Caged Bird Sings Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Caged Bird Sings. Here they are! All 200 of them:

โ€œ
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Caged Bird A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (The Complete Collected Poems)
โ€œ
I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
If you're for the right thing, you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
A bird who hurt her wing, now forgotten how to fly. A song she used to sing, but can't remember why. A breath she caught and kept - that left her in a sigh. It hurts her so to love you, but she won't say goodbye.
โ€
โ€
Lang Leav
โ€œ
How can a bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing?
โ€
โ€
William Blake
โ€œ
Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn't know what I was aware of. I knew I knew very little, but I was certain that the things I had yet to learn wouldn't be taught to me at George Washington High School.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
When things were very bad his soul just crawled behind his heart and curled up and went to sleep
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I had given up some youth for knowledge, but my gain was more valuable than the loss
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The world had taken a deep breath and was having doubts about continuing to revolve.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Women been gittin' pregnant ever since Eve ate that apple.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education, and even more amazing no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The intensity with which young people live demands that they "blank out" as often as possible.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
How can the bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing? How can a child, when fears annoy, But droop his tender wing, And forget his youthful spring?
โ€
โ€
William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience)
โ€œ
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,- When he beats his bars and would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee, But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core, But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings- I know why the caged bird sings!
โ€
โ€
Paul Laurence Dunbar
โ€œ
No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too, Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out; And take upon's the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out, In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon.
โ€
โ€
William Shakespeare (King Lear)
โ€œ
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside yo. โ€”Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks On the Road (NOT Maya Angelou, NOT I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€
โ€
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
โ€œ
Can't Do is like Don't Care. Neither of them have a home.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
A story went the rounds about a San Franciscan white matron who refused to sit beside a Negro civilian on the streetcar, even after he made room for her on the seat. Her explanation was that she would not sit beside a draft dodger who was a Negro as well. She added that the least he could do was fight for his country the way her son was fighting on Iwo Jima. The story said that the man pulled his body away from the window to show an armless sleeve. He said quietly and with great dignity, "Then ask your son to look around for my arm, which I left over there.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The dread of futility has been my life-long plague.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
She said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Until recently each generation found it more expedient to plead guilty to the charge of being young and ignorant, easier to take the punishment meted out by the older generation (which had itself confessed to the same crime short years before). The command to grow up at once was more bearable than the faceless horror of wavering purpose, which was youth.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. (NOT Maya Angelou, NOT I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€
โ€
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
โ€œ
The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grown-up. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
(And could love free me from the shadows? Can a caged bird sing only the song it knows or can it learn a new song?)
โ€
โ€
Angela Carter (The Lady of the House of Love)
โ€œ
I had read a Tale of Two Cities and found it up to my standards as a romantic novel. She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life...her voice slid in and curved down trough and over the words. She was nearly singing.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin's-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaking need for an unshakable God. My pretty Black brother was my Kingdom Come.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Preach it, I say preach it.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The Black woman in the South who raises sons, grandsons and nephews had her heartstrings tied to a hanging noose. Any break from routine may herald for them unbearable news.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The needs of a society determine its ethics,
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I was basically good. Not understood, and not even liked, but even so, just, and better than just. I was merciful.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I was liked, and what a difference it made.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.โ€ โ€• Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
As I ate she began the first of what we later called โ€œmy lessons in living.โ€ She said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more intelligent than college professors. She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit. That in those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
When you learn, teach," she said frequently. "When you get, give.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales? If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Like most children, I thought if I could face the worst danger voluntarily, and triumph, I would forever have power over it.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Few, if any, survive their teens.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I wouldn't miss Mrs. Flowers, for she had given me her secret word which called forth a djinn who was to serve me all my life: books.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage. When thou dost ask me blessing, Iโ€™ll kneel down And ask of thee forgiveness. So weโ€™ll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news, and weโ€™ll talk with them tooโ€” Who loses and who wins, whoโ€™s in, whoโ€™s outโ€” And take upon โ€™s the mystery of things As if we were Godโ€™s spies.
โ€
โ€
William Shakespeare (King Lear)
โ€œ
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
In order to avoid this bitter end, we would all have to be born again, and born with the knowledge of alternatives. Even then?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
THE TAME BIRD WAS IN A CAGE THE tame bird was in a cage, the free bird was in the forest. They met when the time came, it was a decree of fate. The free bird cries, "O my love, let us fly to the wood." The cage bird whispers, "Come hither, let us both live in the cage." Says the free bird, "Among bars, where is there room to spread one's wings?" "Alas," cries the caged bird, "I should not know where to sit perched in the sky." The free bird cries, "My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands." The cage bird sings, "Sit by my side, I'll teach you the speech of the learned." The forest bird cries, "No, ah no! songs can never be taught." The cage bird says, "Alas for me, I know not the songs of the woodlands." There love is intense with longing, but they never can fly wing to wing. Through the bars of the cage they look, and vain is their wish to know each other. They flutter their wings in yearning, and sing, "Come closer, my love!" The free bird cries, "It cannot be, I fear the closed doors of the cage." The cage bird whispers, "Alas, my wings are powerless and dead.
