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A Tree Grows In Brooklyn book cover

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn Quotes

Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.
I know that's what people say-- you'll get over it. I'd say it, too. But I know it's not true. Oh, youll be happy again, never fear. But you won't forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him.
Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
People always think that happiness is a faraway thing," thought Francie, "something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.
She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much.
She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father stumbling home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more...It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.
Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words.
Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.
Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.
I hate all those flirty-birty games that women make up. Life's too short. If you ever find a man you love, don't waste time hanging your head and simpering. Go right up to him and say, 'I love you. How about getting married?.
Sometimes I think it's better to suffer bitter unhappiness and to fight and to scream out, and even to suffer that terrible pain, than to just be... safe. At least she knows she's living.
Forgiveness is a gift of high value. Yet its cost is nothing.
If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful. But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is.
I need someone. I need to hold somebody close. And I need more than this holding. I need someone to understand how I feel at a time like now. And the understanding must be part of the holding.
Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life...And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.
And always, there was the magic of learning things.
As she read, at peace with the world and happy as only a little girl could be with a fine book and a little bowl of candy, and all alone in the house, the leaf shadows shifted and the afternoon passed.
A lie was something you told because you were mean or a coward. A story was something you made up out of something that might have happened. Only you didn't tell it like it was, you told it like you thought it should have been.
It's come at last," she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache. When there wasn't enough food in the house you pretended that you weren't hungry so they could have more. In the cold of a winter's night you got up and put your blanket on their bed so they wouldn't be cold. You'd kill anyone who tried to harm them - I tried my best to kill that man in the hallway. Then one sunny day, they walk out in all innocence and they walk right into the grief that you'd give your life to spare them from.
But she needs me more than she needs him and I guess being needed is almost as good as being loved. Maybe better.
There are very few bad people. There are just a lot of people that are unlucky.
We'll leave now, so that this moment will remain a perfect memory...let it be our song and think of me every time you hear it.
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood.
And that's where the whole trouble is. We're too much alike to understand each other because we don't even understand our own selves.
Katie had a fierce desire for survival which made her a fighter. Johnny had a hankering after immortality which made him a useless dreamer. And that was the great difference between these two who loved each other so well.
There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly ... survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it.
It was the last time she’d see the river from that window. The last time of anything has the poignancy of death itself. This that I see now, she thought, to see no more this way. Oh, the last time how clearly you see everything; as though a magnifying light had been turned on it. And you grieve because you hadn’t held it tighter when you had it every day.
The library was a little old shabby place. Francie thought it was beautiful. The feeling she had about it was as good as the feeling she had about church. She pushed open the door and went in. She liked the combined smell of worn leather bindings, library past and freshly inked stamping pads better than she liked the smell of burning incense at high mass.
Someday you'll remember what I said and you'll thank me for it." Francie wished adults would stop telling her that. Already the load of thanks in the future was weighing her down. She figured she'd have to spend the best years of her womanhood hunting up people to tell them that they were right and to thank them.
Books became her friends, and there was one for every mood.
Intolerance is a thing that causes war, pogroms, crucifixions, lynchings, and makes people cruel to little children and each other. It is responsible for most of the viciousness, violence, terror, and heart and soul breaking of the world.
It doesn't take long to write things of which you know nothing. When you write of actual things, it takes longer, because you have to live them first.
She loved books. She loved them with her senses and her intellect. They way they looked and smelled; the way they felt in her hands; the way the pages seemed to murmur as she turned them. Everything there is in the world, she thought, is in books.
I want to live for something. I don't want to live to get charity food to give me enough strength to go back to get more charity food.
From that moment on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again.
People always think that happiness is a faraway thing … something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up.
All my life I've been lonely. I've been lonely at crowded parties. I've been lonely in the middle of kissing a girl and I've been lonely at camp with hundreds of fellows around. But now I'm not lonely any more.
Mother, I am young. Mother, I am just eighteen. I am strong. I will work hard, Mother. But I do not want this child to grow up just to work hard. What must I do, mother, what must I do to make a different world for her? How do I start?" "The secret lies in the reading and the writing. You are able to read. Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child. Every day this must be until the child learns to read. Then she must read every day, I know this is the secret.
In the future, when something comes up, you tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it should have happened. Tell the truth and write the story. Then you won't get mixed up. It was the best advice Francie every got.
people always think that happiness is a far away thing, something complicated and hard to get. yet, little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. those little things make happiness.
