
“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”
“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”
“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.”
“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being”.
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
“We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.”
“Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”
“One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.”
“The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out.”
“The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.”
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
“The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.”
“It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.”
Although Oscar Wilde’s life was riddled with controversy, he was still a great poet. His quotes are still being used to this day. I never knew anything about him growing up, or at least I don’t remember. My love for Ireland and Phil Lynott led me to read about this poet. There is a pretty cool statue of him located in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland. Please enjoy the poetry and also famous quote of the late Oscar Wilde. I have read the things he was accused of and the relationship he had with his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. but I am only focusing on his poetry and one of his many quotes. Wilde left us to cherish many poems as well as great quotes.
“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.” Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for “gross indecency”, imprisonment, and early death at age 46. Wilde is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Wilde’s parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. Wilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884-1898, they had two sons, Vyvyan Holland and Cyril Holland.
As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new “English Renaissance in Art” and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a license for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.
At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ hard labor, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
De Profundis (letter)
De Profundis (Latin: “from the depths”) is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to “Bosie” (Lord Alfred Douglas).
In its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde’s conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred’s vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterizes as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter began “Dear Bosie” and ended “Your Affectionate Friend”.
Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment. Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labor, and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labor. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write “for medicinal purposes”; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions. Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897.
Wilde entrusted the manuscript to the journalist Robert Ross (another former lover, loyal friend, and rival to “Bosie”). Ross published the letter in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death, giving it the title “De Profundis” from Psalm 130. It was an incomplete version, excised of its autobiographical elements and references to the Queensberry family; various editions gave more text until in 1962 the complete and correct version appeared in a volume of Wilde’s letters.
A VISION – Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone With no green weight of laurels round his head, But with sad eyes as one uncomforted, And wearied with man’s never-ceasing moan For sins no bleating victim can atone, And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed. Girt was he in a garment black and red, And at his feet I marked a broken stone Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees. Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame, I cried to Beatrice, ‘Who are these? ‘ And she made answer, knowing well each name, ‘AEschylos first, the second Sophokles, And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.’
Apologia – IS it thy will that I should wax and wane, Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey, And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day? Is it thy will–Love that I love so well– That my Soul’s House should be a tortured spot Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not? Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure, And sell ambition at the common mart, And let dull failure be my vestiture, And sorrow dig its grave within my heart. Perchance it may be better so–at least I have not made my heart a heart of stone, Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast, Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown. Many man hath done so; sought to fence
In straitened bonds the soul that should be free,
Trodden the dusty road of common sense,
While all the forest sang of liberty,
Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight
Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air,
To where the steep untrodden mountain height
Caught the last tresses of the Sun God’s hair.
Or how the little flower he trod upon,
The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold,
Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun
Content if once its leaves were aureoled.
But surely it is something to have been
The best belovèd for a little while,
To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen
His purple wings flit once across thy smile.
Ay! though the gorgèd asp of passion feed
On my boy’s heart, yet have I burst the bars,
Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed
The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!
Her Voice – THE wild bee reels from bough to bough With his furry coat and his gauzy wing. Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, In his wandering; Sit closer love: it was here I trow I made that vow, Swore that two lives should be like one As long as the sea-gull loved the sea, As long as the sunflower sought the sun,– It shall be, I said, for eternity ‘Twixt you and me! Dear friend, those times are over and done, Love’s web is spun. Look upward where the poplar trees Sway and sway in the summer air, Here in the valley never a breeze Scatters the thistledown, but there Great winds blow fair From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, And the wave-lashed leas. Look upward where the white gull screams, What does it see that we do not see? Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams On some outward voyaging argosy,– Ah! can it be We have lived our lives in a land of dreams! How sad it seems. Sweet, there is nothing left to say But this, that love is never lost, Keen winter stabs the breasts of May Whose crimson roses burst his frost, Ships tempest-tossed Will find a harbor in some bay, And so we may. And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty,–you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.
This is just one of the great British bands who not only captured the hearts and minds of teens in the UK, but also in the USA. With hits like Love is like Oxygen, Ballroom Blitz, Little Willy & Fox on the Run, they were every girls dream and the music is just timeless. Their music brings back such happy memories of my teen years spent at the Teen Center with my dear friends in our small west Texas town of only a little over 5000 people. Such sweet memories that I truly miss on a daily basis!
The Sweet (also known as Sweet) are a British glam rock band that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. Their best known line-up consisted of lead vocalist Brian Connolly, bass player Steve Priest, guitarist Andy Scott, and drummer Mick Tucker. The group was originally called Sweetshop.
The band was formed in London in 1968 and achieved their first hit, “Funny Funny”, in 1971 after teaming up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and record producer Phil Wainman. During 1971 and 1972, their musical style followed a marked progression from the Archies-like bubblegum style of “Funny Funny” to a Who-influenced hard rock style supplemented by a striking use of high-pitched backing vocals.