โ€
โ€
Rabindranath Tagore
โ€œ
Although there was always generosity in the Negro neighborhood, it was indulged on pain of sacrifice. Whatever was given by Black people to other Blacks was most probably needed as desperately by the donor as by the receiver. A fact which made the giving or receiving a rich exchange.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
The saying that people who have nothing to do become busybodies is not the only truth. Excitement is a drug, and people whose lives are filled with violence are always wondering where the next โ€˜fixโ€™ is coming from.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
If the pretties were expected to make the supreme sacrifice in order to 'belong,' what could the unattractive female do?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
There is nothing a person can't do, and there should be nothing a human being didn't care about. It was the most positive encouragement I could have hoped for.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Language is man's way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone which separates him from the lower animals.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. They shield themselves with an aura of unavailableness (for which after a time they begin to take credit) largely as a defense tactic.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Oft gay and honoured robes those tortures try: We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry.
โ€
โ€
John Webster (The White Devil)
โ€œ
Hadn't I, always, but ever and ever, thought that life was just one great risk for the living?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
not only was cleanliness next to Godliness, dirtiness was the inventor of misery.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
As a species, we were an abomination. All of us.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Maya Angelou entered our lives at Virago in 1984, when we first published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. "Entered our lives" is too tame. She danced, sang, and laughed her way straight into our hearts. She brought us a best-seller, but more than that, she brought us a reminder that the human need for dignity and recognition is a gift easily given to one another, but also frighteningly easy to withhold.
โ€
โ€
Lennie Goodings
โ€œ
In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities: either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric. He must believe that for his ends to be served all things and people can justifiably be shifted about, or that he is the center not only of his own world but of the worlds which others inhabit.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
He was away in a mystery, locked in the enigma that young Southern Black boys start to unravel, start to try to unravel, from seven years old to death. The humorless puzzle of inequality and hate.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Hanging softly over the black Singer sewing machine, it looked like magic, and when people saw me wearing it they were going to run up to me and say, "Marguerite, forgive us, please, we didn't know who you were," and I would answer generously, "No, you couldn't have known. Of course I forgive you.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Although I had no regrets, I told myself sadly that growing up was not the painless process one would have thought it to be.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
See you don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn't know what I was aware of.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Childhood's logic never asks to be proved (all conclusions are absolute).
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It seemed terribly unfair to have a toothache and a headache and have to bear at the same time the heavy burden of Blackness.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Graduation, the hush-hush magic time of frills and gifts and congratulations and diplomas, was finished for me before my name was called. The accomplishment was nothing. The meticulous maps, drawn in three colors of ink, learning and spelling decasyllabic words, memorizing the whole of The Rape of Lucrece - it was for nothing. Donleavy had exposed us. We were maids and farmers, handymen and washerwomen, and anything higher that we aspired to was farcical and presumptuous.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Youโ€™re looking for sexual tidbits as a female child, and the only ones that present themselves depict child rape or other violations (all my favorite books in my preteen years: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Clan of the Cave Bear, The World According to Garp, as well as the few R-rated movies I was allowed to seeโ€”Fame, most notably, with its indelible scene of Irene Cara being asked to take her shirt off and suck her thumb by a skeezy photographer who promises to make her a star), then your sexuality will form around that fact. There is no control group. I donโ€™t even want to talk about โ€œfemale sexualityโ€ until there is a control group. And there never will be.
โ€
โ€
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
โ€œ
I hear the birds singing. Listen. I hear them in their cage. The others-all our kind who know of her-they think of her as heartless, but she wasn't heartless. She was only aware of things which I didn't learn till so many decades had passed. She knew secrets that only suffering can teach...
โ€
โ€
Anne Rice (Merrick (The Vampire Chronicles, #7))
โ€œ
She used to say that her secret to life was that she โ€œhoped for the best, was prepared for the worst, so anything in between didnโ€™t come as a surprise.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
God helps those who help themselves.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
That child would stumble over the pattern in a rug.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The child gives, because the body can, and the mind of the violator cannot.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Before he could bring his lips together, his teeth fell, no, actually his teeth jumped, out of his mouth.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
our cage We make a quire, as doth the prison'd bird, And sing our bondage freely.
