Zora Neale Hurston Quotes

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― ZORA NEALE HURSTON

 

“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“Love is like the sea. It’s a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Bitterness is the coward’s revenge on the world for having been hurt.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“She didn’t read books so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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 Neale Hurston

 

“Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“I made up my mind to keep my feelings to myself since they did not seem to matter to anyone else but me.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Of course he wasn’t dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“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 a sword in my hands.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“It was the meanest moment of eternity.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“…she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see…”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“He looked like the love thoughts of women.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man’s spice-box seasons his own food.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“An envious heart makes a treacherous ear.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“..she began to stand around the gate and expect things. What things? She didn’t know exactly. Her breath was gusty and short. She knew things that nobody ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. .. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. ”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“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.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“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 horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Love, I find, is like singing.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches”
― Zora Neale Hurston

 

“She often spoke to falling seeds and said, “Ah hope you fall on soft ground,” because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.”
― Zora Neale Hurston

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