Best 101 of Rita Dove quotes - MyQuotes

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Rita Dove
By Anonym 18 Sep

Rita Dove

The First Book Open it. Go ahead, it won't bite. Well. . . maybe a little. More a nip, like. A tingle. It's pleasurable, really. You see, it keeps on opening. You may fall in. Sure, it's hard to get started; remember learning to use knife and fork? Dig in: you'll never reach bottom. It's not like it's the end of the world-- just the world as you think you know it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I grew up in Ohio, where civil-rights accomplishments had already begun to accelerate before Martin Luther King appeared. In hindsight, we know that many people, black and white, were instrumental in changing the Jim Crow status quo on all levels.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I think reading Shakespeare's plays when I was young was extremely important. He had the ability to make utter strangers come alive.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Rita Dove

Our situation is intolerable, but what's worse is to sit here and do nothing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

The First Book: Go ahead, it won't bite. Well... maybe a little. More a nip, like. A tingle. It's pleasurable, really. You see, it keeps on opening. You may fall in. Sure, it's hard to get started; remember learning to use knife and fork? Dig in: you'll never reach bottom. It's not like it's the end of the world -- just the world as you think you know it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I loved to write when I was a child. I wrote, but I always thought it was something that you did as a child, then you put away childish things.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I have a high guilt quotient. A poem can go through as many as 50 or 60 drafts. It can take from a day to two years - or longer.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Rita Dove

One narcissus among the ordinary beautiful flowers, one unlike all the others! She pulled, stooped to pull harder- when, sprung out of the earth on his glittering terrible carriage, he claimed his due. It is finished. No one had heard her. No one! She had strayed from the herd. (Remember: go straight to school. This is important, stop fooling around! Don't answer to strangers. Stick with your playmates. Keep your eyes down.) This is how easily the pit opens. This is how one foot sinks into the ground.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great. It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rita Dove

The poetry that sustains me is when I feel that, for a minute, the clouds have parted and I've seen ecstasy or something

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

If they don't read, if they don't love reading; if they don't find themselves compulsively reading, I don't think they're really a writer

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

The American Dream is a phrase we'll have to wrestle with all of our lives. It means a lot of things to different people. I think we're redefining it now

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I wish someone had told me that my stories are really mine to tell. In other words, anything that I think is important or that has moved me has the ability to move somebody else.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rita Dove

There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

My first advice would be to read, read, read, which sounds interesting coming in a digital age, but it's so much easier to listen to a poem than it is to sit down and actually read it and to hear it in your head and that is something that every poet or aspiring poet needs to be able to do, I think to hear it in their head.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

At the very beginning when I begin writing a poem I try not to think of the audience or anyone at all except for trying to get at the very center of what is driving that poem. In a way it's like analyzing myself.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

It makes me furious to hear haters of all skin colors - especially Christian, Jewish, and Muslim fundamentalists - deride other people because of their different beliefs and lifestyles.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I believe people may have a predisposition for artistic creativity. It doesn't mean they're going to make it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

As an African-American, as a woman I think that I've been sensitized to the way in which history privileges the white male and the way in which certain aspects of history, the things that we are taught in school, the things that are handed down never, never entered the picture though they might have been very important.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

It's unfortunate that sometimes in schools, there's this need to have things quantified and graded.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

Nothing is too small. Nothing is too, quote-unquote, ordinary or insignificant. Those are the things that make up the measure of our days, and they're the things that sustain us. And they're the things that certainly can become worthy of poetry.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I loved to read, but I always thought that the dream was too far away. The person who had written the book was a god, it wasn't a person.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Rita Dove

Nexus I wrote stubbornly into the evening. At the window, a giant praying mantis rubbed his monkey wrench head against the glass, begging vacantly with pale eyes; and the commas leapt at me like worms or miniature scythes blackened with age. the praying mantis screeched louder, his ragged jaws opening into formlessness. I walked outside; the grass hissed at my heels. Up ahead in the lapping darkness he wobbled, magnified and absurdly green, a brontosaurus, a poet.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

One definition of eternity is that we are not alone on this planet, that there are those who've gone before and those who will come, and that there is a community of spirits.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

My inspiration comes from everywhere, just walking down the street and I never know where it's going to come from, so I keep a notebook with me at all times and the only criteria for anything making it into that notebook is if it stops me in my tracks for even an instant, if it catches my eye or my ear and I just write it down.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Rita Dove