โ€
โ€
William Shakespeare (Cymbeline)
โ€œ
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Our Father, thank you for letting me see this New Day. Thank you that you didn't allow the bed I lay on last night to be my cooling board, nor my blanket my winding sheet. Guide my feet this day along the straight and narrow, and help me to put a bridle on my tongue. Bless this house, and everybody in it. Thank you, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
My education and that of my Black associates were quite different from the education of our white schoolmates. In the classroom we all learned past participles, but in the streets and in our homes the Blacks learned to drop sโ€™s from plurals and suffixes from past-tense verbs. We were alert to the gap separating the written word from the colloquial. We learned to slide out of one language and into another without being conscious of the effort. At school, in a given situation, we might respond with โ€œThatโ€™s not unusual.โ€ But in the street, meeting the same situation, we easily said, โ€œIt beโ€™s like that sometimes.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
DEPARTURE The horizon slopes away The days are longer Trip A heart hops in a cage A bird sings It is going to die Another door is going to open At the end of the corridor Where a star Begins to shine A dark-haired woman The lantern of the departing train ("Departure")
โ€
โ€
Pierre Reverdy (The Cubist Poets in Paris: An Anthology)
โ€œ
Weekdays revolved on a sameness wheel. They turned into themselves so steadily and inevitably that each seemed to be the original of yesterday's rough draft. Saturday, however, always broke the mold and dared to be different.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Miss Kirwin was that rare educator who was in love with information. I will always believe that her love of teaching came not so much from her liking for students but from her desire to make sure that some of the things she knew would find repositories so that they could be shared again.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
If one was dying, it had to be done in style if the dying took place in whitefolks' part of town.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
He watched her every move and when she left the room, his eyes allowed her reluctantly to go.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Life was cheap and death entirely free.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It was a large heart with lots of hearts growing smaller inside, and piercing from the outside rim to the smallest heart was an arrow.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The Black woman in the South who raises sons, grandsons and nephews had her heartstrings tied to a hanging noose.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Of course I could drive. Idiots and lunatics drove cars. Why not the brilliant Marguerite Johnson?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
When you get, give.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Because I was really white and because a cruel fairy stepmother, who was understandably jealous of my beauty, had turned me into a too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The fog wasn't simply the steamy vapors off the bay caught and penned in by hills, but a soft breath of anonymity that shrouded and cushioned the bashful traveler.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Give it everything you've got. I've told you many times, โ€˜Can't do is like Don't Care.โ€™ Neither of them have a home.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Even if they were society's pariahs, they were going to be angels in a marble white heaven and sit on the right hand of Jesus, the Son of God.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Their faces shone with the delight of their souls.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Comprendรญa la perversidad de la vida, la de que en la lucha estriba la alegrรญa.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
My obsession with pineapples nearly drove me mad. I dreamt of the days when I would be grown and able to buy a whole carton for myself alone. Although
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Annie, everybody has a policy. In this world you have to have a policy. Now, my policy is I don't treat colored people.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Mother whispered, 'See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing, If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The act of rape on an eight-year-old body is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can't. The child gives, because the body can, and the mind of the violator cannot.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
They were assured that they were going to be the only inhabitants of that milk and honey...
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I went further than forgiving the clerk, I accepted her as a fellow victim of the same puppeteer.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
He never went to church, which Bailey and I thought also proved he was a very courageous person. How great it would be to grow up like that, to be able to stare religion down.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
First we became friendly, then we became sister friends. When she finally told me I was her daughter, I knew I had found home. Sitting
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people canโ€™t take their eyes off you.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
My name had lost its ring of familiarity and I had to be nudged to go and receive my diploma.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
Spring irises bloom. The caged bird no longer singsโ€” the knee on his throat.
โ€
โ€
Kamand Kojouri
โ€œ
If on Judgement Day I were summoned by St. Peter to give testimony to the used-to-be sheriff's act of kindness, I would be unable to say anything in his behalf. His confidence that my uncle and every other Black man who heard of the Klan's coming ride would scurry under their houses to hide in chicken droppings was too humiliating to hear. Without waiting for Momma's thanks, he rode out of the yard, sure that things were as they should be and that he was a gentle squire, saving those deserving serfs from the laws of the land, which he condoned.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Later he explained that when a person is beating you you should scream as loud as possible; maybe the whipper will become embarrassed or else some sympathetic soul might come to your rescue.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It's another to the body, and it looks like Louis is going down.' My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree. One more woman ambushed and raped. A Black boy whipped and maimed. It was hounds on the trip of a man running through slimy swamps. It was a white woman slapping her maid for being forgetful.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Turning off or tuning out people was my highly developed art. The custom of letting obedient children be seen but not heard was so agreeable to me that I went one step further: Obedient children should not see or hear if they chose not to do so. I laid a handful of attention on my face and tuned up the sounds in the church.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
What sets one Southern town apart from another, or from a Northern town or hamlet, or city high-rise? The answer must be the experience shared between the unknowing majority (it) and the knowing minority (you). All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces, places and maybe races, tactics, intensities and goals, but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. from Caged Bird
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?)
