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Frank McCourt quotes (showing 1-30 of 112)

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“It’s lovely to know that the world can’t interfere with the inside of your head.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“I don't know what it means and I don't care because it's Shakespeare and it's like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“Love her as in childhood
Through feeble, old and grey.
For you’ll never miss a mother’s love
Till she’s buried beneath the clay.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“It's not enough to be American. You always have to be something else, Irish-American, German-American, and you'd wonder how they'd get along if someone hadn't invented the hyphen”
Frank McCourt, ' Tis: a Memoir
“After a full belly all is poetry.”
Frank McCourt
“I say, Billy, what’s the use in playing croquet when you’re doomed?
He says, Frankie, what’s the use of not playing croquet when you’re doomed?”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“I told her tea bags were just a convenience for people with busy lives and she said no one is so busy they can't take time to make a decent cup of tea and if you are that busy you don't deserve a decent cup of tea for what is it all about anyway? Are we put into this world to be busy or to chat over a nice cup of tea?”
Frank McCourt, ' Tis: a Memoir
“There’s no use saying anything in the schoolyard because there’s always someone with an answer and there’s nothing you can do but punch them in the nose and if you were to punch everyone who has an answer you’d be punching morning noon and night.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“A mother's love is a blessing
No matter where you roam.
Keep her while you have her,
You'll miss her when she's gone.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“I am for who i was in the beginning but now is present and i exist in the future.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“...you, the privileged, the chosen, the pampered, with nothing to do but go to school, hang out, do a little studying, go to college, get into a money-making racket, grow into your fat forties, still whining, still complaining, when there are millions around the world who'd offer fingers and toes to be in your seats, nicely clothed, well fed, with the world by the balls.”
Frank McCourt, ' Tis: a Memoir
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
. . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.”
Frank McCourt
“Stock your mind. It is your house of treasure and no one in the world can interfere with it.”
Frank McCourt
tags: mind
“Where did I get the nerve to think I could handle American teenagers? Ignorance. That's where I got the nerve.”
Frank McCourt
“He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. It is your house of treasure and no one in the world can interfere with it. If you won the Irish Sweepstakes and bought a house that needed furniture would you fill it with bits and pieces of rubbish? Your mind is your house and if you fill it with rubbish from the cinemas it will rot in your head. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“I know that big people don't like questions from children. They can ask all the questions they like, How's school? Are you a good boy? Did you say your prayers? but if you ask them did they say their prayers you might be hit on the head.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying school masters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.

Above all -- we were wet.”
Frank McCourt
“I must congratulate myself, in passing, for never having lost the ability to examine my conscience, never having lost the gift of finding myself wanting & defective. Why fear the criticism of others when you, yourself, are first out of the critical gate? If self-denigration is the race I am the winner, even before the starting gun. Collect the bets.”
Frank McCourt
“In the high school classroom you are a drill sergent, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw.”
Frank McCourt
“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won't let them because there's nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep 'em busy or they might start thinking.”
Frank McCourt, Teacher Man
“You never know when you might come home and find Mam sitting by the fire chatting with a woman and a child, strangers. Always a woman and child. Mam finds them wandering the streets and if they ask, Could you spare a few pennies, miss? her heart breaks. She never has money so she invites them home for tea and a bit of fried bread and if it's a bad night she'll let them sleep by the fire on a pile of rags in the corner. The bread she gives them always means less for us and if we complain she says there are always people worse off and we can surely spare a little from what we have.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes, you can never get enough of him.”
Frank McCourt
“Keep scribbling! Something will happen.”
Frank McCourt
“I asked my dad what afflicted meant and he said 'Sickness son, and things that don't fit.”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
“I can't go back. The past won't go away in this family...”
Frank McCourt, ' Tis: a Memoir

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