Three miles from my adopted city lies a village where I came to peace. The world there was a calm place, even the great Danube no more than a pale ribbon tossed onto the landscape by a girl’s careless hand. Into this stillness I had been ordered to recover. The hills were gold with late summer; my rooms were two, plus a small kitchen, situated upstairs in the back of a cottage at the end of the Herrengasse. From my window I could see onto the courtyard where a linden tree twined skyward — leafy umbilicus canted toward light, warped in the very act of yearning — and I would feed on the sun as if that alone would dismantle the silence around me. At first I raged. Then music raged in me, rising so swiftly I could not write quickly enough to ease the roiling. I would stop to light a lamp, and whatever I’d missed — larks flying to nest, church bells, the shepherd’s home-toward-evening song — rushed in, and I would rage again. I am by nature a conflagration; I would rather leap than sit and be looked at. So when my proud city spread her gypsy skirts, I reentered, burning towards her greater, constant light. Call me rough, ill-tempered, slovenly— I tell you, every tenderness I have ever known has been nothing but thwarted violence, an ache so permanent and deep, the lightest touch awakens it. . . . It is impossible to care enough. I have returned with a second Symphony and 15 Piano Variations which I’ve named Prometheus, after the rogue Titan, the half-a-god who knew the worst sin is to take what cannot be given back. I smile and bow, and the world is loud. And though I dare not lean in to shout Can’t you see that I’m deaf? — I also cannot stop listening.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I think that when a poem can move readers across generations and across its specific class or race then it becomes truly classic.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

My father is a chemist, my mother was a homemaker. My parents instilled in us the feeling that learning was the most exciting thing that could happen to you, and it never ends.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I've always felt that the poems I've written which have historical context are hopefully not just simply plucking something out of history and saying great, let's write about that. In every case what has happened is that I've become fascinated or haunted by something and couldn't shake it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Anyone can tell you that how you're raised as a child has a great deal to do with how you behave as an adult and whether you have complexes or whether you need to prove yourself or all that kind of stuff and yet the mother in a traditional family who has raised a child never makes it in the history books.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Equality and self-determination should never be divided in the name of religious or ideological fervor.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

People write me from all over the country, asking me, and sometimes even telling me, what they think a poet laureate should do. I found that immensely valuable.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

From the time I began to read, as a child, I loved to feel their heft in my hand and the warm spot caused by their intimate weight in my lap; I loved the crisp whisper of a page turning, the musky odor of old paper and the sharp inky whiff of new pages. Leather bindings sent me into ecstasy. I even loved to gaze at a closed book and daydream about the possibilities inside.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Crassly put: When I write, I am trying not to bore myself and my readers.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I'm never quite sure how the poem is going to resolve itself and that I'm always in some way surprised. I make a discovery in a poem as I write it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rita Dove

When we are touched by something it's as if we're being brushed by an angel's wings.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Rita Dove

don't think you can ever forget her don't even try she's not going to budge no choice but to grant her space crown her with sky for she is one of the many and she is each of us

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

If only the sun-drenched celebrities are being noticed and worshiped, then our children are going to have a tough time seeing the value in the shadows, where the thinkers, probers and scientists are keeping society together.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I didn't know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

I keep the drafts of each poem in color-coded folders. I pick up the folders according to how I feel about that color that day.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rita Dove

What is ironic is that Allen Ginsberg's importance was in its twilight for so many years that it took his death to bring it to the front page. He electrified an entire world!

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

If the poem is so moving that even if you have no experience in that particular setting be it 1920's Harlem let's say. You still are so moved that you can put yourself in that position. That means that the writer has managed to go beyond the personal and touch the humanity in all of us and it's really a blast to read it because I realize how that this does hold true for the truly great poems.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I think children have talent and insight, but it gets beaten out of them.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Rita Dove

Since she's discovered men would rather drown than nibble, she does just fine.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rita Dove

I was not interested in doing the plot of Oedipus in blackface. I did wonder, what would these people have been like if they hadn't been in that situation?... One could look at Oedipus, or at my character Augustus, as a cynical schemer who did everything because he was hungry for power. But that's just too easy. I'm more interested in how humans can embody conflicting goals and emotions.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rita Dove

Creative writing and literacy go hand and hand.