Before you knew you owned it by Alice Walker

Before you knew you owned it

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.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker
Born: 9 February 1944, Georgia, USA
Nationality: American

Walker is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. She is the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, awarded for “The Colour Purple.” Walker has published seventeen novels and short story collections over her career, and also twelve non-fiction works and collections of essays and poems. Walker has faced criticism for alleged antisemit5ism and for endorsing the conspiracist David Icke

7 thoughts on “Before you knew you owned it by Alice Walker

  1. The spacing and choice of separation of the lines in this poem are amazing. I haven’t read her work in a while, and forgot how it feels like you can hear it read the way she wanted it by her choice of line spacing. I admire this about her work. I like how with certain key lines like this

    Or, if compassion be freely she moves to the next line leaving the open space to speak on so many levels, it gives her poetry such an almost eerie feel, because you can feel its multi layered nature. I love that about her work. Thank you for posting this.

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