โ€œ
There is nothing more appalling than a constantly morose child.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The humorless puzzle of inequality and hate. His experience raised the question of worth and values, of aggressive inferiority and aggressive arrogance.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
This book is dedicated to MY SON, GUY JOHNSON, AND ALL THE STRONG BLACK BIRDS OF PROMISE who defy the odds and gods and sing their songs
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I was going to look like one of the sweet little white girls who were everybody's dream of what was right with the world.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Without willing it, I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn't know what I was aware of.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
ุงู„ุทูŠุฑ ุงู„ู…ุญุจูˆุณ ูŠุบุฑุฏ ููŠ ุฑุนุดุฉ ุฎูˆู ู…ู† ุฃุดูŠุงุก ู„ุง ูŠุนุฑูู‡ุง ู„ูƒู† ู…ุงุฒุงู„ ูŠุชูˆู‚ ุฅู„ูŠู‡ุง ููŠุณู…ุน ู„ุญู†ู‡ ู…ู† ุฃู‚ุตู‰ ุงู„ุชู„ ู„ุฃู† ุงู„ุทูŠุฑ ุงู„ู…ุญุจูˆุณ ูŠุบู†ูŠ ู„ู„ุญุฑูŠุฉ.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
more triumphant stories rainbowed around the
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Depression, at least, did not discriminate.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Momma convinced us that not only was cleanliness next to Godliness, dirtiness was the inventor of misery. The
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The humorless puzzle of inequality and hate.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Mother whispered, โ€œSee, you donโ€™t have to think about doing the right thing. If youโ€™re for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
She used to say that her secret to life was that she โ€œhoped for the best, was prepared for the worst, so anything in between didn't come as a surprise.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grownup. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I don't think she ever knew that a deep-brooding love hung over everything she touched.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
You caged me like a bird. But you cannot make me sing.
โ€
โ€
Jordan Ifueko (Raybearer (Raybearer, #1))
โ€œ
Because of a need for stability, children easily become creatures of habit.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
She was our mother and belonged to us. She was never mentioned to anyone because we simply didn't have enough of her to share.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
Miss Kirwin proved Bailey right. He had told me once that "all knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It may be enough, however, to have it said that we survive in exact relationship to the dedication of our poets (include preachers, musicians, and blues singers).
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I thought of myself hanging in the store, as a mote imprisoned on a shaft of sunlight. Pushed and pulled by the slightest shift of air, but never falling free into the tempting darkness.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The bright hours when the young rebelled against the descending sun had to give way to twenty-four-hour periods called โ€œdaysโ€ that were named as well as numbered. The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I could never put my finger on her realness. She was so pretty and so quick that even when she had just awakened, her eyes full of sleep and hair tousled, I thought she looked just like the Virgin Mary. But what mother and daughter understand each other, or even have the sympathy for each other's lack of understanding? Mother
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The saying that people who have nothing to do become busybodies is not the only truth. Excitement is a drug, and people whose lives are filled with violence are always wondering where the next "fix" is coming from.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Your grandmother says you read a lot. Every chance you get. Thatโ€™s good, but not good enough. Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
They basked in the righteousness of the poor and the exclusiveness of the downtrodden. Let the whitefolks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly--mostly--let them have their whiteness. It was better to be meek and lowly, spat upon and abused for this little time than to spend eternity frying in the fires of hell. No one would have admitted that the Christian and charitable people were happy to think of their oppressors' turning forever on the Devil's spit over the flames of fire and brimstone.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
โ€œ
To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflicts than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
All the birds in Jeru come, Sing a song of martyrdom. Every cage and every tree, Set the birds of Jeru free. If the king among you flies, If the king among you dies, Lift him up and bring him here, To claim his troth to every ear.
