All of us have moments in our childhood where we come alive for the first time. And we go back to those moments and think, This is when I became myself.

— Rita Dove

The most joyful Rita Dove quotes to get the best of your day

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.

45

We should always do something that makes us feel like a child again.

Keep learning, no matter what it is.

39

The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world.

38

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

18

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.

9

My childhood library was small enough not to be intimidating.

And yet I felt the whole world was contained in those two rooms. I could walk any aisle and smell wisdom.

7

In working on a poem, I love to revise.

Lots of younger poets don't enjoy this, but in the process of revision I discover things

5

Creative writing and literacy go hand and hand.

5

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.

5

What's a word, a talisman, to hold against the world?

4

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.

4

I was pirouette and flourish, I was filigree and flame.

How could I count my blessings when I didn't know their names?

4

About Rita Dove

Quotes 61 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

There are distinct duties of a poet laureate.

I plan a reading series at the Library of Congress and advise the librarian. The rest is how I want to promote poetry

3

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.

3

Under adversity, under oppression, the words begin to fail, the easy words begin to fail. In order to convey things accurately, the human being is almost forced to find the most precise words possible, which is a precondition for literature.

3

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

3

It really wasn't until I was in college when I began to write more and more, and I realized I was scheduling my entire life around my writing

3

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.

3

For years, I had heard about the lack of interest in literature in the U.

S. and I had complained about the lack of respect artists got here. In my heart, I failed to understand how people could fail to be moved by art.

3

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

2

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

2

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!

2

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.

0

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.

0

In fact, sometimes traveling the world is a way of not writing a poem, but it's the quality of experience. It's being able to experience something and when you begin to write about it be able to apply the tools that you need for writing.

0

My best times are midnight to six actually.

I'll leaf through my notebooks and if something catches my eye and I feel like I want to transfer it from the notebook to the page, I do, and then comes this very strange process which is difficult to describe in that I'll write until I get stuck or I can't go any further or I'm boring myself or whatever and then I might go to another poem.

0

If our children are unable to voice what they mean, no one will know how they feel. If they can’t imagine a different world, they are stumbling through a darkness made all the more sinister by its lack of reference points. For a young person growing up in America’s alienated neighborhoods, there can be no greater empowerment than to dare to speak from the heart — and then to discover that one is not alone in ones feelings.

0

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.

0

Everybody who's anybody longs to be a tree.

0

Poetry of all the forms of literature I think is the most suited for the digital age and for the shorter attention spans and all of that. It Twitters very easily, some lyric poems and it's very easy to zip a poem to someone, so that's one of the things I think is wonderful about poetry in the digital age.

0

If I begin writing a poem that means I'm intrigued in some way by whatever it's about and that if I'm not trying to find something new and pushing the envelope in the poem I can't expect my reader to be particularly excited about it either.

0

To write for PC reasons, because you think you ought to be dealing with this subject, is never going to yield anything that is really going to matter to anyone else. It has to matter to you.

0

I change jobs like drinking water ... And as I grow accustomed to the new flavor of a drink I regard as delicious, yes, vital, something fades, life balks. So I break camp; I shed skins.

0

Poetry connects you to yourself, to the self that doesn't know how to talk or negotiate.

0

Listen how they say your name. If they can't say that right, there's no way they're going to know how to treat you proper, neither.

0

Going to the library was the one place we got to go without asking for permission. And they let us choose what we wanted to read. It was a feeling of having a book be mine entirely.

0

A good poem is like a bouillon cube. It's concentrated and it nourishes you when you need it.

0

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

0

If you can't be free, be a mystery.

0

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.

0

I think if you put something in a file that says "war poems" or "love poems" that you already restrict the way in which the poem might move.

0

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.

0

By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other.

0

Don't be so fast, you're all you've got.

0

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.

0

The joy of working at something to find out what it means to me is what I grew up with.

0

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.

0

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.

0

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.

0
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