Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

I swear to keep the dead upon my mind,/Disdain for all time to be overglad./Among spring flowers, under summer trees./By chilling autumn waters, in the frosts/Of supercilious winter—all my days/I'll have as mentors those reproving ghosts.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), African American poet and fiction writer. "Gay Chaps at the Bar: mentors," lines 3-8 (1945). The speaker is an African American soldier who has survived wartime service and seen many of his comrades die.
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I shall not sing a May song. A May song should be gay. I'll wait until November And sing a song of gray.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The Crazy Woman."
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They had supposed their formula was fixed. They had obeyed instructions to devise A type of cold, a type of hooded gaze. But when the Negroes came they were perplexed. These Negroes looked like men....
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), African American poet, fiction writer, and autobiographer. "Gay Chaps at the Bar: the white troops had their orders but the Negroes looked like men," lines 1-5 (1945). At this time, American military units were racially segregated.
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The empty woman took toys! In her sisters' homes Were little girls and boys.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The Empty Woman."
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If Thou be more than hate or atmosphere Step forth in splendor, mortify our wolves. Or we assume a sovereignty ourselves.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "God works in a mysterious way."
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... able to Mend measles, nag noses, blast blisters And all day waste wordful girls And war-boys, and all day Say "Oh God!"
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The Empty Woman."
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many an eye that all its age had drawn its Beam from a Book ...
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "God works in a mysterious way."
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A woman would be wise to think it well If once a week you only rang the bell.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The independent man."
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Out of coils, Unscrewed, released, no more to be marvelous, I shall walk straightly through most proper halls Proper myself, princess of properness.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "Hunchback girl: she thinks of heaven."
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She kisses her killed boy. And she is sorry. Chaos in windy grays through a red prairie.
Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), U.S. poet. "The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till."
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