Literary Birthday – 19 April – Etheridge Knight

Etheridge Knight was born 19 April 1931, and died 10 March 1991.

Etheridge Knight Quotes

  1. I boil my tears in a twisted spoon And dance like an angel on the point of a needle.
  2. To write a blues song is to regiment riots and pluck gems from graves
  3. When you are wearing bell bottom pants and a beard and a big Afro, you are making a political statement by merely walking in there. Everything is political, everything is aesthetical, and everything is ethical.
  4. To me, religion is an art form because religion just expresses the same thing: the feelings of the people. They deal with these feelings through myths, symbols, and rituals
  5. I sit counting syllables like Midas gold.
  6. I understand poetry and the poet as a song—as a chant; the poem and the poet are like songs. They are mystical. When you say things in chant, they take on a different meaning from what you say.
  7. In the beginning was the word, And in the end the deed. Judas did it to Jesus; Tor the same Herd. Same Reason. You made them mad, Malcolm, Same reason.
  8. Another weaver of black dreams has gone.
  9. Every man is the master of his own destiny and comes to grips with the society by his own efforts. The ‘true’ artist is supposed to examine his own experience of this process as a reflection of his self, his ego.
  10. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life.
  11. To me writing haiku is good exercise. I dig and respect them because they create an image—paint a picture—so precisely. They draw pictures in very clean lines. You say what you want to say symbolically.
  12. Love is a rock against the wind. Not soft like silk and lace.

Etheridge Knight was an African-American poet. He made his name with his début volume, Poems from Prison. He received honours from such institutions as the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America.

Source for photograph

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 19th April 2015