โ€
โ€
Amy Harmon (The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, #1))
โ€œ
Between the roof of the shed and the big plant that hangs over the fence from the house next door I could see the constellation Orion. People say that Orion is called Orion because Orion was a hunter and the constellation looks like a hunter with a club and a bow and arrow, like this: But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffeemaker which Mrs. Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur. And there aren't any lines in space, so you could join bits of Orion to bits of Lepus or Taurus or Gemini and say that they were a constellation called the Bunch of Grapes or Jesus or the Bicycle (except that they didn't have bicycles in Roman and Greek times, which was when they called Orion Orion). And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffeemaker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away. And that is the truth. I stayed awake until 5:47. That was the last time I looked at my watch before I fell asleep. It has a luminous face and lights up if you press a button, so I could read it in the dark. I was cold and I was frightened Father might come out and find me. But I felt safer in the garden because I was hidden. I looked at the sky a lot. I like looking up at the sky in the garden at night. In summer I sometimes come outside at night with my torch and my planisphere, which is two circles of plastic with a pin through the middle. And on the bottom is a map of the sky and on top is an aperture which is an opening shaped in a parabola and you turn it round to see a map of the sky that you can see on that day of the year from the latitude 51.5ยฐ north, which is the latitude that Swindon is on, because the largest bit of the sky is always on the other side of the earth. And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don't even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means that they are so small you don't have to take them into account when you are calculating something. I didn't sleep very well because of the cold and because the ground was very bumpy and pointy underneath me and because Toby was scratching in his cage a lot. But when I woke up properly it was dawn and the sky was all orange and blue and purple and I could hear birds singing, which is called the Dawn Chorus. And I stayed where I was for another 2 hours and 32 minutes, and then I heard Father come into the garden and call out, "Christopher...? Christopher...?
โ€
โ€
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
โ€œ
My tears were not for Bailey or Mother or even myself but for the helplessness of mortals who love on the sufferance of Life. In order to avoid this bitter end, we would all have to be born again, and born with the knowledge of alternatives. Even then?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I laughed too, but not at the hateful jokes made on my people.I laughed because, except that she was white, the big movie star looked just like my mother. Except that she lived in a big mansion with thousands servants. she lived just like my mother. And it was funny to think of the whitefolks' not knowing that the woman they were adoring could be my mother's twin, except that she was white and my mother was prettier. Much prettier.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
On the barbecue pit, chickens and spareribs sputtered in their own fat and a sauce whose recipe was guarded in the family like a scandalous affair.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Ev'ry Voice and Singโ€โ€”words by James Weldon Johnson and music by J. Rosamond Johnson. Copyright by Edward B. Marks Music Corporation. Used by permission.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
San Franciscans would have sworn on the Golden Gate Bridge that racism was missing from the heart of their air-conditioned city. But they would have been sadly mistaken. A story went the rounds about a San Franciscan white matron who refused to sit beside a Negro civilian on the streetcar, even after he made room for her on the seat. Her explanation was that she would not sit beside a draft dodger who was a Negro as well. She added that the least he could do was fight for his country the way her son was fighting on Iwo Jima. The story said that the man pulled his body away from the window to show an armless sleeve. He said quietly and with great dignity, โ€œThen ask your son to look around for my arm, which I left over there.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I wish I could build you a cage, little bird, or a beautiful tower, to keep you safe from the corrupt, cynical world. You donโ€™t know how precious it is to be naive and innocent. I only want to protect you, so you can sing and be free like the golden bird you were born to be.
โ€
โ€
Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road, #1))
โ€œ
I discovered that to achieve perfect personal silence all I had to do was to attach myself leechlike to sound. I began to listen to everything. I probably hoped that after I had heard all the sounds, really heard them and packed them down, deep in my ears, the world would be quiet around me. I walked into rooms where people were laughing, their voices hitting the walls like stones, and I simply stood still-in the midst of the riot of sound. After a minute or two, silence would rush into the room from its hiding place because I had eaten up all of the sounds.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
What time is it?โ€™ โ€˜Whatever time you want it to be,โ€™ she gave him a cheeky wink. โ€˜Now be honest, did you ask for free will?โ€™ โ€˜How did youโ€”?โ€™ Amanita joined Mario beneath the covers. The ethereal Threads tethering her wrists phased through the thick wool blankets like sunlight through a windowpane. โ€˜The bird that acknowledges its cage only ever sings of freedom,โ€™ she said dreamily.