The band first achieved success in the UK charts, with thirteen Top 20 hits during the 1970s alone, with “Block Buster!” (1973) topping the chart, followed by three consecutive number two hits in “Hell Raiser” (1973), “The Ballroom Blitz” (1973) and “Teenage Rampage” (1974). The band turned to a more hard rock style with their mid-career singles, like 1974’s “Turn It Down”. “Fox on the Run” (1975) also reached number two on the UK charts. These results were topped in West Germany and other countries on the European mainland. They also achieved success and popularity in the US with the top ten hits “Little Willy”, “The Ballroom Blitz”, “Fox on the Run” and “Love is Like Oxygen”.
Sweet had their last international success in 1978 with “Love Is Like Oxygen”. Connolly left the group in 1979 to start a solo career and the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1981. From the mid-1980s, Scott, Connolly and Priest each played with their own versions of Sweet at different times. Connolly died in 1997 and Tucker in 2002. The two surviving members are still active in their respective versions of the band; Scott’s is based in the UK and Priest’s in the US.
the deaths of Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker
Steve Priest was asked to join Tucker and Scott for the 1985 Australian tour, but declined at the last moment.
Mike Chapman contacted Connolly, Priest, Scott, and Tucker in 1988, offering to finance a recording session in Los Angeles. As he remembers: “I met them at the airport and Andy and Mick came off the plane. I said, ‘Where’s Brian?’ They said, ‘Oh, he’s coming.’ All the people had come off the plane by now. Then this little old man hobbled towards us. He was shaking and had a ghostly white face. I thought, ‘Oh, Jesus Christ.’ It was horrifying.” Reworked studio versions of “Action” and “The Ballroom Blitz” were recorded, but it became clear that Connolly’s voice and physical health had made Sweet’s original member comeback too difficult to promote commercially. Consequently, the reunion attempt was aborted.
In 1990 this line-up was again reunited for the promotion of a music documentary entitled Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz. This UK video release, which contained UK television performances from the 1970s and current-day interviews, was released at Tower Records, London. Sweet was interviewed by Power Hour, Super Channel, and spoke of a possible reunion.
Brian Connolly died at the age of 51 on 9 February 1997 from liver failure and repeated heart attacks, attributed to his abuse of alcohol in the 1970s and early 1980s. Mick Tucker subsequently died on 14 February 2002 from leukemia, at the age of 54.
To read more on this great band, please follow the link at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sweet
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is another amazing poet that I have never heard of, but who is doing some incredible things with her life, while touching and inspiring the lives of many others! I am truly happy to have run across this author, poet and teacher!
Erika L. Sánchez (born c. 1984) is a poet and writer. She is the author of poetry collection Lessons on Expulsion and a young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Early Life and Education –
Sánchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, is from Cicero, Illinois. She has two brothers. She attended Morton East High School, then the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. After college she traveled to Madrid, Spain to teach English with the Fulbright program and pursued poetry.She then earned an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico.
Sánchez won a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship in 2015.
Her first poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf in July 2017. The Washington Post named it to a list of best poetry of July 2017, calling it a “fierce, assertive debut”. In The New York Times, Kathleen Rooney praised Sánchez’s “wrenching explorations of guilt and shame, grief and misogyny…Her depictions of misery hurt and haunt,” particularly through her use of the second person “to draw readers close to difficult subjects.” In 2017, United States poet laureate Tracy K. Smith recommended Sánchez as among the best new voices in poetry.
Sánchez’s young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is forthcoming on October 17, 2017. Bustle named it to a list of the best 15 young adult books appearing in October 2017 and it is a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature.
From 2017 to 2019, Sánchez is an arts fellow at Princeton University, teaching poetry and fiction writing.
To read more of the biography of Erika L. Sánchez, please visit:
Please sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful poetry of Erika L. Sanchez!
All of Us –
Every day I am born like this-
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.
Six Months After Contemplating Suicide –
you wanted the end
with a serpentine
greed. How to negotiate
mist, the fibrous
To cease to exist
and to die
are two different things entirely.
But you knew this,
Some days you knelt on coins
in those yellow hours.
You lit a flame
to your shadow
scorpions with your naked fingers.
So touched by the sadness of hair
in a dirty sink.
The malevolent smell
When instead of swallowing a fistful
of white pills,
you decided to shower,
the palm trees
nodded in agreement,
of crickets singing
behind your swollen eyes.
The masked bird
turned to you
with a shred of paper hanging
from its beak.
hair wet and fragrant,
you cupped a goat’s face
his trembling horns.
It fell prostrate,
passed through you
like a swift
and generous storm.