The difference between rich and poor", said Francie, "is that the poor do everything with thier own hands and the rich hire hands to do things.
New York! I've always wanted to see it and now I've see it. It's true what they say-- it's the most wonderful city in the world.
But the penciled sheets did not seem like nor smell like the library book so she had given it up, consoling herself with the vow that when she grew up, she would work hard, save money and buy every single book that she liked.
I guess being needed is almost as good as being loved. Maybe better.
This could be a whole life," she thought. "You work eight hours a day covering wires to earn money to buy food and to pay for a place to sleep so that you can keep living to come back to cover more wires. Some people are born and kept living just to come to this...
She told Papa about it. He made her stick out her tongue and he felt her wrist. He shook his head sadly and said, "You have a bad case, a very bad case." "Of what?" "Growing up.
I don't know. Sometimes I think it's better to suffer bitter unhappiness and to fight and to scream out, and even to suffer that terrible pain, than just to be ... safe. At least she knows she's living.
Because the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination.
It's a beautiful religion and I wish I understood it more. No, I don't want to understand it all. It's beautiful because it's always a mystery. Sometimes I say I don't believe in God and Jesus and Mary. I'm a bad Catholic because I miss mass once in a while and I grumble when, at confession, I get a heavy penance for something I couldn't help doing. But good or bad, I am a Catholic and I'll never be anything else. Of course, I didn't ask to be born Catholic, no more than I asked to be born American. But I'm glad it turned out that I'm both these things.
Then I've been drunk, too," admitted Francie. "On beer?" "No. Last spring, in McCarren's Park, I saw a tulip for the first time in my life.
You won't die, Francie. You were born to lick this rotten life.
Everything, decided Francie after that first lecture, was vibrant with life and there was no death in chemistry. She was puzzled as to why learned people didn't adopt chemistry as a religion.
She went out and took a last long look at the shabby little library. She knew she would never see it again. Eyes changed after they looked at new things. If in the years to be she were to come back, her new eyes might make everything seem different from the way she saw it now. The way it was now was the way she wanted to remember it.
I never listen to what people tell me and I can't read. The only way I know what is right and wrong is the way I feel about things. If I feel bad, it's wrong. If I feel good, it's right.
It is a good thing to learn the truth one's self. To first believe with all your heart, and then not to believe, is good too. It fattens the emotions and makes them to stretch. When as a woman life and people disappoint her, she will have had practice in disappointment and it will not come so hard. In teaching your child do not forget that suffering is good too. It makes a person rich in character.
I'll not punish you for having an imagination.
The tree man eulogized them by screaming, 'And now get the hell out of here with your tree, you lousy bastards.' Francie had heard swearing since she had heard words. Obscenity and profanity had no meaning as such among those people. They were emotional expressions of inarticulate people with small vocabularies; they made a kind of dialect. The phrases could mean many things according to the expression and tone used in saying them. So now, when Francie heard themselves called lousy bastards, she smiled tremulously at the kind man. She knew that he was really saying, 'Good-bye--God bless you.
There is here, what is not in the old country. In spite of hard, unfamiliar things, there is here - hope. In the old country, a man can be no more than his father, providing he works hard. If his father was a carpenter, he may be a carpenter. He many not be a teacher or a priest. He may rise - but only to his father's state. In the old country, a man is given to the past. Here he belongs to the future. In this land, he may be what he will, if he has the good heart and the way of working honestly at the right things.
She had heard Papa sing so many songs about the heart; the heart that was breaking - was aching - was dancing -was heavy laden - that leaped for joy - that was heavy in sorrow - that turned over - that stood still. She really believed the heart actually did those things.
She was surprised at how tiny the school seemed now. She supposed it was just as big as it had ever been only her eyes had grown used to looking at bigger things.
No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps, and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenements districts.... That was the kind of tree it was. It liked poor people.
When night draws back the curtain, And pins it with a star, Remember you are still my friend, Though you may wander far.
But this tree in the yard-this tree that men chopped down...this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up it's stump-this tree lived! It lived! And nothing could destroy it.
Everything struggles to live.
Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber as a word was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound but you couldn't fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer.
If I can fix every detail of this time in my mind, I can keep this moment always.