โ€
โ€
Louise Blackwick (The Underworld Rhapsody)
โ€œ
Miss Kirwin was that rare educator who was in love with information. I will always believe that her love of teaching came not so much from her liking for students but from her desire to make sure that some of the things she knew would find repositories so that they could be shared again. She
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree. One more woman ambushed and raped. A Black boy whipped and maimed. It was hounds on the trail of a man running through slimy swamps. It was a white woman slapping her maid for being forgetful.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Our Father, thank you for letting me see this New Day. Thank you that you didn't allow the bed I lay on last night to be my cooling board, nor my blanket my winding sheet. Guide my feet this day along the straight and narrow, and help me to put a bridle on my tongue. Bless this house, and everybody in it. Thank
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Sounds came to me dully, as if people were speaking through their handkerchiefs or with their hands over their mouths. Colors werenโ€™t true either, but rather a vague assortment of shaded pastels that indicated not so much color as faded familiarities. Peopleโ€™s names escaped me and I began to worry over my sanity.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
They also told me how I got the name โ€œMy.โ€ After Bailey learned definitely that I was his sister, he refused to call me Marguerite, but rather addressed me each time as โ€œMya Sister,โ€ and in later more articulate years, after the need for brevity had shortened the appellation to โ€œMy,โ€ it was elaborated into โ€œMaya.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
As I ate she began the first of what was later called โ€œmy lessons in living.โ€ She said that I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and even more intelligent than college professors. She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit. That in those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I said, โ€œWhat do I think? That's what I'm asking you? What is there to think?โ€ โ€œLooks like he wants you to be his valentine.โ€ โ€œLouise, I can read. But what does it mean?โ€ โ€œOh, you know. His valentine. His love.โ€ There was that hateful word again. That treacherous word that yawned up at you like a volcano. โ€œWell, I won't. Most decidedly I won't. Not ever again.โ€ โ€œHave you been his valentine before? What do you mean never again?โ€ I couldn't lie to my friend and I wasn't about to freshen old ghosts. โ€œWell, don't answer him then, and that's the end of it.โ€ I was a little relieved that she thought it could be gotten rid of so quickly. I tore the note in half and gave her a part. Walking down the hill we minced the paper in a thousand shreds and gave it to the wind.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The white kids had better vocabularies than I and, what was more appalling, less fear in the classrooms. They never hesitated to hold up their hands in response to a teacher's question; even when they were wrong they were wrong aggressively, while I had to be certain about all my facts before I dared to call attention to myself.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I wanted to be a woman, but that seemed to me to be a world to which I was to be eternally refused entrance. What I needed was a boyfriend. A boyfriend would clarify my position to the world and, even more important, to myself. A boyfriend's acceptance of me would guide me into that strange and exotic land of frills and femininity.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Momma intended to teach Bailey and me to use the paths of life that she and her generation and all the Negroes gone before had found, and found to be safe ones. She didn't cotton to the idea that whitefolks could be talked to at all without risking one's life. And certainly they couldn't be spoken to insolently. In fact, even in their absence they could not be spoken of too harshly unless we used the sobriquet โ€œThey.โ€ If she had been asked and had chosen to answer the question of whether she was cowardly or not, she would have said that she was a realist.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
We were on top again. As always, again. We survived. The depths had been icy and dark, but now a bright sun spoke to our souls. I was no longer simply a member of the proud graduating class of 1940; I was a proud member of the wonderful, beautiful Negro race.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Practical advice.โ€”People who read much must always keep it in mind that life is one thing, literature another. Not that authors invariably lie. I declare that there are writers who rarely and most reluctantly lie. But one must know how to read, and that isn't easy. Out of a hundred bookreaders ninety-nine have no idea what they are reading about. It is a common belief, for example, that any writer who sings of suffering must be ready at all times to open his arms to the weary and heavy-laden. This is what his readers feel when they read his books. Then when they approach him with their woes, and find that he runs away without looking back at them, they are filled with indignation and talk of the discrepancy between word and deed. Whereas the fact is, the singer has more than enough woes of his own, and he sings them because he can't get rid of them. Lโ€™uccello canta nella gabbia, non di gioia ma di rabbia, says the Italian proverb: "The bird sings in the cage, not from joy but from rage." It is impossible to love sufferers, particularly hopeless sufferers, and whoever says otherwise is a deliberate liar. "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." But you remember what the Jews said about Him: "He speaks as one having authority!" And if Jesus had been unable, or had not possessed the right, to answer this skeptical taunt, He would have had to renounce His words. We common mortals have neither divine powers nor divine rights, we can only love our neighbours whilst they still have hope, and any pretence of going beyond this is empty swagger. Ask him who sings of suffering for nothing but his songs. Rather think of alleviating his burden than of requiring alleviation from him. Surely notโ€”for ever should we ask any poet to sob and look upon tears. I will end with another Italian saying: Non รจ un si triste cane che non meni la coda... "No dog so wretched that doesn't wag his tail sometimes.
