Beloved Quotes

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Beloved Beloved by Toni Morrison
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Beloved Quotes (showing 1-30 of 91)
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“You are your best thing”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship's, smooths and contains the rocker. It's an inside kind--wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one's own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“He wants to put his story next to hers.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“if they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: love
“Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: hope, past
“They encouraged you to put some of your weight in their hands and soon as you felt how light and lovely it was, they studied your scars and tribulations...”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: love
“In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Today is always here,' said Sethe. 'Tomorrow, never.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Something that is loved is never lost.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Was it hard? I hope she didn't die hard.'

Sethe shook her head. 'Soft as cream. Being alive was the hard part.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: death
“When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees.

After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her.

Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling.

Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees.

Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet.

Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose.

It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart.

She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure.

She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.

Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: joy
“Risky, thought Paul D, very risky. For a used-to-be-slave woman to love anything that much was dangerous, especially if it was her children she had settled on to love. The best thing, he knew, was to love just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you'd have a little love left over for the next one.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
tags: love
“Everything depends on knowing how much,” she said, and “Good is knowing when to stop.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“It never looked as terrible as it was and it made her wonder if hell was a pretty place too. Fire and brimstone all right, but hidden in lacy groves.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“He leans over and takes her hand. With the other he touches her face. ‘You your best thing, Sethe. You are.’ His holding fingers are holding hers.

‘Me? Me?”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“You looking good."
"Devil's confusion. He lets me look good long as I feel bad.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“In Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“you got two feet, Sethe, not four." he said, and right then a forest sprang up between them; tactless and quiet.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Jump, if you want to, ‘cause I’ll catch you, girl. I’ll catch you “fore you fall. Go as far inside as you need to, I’ll hold your ankles. Make sure you get back out. I’m not saying this because I need a place to stay. That’s the last thing I need. I told you, I’m a walking man, but I been heading in this direction for seven years. Walking all around this place. Upstate, downstate, east, west; I been in territory ain’t got no name, never staying nowhere long. But when I got here and sat out there on the porch, waiting for you, well, I knew it wasn’t the place I was heading toward; it was you. We can make a life, girl. A life.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“I used to think to think it was my rememory. You know. Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my rememory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think it, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“You your best thing, Sethe. You are.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved
“Sifting daylight dissolves the memory, turns it into dust motes floating in light.”
Toni Morrison, Beloved

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