In the republic of flowers I studied
the secrets of hanging clothes I didn’t
know if it was raining or someone
was frying eggs I held the skulls
of words that mean nothing you left
between the hour of the ox and the hour
of the rat I heard the sound of two
braids I watched it rain through
a mirror am I asking to be spared
or am I asking to be spread your body
smelled like cathedrals and I kept
your photo in a bottle of mezcal
semen-salt wolf’s teeth you should have
touched my eyes until they blistered
kissed the skin of my instep for thousands
of years sealed honey never spoils
won’t crystallize I saw myself snapping
a swan’s neck I needed to air out
my eyes the droplets on a spiderweb
and the grace they held who gave me
permission to be this person to drag
my misfortune on this leash made of gold
Robert Lee Frost (March26, 1874 – January29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
This is a short biography on this amazing poet. For more information and to read his full biography, please visit the link below.
Storm Fear –
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
The Road Not Taken –
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
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.
Nothing Gold Can Stay –
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay.
It has truly been a pleasure and an honor to have the ability to read up on such amazing human beings, who exhibited such great strength and courage! This man lived a great life and wrote in a way that others could live through his writings in a time filled with chaos.
Please take the time to read the biography of Langston Hughes and enjoy the three poems I’ve posted below the bio.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902– May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. He famously wrote about the period that “the negro was in vogue”, which was later paraphrased as “when Harlem was in vogue”.
Ancestry and childhood
Like many African Americans, Hughes had a complex ancestry. Both of Hughes’ paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved African Americans and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky. According to Hughes, one of these men was Sam Clay, a Scottish-American whiskey distiller of Henry County, said to be a relative of statesman Henry Clay. The other was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish-American slave trader of Clark County. Hughes’s maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African-American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to attend Oberlin College, she married Lewis Sheridan Leary, also of mixed race, before her studies. Lewis Leary subsequently joined John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia in 1859, where he was fatally wounded.
Ten years later, in 1869, the widow Mary Patterson Leary married again, into the elite, politically active Langston family. (See The Talented Tenth.) Her second husband was Charles Henry Langston, of African-American, Euro-American and Native American ancestry. He and his younger brother John Mercer Langston worked for the abolitionist cause and helped lead the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858.
After their marriage, Charles Langston moved with his family to Kansas, where he was active as an educator and activist for voting and rights for African Americans. His and Mary’s daughter Caroline (known as Carrie) became a schoolteacher and married James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934). They had two children; the second was Langston Hughes, born in 1901 in Joplin, Missouri.
Langston Hughes grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. His father left the family soon after the boy was born and later divorced Carrie. The senior Hughes traveled to Cuba and then Mexico, seeking to escape the enduring racism in the United States.
After the separation, Hughes’s mother traveled, seeking employment. Langston was raised mainly in Lawrence, Kansas, by his maternal grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston. Through the black American oral tradition and drawing from the activist experiences of her generation, Mary Langston instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride. Imbued by his grandmother with a duty to help his race, Hughes identified with neglected and downtrodden black people all his life, and glorified them in his work. He lived most of his childhood in Lawrence. In his 1940 autobiography The Big Sea, he wrote: “I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books—where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.”
After the death of his grandmother, Hughes went to live with family friends, James and Auntie Mary Reed, for two years. Later, Hughes lived again with his mother Carrie in Lincoln, Illinois. She had remarried when he was an adolescent. The family moved to the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended Central High School and was taught by Helen Maria Chesnutt, whom he found inspiring.
His writing experiments began when he was young. While in grammar school in Lincoln, Hughes was elected class poet. He stated that in retrospect he thought it was because of the stereotype about African Americans having rhythm.
I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everyone knows, except us, that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me as class poet.
During high school in Cleveland, Hughes wrote for the school newspaper, edited the yearbook, and began to write his first short stories, poetry, and dramatic plays. His first piece of jazz poetry, “When Sue Wears Red,” was written while he was in high school.
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
As I Grew Older –
It was a long time ago. I have almost forgotten my dream. But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun— My dream. And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream. Rose until it touched the sky— The wall. Shadow. I am black. I lie down in the shadow. No longer the light of my dream before me, Above me. Only the thick wall. Only the shadow. My hands! My dark hands! Break through the wall! Find my dream! Help me to shatter this darkness, To smash this night, To break this shadow Into a thousand lights of sun,It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
And then the wall rose,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
April Rain Song –
Let the rain kiss you Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops Let the rain sing you a lullaby The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk The rain makes running pools in the gutter The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the rain.
Born Mary Elizabeth Clark, and orphaned at the age of three. In 1927 she married Claud Frye.
The identity of the author of the poem was unknown until the late 1990s, when Frye revealed that she had written it. Her claim was later proven by Abigail Van Buren.
Her poem was also used in one of the Norwegian protocols to express condolences after the 2011 Norway attacks.
Credit: poem hunter.com
The original poem was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) from Baltimore, MD. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. This is the only surviving poem of Mary Elizabeth Frye and quite possibly her only poem.
What a beautiful poem; Although sad, the words are still comforting. I hope each of you enjoy reading it as much as I did!
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep –
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.