Quotes

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Quotes from Zora Neale Hurston
  • Ah done growed ten feet higher from jus' listenin' tuh you, Janie. Ah ain't satisfied wid mahself no mo.
  • She had brought love to the union and he had brought a longing after the flesh.
  • Mah sweat is done paid for this house and Ah reckon Ah kin keep on sweatin' in it.
  • Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
  • The man who interprets Nature is always held in great honor.
  • Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
  • Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!
  • A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.
  • Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.
  • If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.
  • Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.
  • It's no use of talking unless people understand what you say.
  • No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.
  • The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.
  • Anybody depending on somebody else's gods is depending on a fox not to eat chickens.
  • It is one of the blessings of this world that few people see visions and dream dreams.
  • Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at the sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.
  • I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.
  • Gods always behave like the people who make them.
  • It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.
  • Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.
  • It would be against all nature for all the Negroes to be either at the bottom, top, or in between. We will go where the internal drive carries us like everybody else. It is up to the individual.
  • Trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.
  • I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
  • I did not just fall in love. I made a parachute jump.
  • Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.
  • There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
  • I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.
  • If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don't keer if you die at dusk. It's so many people never seen de light at all.
  • I have known the joy and pain of friendship. I have served and been served. I have made some good enemies for which I am not a bit sorry. I have loved unselfishly, and I have fondled hatred with the red-hot tongs of Hell. That's living.
  • If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.
  • Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.
  • Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.
  • When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another. 
  • Bitterness is the coward's revenge on the world for having been hurt.
  • She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.
  • Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.
  • There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.
  • It is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands . . . They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against cruel walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.
  • No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.
  • A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.
  • Then you must tell 'em dat love ain't somethin' lak uh grindstone dat's de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.
  • I made up my mind to keep my feelings to myself since they did not seem to matter to anyone else but me.
  • I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions. 
  • She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.
  • All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
  • She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.
  • So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.
  • She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.
  • I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

Zora
Zora