83 Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes from Famous American Poet

Gwendolyn Brooks, born in Topeka in 1917, grew up in Chicago and began writing poetry as a teenager.

She was encouraged by prominent poets like Langston Hughes and contributed to the Chicago Defender.

Brooks authored over twenty poetry books, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for “Annie Allen” and was acknowledged by Richard Wright for “A Street in Bronzeville”.

She also penned a novel, autobiography and edited anthologies.

Gwendolyn Brooks

After a 1967 literary conference, she embraced the Black Power movement and ran poetry workshops.

Named Illinois’ poet laureate in 1968, she garnered numerous accolades, including the National Medal of the Arts. Brooks was dedicated to public service, holding poetry sessions in prisons and hospitals.

She passed away in Chicago in 2000.

Here are some of the best quotes by Gwendolyn Brooks.

Best Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

If you scream, you’re marked “insane”. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Be careful what you swallow. Chew! ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


First fight. Then fiddle. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


This is the urgency: Live! and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


You remember the children you got that you did not get. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Life for my child is simple, and is good. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

When you use the term minority or minorities in reference to people, you’re telling them that they’re less than somebody else. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Art hurts. Art urges voyages – and it is easier to stay at home. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I think there are things for all of us to do as long as we’re here and we’re healthy. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Nobody is saying that these people do not ultimately cease to be. And sometimes their passings are even more painful than ours… ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


You are the beautiful half of a golden hurt. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon.. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

What I’m fighting for now in my work…for an expression relevant to all manner of blacks, poems I could take into a tavern, into the street, into the halls of a housing project. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Very early in life I became fascinated with the wonders language can achieve. And I began playing with words. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


The civil rights situation is like a pregnancy. It will get worse, I believe, before it gets better. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes I am aware there is winter to heed. There is no warm house That is fitted with my need. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Nothing could stop Mississippi. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

To be in love, Is to touch things with a lighter hand. In yourself you stretch, you are well. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I don’t like the idea of the black race being diluted out of existence. I like the idea of all of us being here. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Famous Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

I swear to keep the dead upon my mind, Disdain for all time to be overglad. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Do not be afraid of no, Who has so far, so very far to go. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


I am an ordinary human being who is impelled to write poetry. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I enjoyed reading poetry and I tried to write it when I was about seven, at the time that I first tried to put rhymes together. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

We don’t ask a flower any special reason for its existence. We just look at it and are able to accept it as being something different from ourselves. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I shall create! If not a note, a hole. If not an overture, a desecration. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

What she wanted was to donate to the world a good Maud Martha. That was the offering, the bit of art, that could not come from any other. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

People are so in need, in need of help. People want so much that they do not know. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


When I start writing a poem, I don’t think about models or about what anybody else in the world has done. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

The forties and fifties were years of high poet-incense; the language-flowers were thickly sweet. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Top Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

Books are meat and medicine and flame and flight and flower steel, stitch, cloud and clout, and drumbeats on the air. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Truth-tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Art is a refining and evocative translation of the materials of the world. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Graves grow no green that you can use. Remember, green’s your color. You are Spring. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

At a certain moment in social proceedings, I am on fire to leave: I have a leaving-fit. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

A writer should get as much education as possible, but just going to school is not enough; if it were, all owners of doctorates would be inspired writers. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I felt that I had to write. Even if I had never been published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Sweet is it, sweet is it; To sleep in the coolness; Of snug unawareness. The dark hangs heavily; Over the eyes. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


A cry of bitter dead men who will never attend a gentle maker of musical joy. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

A poem doesn’t do everything for you. You are supposed to go on with your thinking. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Popular Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

Live not for battles won. Live not for The-End-of-the-Song. Live in the along. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

She was learning to love moments. To love moments for themselves. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


I am a writer perhaps because I am not a talker. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I am interested in telling my particular truth as I have seen it. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

When white and black meet today, sometimes there is a ready understanding that there has been an encounter between two human beings. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

With melted opals for my milk, Pearl-leaf for my cracker. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Every day there’s something exciting or disturbing to write about. With all that’s going on, how could I stop? ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

When you love a man, he becomes more than a body. His physical limbs expand, and his outline recedes, vanishes. He is rich and sweet and right. He is part of the world, the atmosphere, the blue sky and the blue water. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Life must be aromatic. There must be scent, somehow there must be some. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I know that the Black emphasis must be not against white but for Black. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Poetry is life distilled. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Great Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

My last defense, is the present tense. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

As you get older, you find that often the wheat, disentangling itself from the chaff, comes out to meet you. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Good health is a duty to yourself, to your contemporaries, to your inheritors, to the progress of the world. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Do not desire to fit in. Desire to oblige yourselves to lead. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. And be it gash or gold it will not come again in this identical disguise. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Each body has its art… ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Writing is a delicious agony. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

She was afraid to suggest to him that to most people, nothing “happens”. That most people merely live from day to day until they die. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Goodness begins simply with the fact of life itself. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Powerful Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

It is brave to be involved. To be not fearful to be unresolved. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Be yourself. Don’t imitate other poets. You are as important as they are. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I think it must be lonely to be God. Nobody loves a master. No. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

People like definite decisions, Tidy answers, all the little ravelings. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Young, and so thin, and so straight. So straight! as if nothing could ever bend her.… ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Even if you are not ready for day, it cannot always be night. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I like the concentration, the crush; I like working with language, as others like working with clay, or notes. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I tell poets that when a line just floats into your head, don’t pay attention ’cause it probably has floated into somebody else’s head. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


Reading is important – read between the lines. Don’t swallow everything. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Poets oblige themselves to see. Poetry is siren, prose is survey. I keep telling children: Poetry comes out of life. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

Wise Gwendolyn Brooks Quotes

I believe we should all know each other, we human carriers of so many pleasurable differences. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

I’ve written so many poems that I believe some of them will stay alive. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

You’re not less than anybody else. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

My Poem is life, and not finished. It shall never be finished. My Poem is life, and can grow. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.


No man can give me any word but wait… ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

There can be no whiter whiteness than this one: An insurance man’s shirt on its morning run. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

The poetry is myself. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks.

So these were the 83 top Gwendolyn Brooks quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Emil Cioran quotes and Jose Marti quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar