Favorite Quotes from American Lit.
For most of the last 27 years I have been teaching American Literature.Over the years I have taught the same works many times.The following quotes are some of those that always warm my heart, send chill bumps through my body, bring tears to my eyes, or make me smile every time I teach them. Hope you enjoy.
Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
Fish and visitors stink in three days.
A truly great man will neither trample on a worm or sneak to an emperor.
He who is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards.
(from Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac)
So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.
(from "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant)
Is it so bad then to be misunderstood?
Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.
To be great is to be misunderstood.
(from Self-Relianceby Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
(from Walden by Henry David Thoreau)
I celebrate myself and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
(from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman)
There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. Have you cried for that boy today? I don't mean for yourself and for the family 'cause we done lost the money. I mean for him; what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most; when they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning...because that ain't the time at all.
It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in hisself 'cause the world done whipped him so. When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, Child, measure him right. make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to whereever he is.
(from A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry)
A Dream Deferred
Whatever happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
( by Langston Hughes)
Everytime I think of prejudice in this world or of the effects of an unkind word spoken, the following poem comes to mind. May we always remember the lasting effects our words may produce....
Once, riding in Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me "nigger."
I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.
(by Countee Cullen)
Yall come back now....I will be adding more as I think of them:-)