โ€
โ€
Lev Shestov (All Things Are Possible And Penultimate Words And Other Essays)
โ€œ
My sorrow at leaving was confined to a gloom at separating from Bailey for a month (we had never been parted), the imagined loneliness of Uncle Willie (he put on a good face, though at thirty-five he'd never been separated from his mother) and the loss of Louise, my first friend. I wouldn't miss Mrs. Flowers, for she had given me her secret word which called forth a djinn who was to serve me all my life: books.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin's-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things Zadie Smith, White Teeth Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah Katherine Heiny, Standard Deviation Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance Hiromi Kawakami, Strange Weather in Tokyo Angela Carter, The Magic Toyshop Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Attia Hosain, Sunlight on a Broken Column Ali Smith, There But For The These books found me at just the right time in my life. I can remember each of them so vividly, I remember the characters as though they were friends, sometimes even family, I can remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I turned that final page. Theyโ€™ve stayed with me ever since.
โ€
โ€
Sara Nisha Adams (The Reading List)
โ€œ
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I donโ€™t want to know. Some things are better left unsaid. Iโ€™d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it canโ€™t expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was as if some beautiful bird had flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.
โ€
โ€
Stephen King (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption)
โ€œ
Destiny comes suddenly, bringing concern; she stares at you with horrible eyes and clutches you at the throat with sharp fingers and hurls you to the ground and tramples upon you with ironclad feet; then she laughs and walks away, but later regrets her actions and asks you through good fortune to forgive her. She stretches her silky hand and lifts you high and sings to you the Song of Hope and causes you to lose your cares. She creates in you a new zest for confidence and ambition. If your lot in life is a beautiful bird that you love dearly, you gladly feed to him the seeds of your inner self, and make your heart his cage and your soul his nest. But while you are affectionately admiring him and looking upon him with the eyes of love, he escapes from your hands and flies very high; then he descends and enters into another cage and never comes back to you. What can you do? Where can you find patience and condolence? How can you revive your hopes and dreams? What power can still your turbulent heart?
โ€
โ€
Kahlil Gibran (11 Books: The Prophet / Spirits Rebellious / The Broken Wings / A Tear and a Smile / The Madman / The Forerunner / Sand and Foam / Jesus the Son of Man / Lazarus and His Beloved / The Earth Gods / The Wanderer / The Garden of the Prophet)
โ€œ
It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us. Donleavy
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
Questions of Travel There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams hurry too rapidly down to the sea, and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion, turning to waterfalls under our very eyes. โ€”For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains, aren't waterfalls yet, in a quick age or so, as ages go here, they probably will be. But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling, the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships, slime-hung and barnacled. Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed at home and thought of here? Where should we be today? Is it right to be watching strangers in a play in this strangest of theatres? What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life in our bodies, we are determined to rush to see the sun the other way around? The tiniest green hummingbird in the world? To stare at some inexplicable old stonework, inexplicable and impenetrable, at any view, instantly seen and always, always delightful? Oh, must we dream our dreams and have them, too? And have we room for one more folded sunset, still quite warm? But surely it would have been a pity not to have seen the trees along this road, really exaggerated in their beauty, not to have seen them gesturing like noble pantomimists, robed in pink. โ€”Not to have had to stop for gas and heard the sad, two-noted, wooden tune of disparate wooden clogs carelessly clacking over a grease-stained filling-station floor. (In another country the clogs would all be tested. Each pair there would have identical pitch.) โ€”A pity not to have heard the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird who sings above the broken gasoline pump in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque: three towers, five silver crosses. โ€”Yes, a pity not to have pondered, blurredly and inconclusively, on what connection can exist for centuries between the crudest wooden footwear and, careful and finicky, the whittled fantasies of wooden cages. โ€”Never to have studied history in the weak calligraphy of songbirds' cages. โ€”And never to have had to listen to rain so much like politicians' speeches: two hour of unrelenting oratory and then a sudden golden silence in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes: "Is it lack of imagination that makes us come to imagined places, not just stay at home? Or could Pascal have been entirely right about just sitting quietly in one's room? Continent, city, country, society: the choice is never wide and never free. And here, or there...No. Should we have stayed at home, wherever that may be?
โ€
โ€
Elizabeth Bishop (Questions of Travel)
โ€œ
The idea that human beings cannot logically recognize suffering in a chicken, or draw meaningful conclusions about how a human would react to the conditions under which a caged hen lives, is ridiculous. There is a basis for empathy and understanding in the fact of human evolutionary continuity with other creatures that enables us to recognize and infer, in those creatures, experiences similar to our own. The fact that animals are forcibly confined in environments that reflect human nature, not theirs, means that they are suffering much more than we know in ways that we cannot fathom. If they preferred to be packed together without contact with the world outside, then we would not need intensive physical confinement facilities, and mutilations such as debeaking, since they would voluntarily cram together, live cordially, and save us money. The egg industry thinks nothing of claiming that a mutilated bird in a cage is 'happy,' 'content,' and 'singing,' yet will turn around and try to intimidate you with accusations of 'anthropomorphism' if you logically insist that the bird is miserable.
โ€
โ€
Karen Davis (Prisoned Chickens Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry)
โ€œ
Then came that terrible Christmas with its awful presents when our father, with the vanity I was to find typical, sent his photograph. My gift from Mother was a tea setโ€”a teapot, four cups and saucers and tiny spoons-and a doll with blue eyes and rosy cheeks and yellow hair painted on her head. I didn't know what Bailey received, but after I opened my boxes I went out to the backyard behind the chinaberry tree. The day was cold and the air as clear as water. Frost was still on the bench but I sat down and cried. I looked up and Bailey was coming from the outhouse, wiping his eyes. He had been crying too. I didn't know if he had also told himself they were dead and had been rudely awakened to the truth or whether he was just feeling lonely. The gifts opened the door to questions that neither of us wanted to ask. Why did they send us away? and What did we do so wrong? So Wrong? Why at three and four, did we have tags put on our arms to be sent by train alone from Long Beach, California, to Stamps, Arkansas, with only the porter to look after us?
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
In the early months of World War II, San Francisco's Fill-more district, or the Western Addition, experienced a visible revolution. On the surface it appeared to be totally peaceful and almost a refutation of the term โ€œrevolution.โ€ The Yakamoto Sea Food Market quietly became Sammy's Shoe Shine Parlor and Smoke Shop. Yashigira's Hardware metamorphosed into La Salon de Beautรฉ owned by Miss Clorinda Jackson. The Japanese shops which sold products to Nisei customers were taken over by enterprising Negro businessmen, and in less than a year became permanent homes away from home for the newly arrived Southern Blacks. Where the odors of tempura, raw fish and cha had dominated, the aroma of chitlings, greens and ham hocks now prevailed. The Asian population dwindled before my eyes. I was unable to tell the Japanese from the Chinese and as yet found no real difference in the national origin of such sounds as Ching and Chan or Moto and Kano. As the Japanese disappeared, soundlessly and without protest, the Negroes entered with their loud jukeboxes, their just-released animosities and the relief of escape from Southern bonds. The Japanese area became San Francisco's Harlem in a matter of months. A person unaware of all the factors that make up oppression might have expected sympathy or even support from the Negro newcomers for the dislodged Japanese. Especially in view of the fact that they (the Blacks) had themselves undergone concentration-camp living for centuries in slavery's plantations and later in sharecroppers' cabins. But the sensations of common relationship were missing. The Black newcomer had been recruited on the desiccated farm lands of Georgia and Mississippi by war-plant labor scouts. The chance to live in two-or three-story apartment buildings (which became instant slums), and to earn two-and even three-figured weekly checks, was blinding. For the first time he could think of himself as a Boss, a Spender. He was able to pay other people to work for him, i.e. the dry cleaners, taxi drivers, waitresses, etc. The shipyards and ammunition plants brought to booming life by the war let him know that he was needed and even appreciated. A completely alien yet very pleasant position for him to experience. Who could expect this man to share his new and dizzying importance with concern for a race that he had never known to exist? Another reason for his indifference to the Japanese removal was more subtle but was more profoundly felt. The Japanese were not whitefolks. Their eyes, language and customs belied the white skin and proved to their dark successors that since they didn't have to be feared, neither did they have to be considered. All this was decided unconsciously.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
It's another to the body, and it looks like Louis is going down.' My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree. One more woman ambushed and raped. A Black boy whipped and maimed. It was hounds on the trip of a man running through slimy swamps. It was a white woman slapping her maid for being forgetful...This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. Only a little higher than the apes. True that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky and worst of all, that God Himself hated us and ordained us to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, forever and ever, world without end. We didn't breathe. We didn't hope. We waited.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
โ€œ
I burst. A firecracker July-the-Fourth burst. How could Momma call them Miz? The mean nasty things. Why couldn't she have come inside the sweet, cool store when we saw them breasting the hill? What did she prove? And then if they were dirty, mean and impudent, why did Momma have to call them Miz? She stood another whole song through and then opened the screen door to look down on me crying in rage. She looked until I looked up. Her face was a brown moon that shone on me. She was beautiful. Something had happened out there, which I couldn't completely understand, but I could see that she was happy. Then she bent down and touched me as mothers of the church 'lay hands on the sick and afflicted' and I quieted. 'Go wash your face, Sister.' And she went behind the candy counter and hummed, 'Glory, glory, hallelujah, when I lay my burden down.
โ€
โ€
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))