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“Live Frugally On Surpise”, Alice Walker And Her Beautifully Wise Poems

In today’s post, we will be looking at some of the best poems by Alice Walker, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. Her novel, The Color Purple, won the National Book Award for hardcover fiction. She has also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the same novel. Her other most notable works include, Meridian and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.


Suggested read: Renascence And Other Poems By Edna Millay


Best Poems By Alice Walker

Here are some of the best poems by Alice Walker.

  1. Expect Nothing

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

  1. Desire

My desire
is always the same; wherever Life
deposits me:
I want to stick my toe
& soon my whole body
into the water.
I want to shake out a fat broom
& sweep dried leaves
bruised blossoms
dead insects
& dust.
I want to grow
something.
It seems impossible that desire
can sometimes transform into devotion;
but this has happened.
And that is how I’ve survived:
how the hole
I carefully tended
in the garden of my heart
grew a heart
to fill it.

  1. Be Nobody’s Darling

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

  1. I Will Keep Broken Things

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The big clay
Pot
With raised
Iguanas
Chasing
Their
Tails;
Two
Of their
Wise

Heads
Sheared
Off;

I will keep
Broken
things:
The old
Slave
Market
Basket
Brought
To my
Door

By Mississippi
A jagged
Hole
Gouged
In its sturdy
Dark
Oak
Side.

I will keep
Broken
things:
The memory
Of
Those
Long
Delicious
Nig ht
Swims
With
You;

I will keep
Broken
things:
In my house
There
Remains
An

Honored
Shelf
On which
I will
Keep
Broken
Things.

Their beauty
Is
They
Need
Not
Ever
Be
‘fixed.’

I will keep
Your
Wild
Free
Laughter
Thoug h
It is now
Missing
Its
Reassuring
And
Graceful
Hinge.

I will keep
Broken
Things:

Thank you
So much!

I will keep
Broken
Things.

I will keep
You:

Pilgrim
Of
Sorrow.
I will keep
Myself.


Suggested read: #NaPoWriMo Here Are Some Of The Best Poems By Wisława Szymborska


  1. Torture

When they torture your mother
plant a tree
When they torture your father
plant a tree
When they torture your brother
and your sister
plant a tree
When they assassinate
your leaders
and lovers
plant a tree
Whey they torture you
too bad
to talk
plant a tree.
When they begin to torture
the trees
and cut down the forest
they have made
start another.

  1. Turning Madness Into Flowers

If my sorrow were deeper
I’d be, along with you, under
the ocean’s floor;
but today I learn that the oil
that pools beneath the ocean floor
is essence
residue
remains
of all our
relations
all
our ancestors who have died and turned to oil
without our witness
eons ago.
We’ve always belonged to them.
Speaking for you, hanging, weeping, over the water’s edge
as well as for myself.
It is our grief
heavy, relentless,
trudging
us, however resistant,
to the decaying and rotten
bottom of things:
our grief bringing
us home.

  1. Remember

Remember
When we ended
It all
-for a weekend-
& how
We knew?
You took
The tea bowl
That I
Broke
In
Carelessness
To glue together
Again
At your
House.

  1. She

She is the one
who will notice
that the first snapdragon
of Spring
is
in bloom;

She is the one
who will tell the most
funny
&
complicated
joke.

She is the one
who will surprise you
by knowing the difference
between turnips
and collard
Greens;

& between biscuits
& scones.

She is the one who knows where
to take you
for dancing
or where the food
& the restaurant’s
decor
are not
to be
missed.

She is the one
who is saintly.

She is the one
who reserves the right
to dress
like a slut.

She is the one
who takes you shopping;

She is the one
who knows where
the best clothes
are bought
cheap.

She is the one
who warms your
home
with her fragrance;

the one who brings
music, magic & joy.

She is the one
speaking
the truth
from her heart.

She is the one at the bedside
wedding, funerals
or divorce
of all the best people
you dearly love.

She is the one
with courage.

She is the one
who speaks
her bright mind;

She is the one
who encourages young &
old
to do the same.

She is the one
on the picket line, at the barricade,
at the prison, in jail;

She is the one
who is there.

If they come for me
& I am at her house
I know
she will hide me.

If I tell her
where I have hidden
my heart
she will keep
my secret
safe.

She is the one
who
without hesitation
comes to my aid &
my defense.

She is the one
who believes
my side of the story
First;

She is the one
whose heart
is open.

She is the one who loves.

She is the one who makes
activism
the most compelling
because she is the one
who is irresistible
her own self.

She is our sister, our teacher, our friend:

Gloria Steinem.

Born 75 years ago
Glorious
To your parents
& still
Radiant
Today.

Happy Birthday, Beloved.
The grand feast
Of your noble Spirit
Has been
& is the cake
that nourishes
Us.

We thank you for your Beauty
& your Being.

Namaste.

  1. Before I Leave The Stage

Before I leave the stage
I will sing the only song
I was meant truly to sing.

It is the song
of I AM.
Yes: I am Me
&
You.
WE ARE.

I love Us with every drop
of our blood
every atom of our cells
our waving particles
-undaunted flags of our Being-
neither here nor there.

  1. A Picture Story For The Curious

(You supply the pictures!)

I get to meditate
in a chair!
Or against the wall
with my legs
stretched out!
(Or even in bed!)

I get to see
maybe half
of what I’m looking at!
(This changes everything!)

I get to dance
like the tipsy old men
I adored
when I was an infant!
(They never dropped me!)

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to ride a bicycle
with tall
handlebars!
(My posture improves!)

I get to give up
learning to sail!
I get to know
I will never speak
German!

I get to snuggle all
morning
with my snuggler
of choice:
counting the hours
by how many times
we get up
to pee!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to eat chocolate
with my salad.
Or even as a first course!
I get to forget!
I get to paint
with colors
I mix myself!
Colors
I’ve never seen
before.

I get to sleep
with my dog
& pray never to outlive
my cat!
I get to play
music
without reading
a note!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
I get to sleep
in a
hammock
under the same
stars
wherever I am!
I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to laugh
at all the things
I don’t know
& cannot
find!

I get to greet
people I don’t remember
as if I know them
very well.
After all, how different
can they be?

I get to grow
my entire
garden
in a few
pots!
I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to see
& feel
the suffering
of the whole
world
& to take
a nap
when I feel
like it
anyway!

I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!

I get to feel
more love
than I ever thought
existed!
Everything appears to be made
of the stuff!

I feel this
especially for You! Though I may not remember
exactly which You
you are!
How cool is this!
Still, I get to spend time with myself
whenever I want!
And that is just a taste
as the old people used to say
down in Georgia
when I was a child
of what you get
for getting old.

This is all we have on today’s post on the Best Poems By Alice Walker. This is, however, not an exhaustive list, and if we have missed out on some of your favorites, then please feel free to add them in the comment section below.

Until next time!

Featured image: Instagram 

Summary
Article Name
Here Are The Best Poems By Alice Walker
Author
Description
In today's post, we will be looking at some of the best poems by Alice Walker, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.