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Their Eyes Were Watching God book cover

Their Eyes Were Watching God Quotes

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
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.
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.
Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.
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.
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.
She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.
She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.
She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.
She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.
They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!.
It was the meanest moment of eternity.
...she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see...
He looked like the love thoughts of women.
Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.
..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.
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.
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.
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.
She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over.
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
The morning air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on, picking flowers and making a bouquet… From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything.
Look lak she been livin' through uh hundred years in January without one day of spring.
There is two things everybody got to find out for theirselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living.
From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom…It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep.
And I can't die easy thinking maybe the menfolks white or black is making a spit cup out of you. Have some sympathy for me. Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.
She couldn’t make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom – a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung above him. He was a glance from God.
The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude 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.
He was the average mortal. It troubled him to get used to the world one way and then suddenly have it turn different.
Pheoby, yuh got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo' papa and yo' mama and nobody else can't tell yuh and show yuh. 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.
In the cool afternoon the fiend from hell specifically sent to lovers arrived at Janie's ear. Doubt.
Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tuh find out. Maybe it's some place way off in de ocean where de black man is in power, but we don't know nothin' but what we see.
She wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.
Half Gods are worshipped with wine and Flowers. Real Gods require Blood.
The spirit of the marriage left the bedroom and took to living in the parlor.
They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.
The monstropolous beast had left his bed. The two hundred miles a hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to-be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.
Now, women forget all the 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.
She was too busy feeling grief to dress like grief.
Tea Cake, the son of the Evening Sun, had to die for loving her.
Sometimes God gits familiar wid us womenfolks too and talks His inside business. He told me.how surprised y'all is goin' tuh be if you ever find out you don't know half as much 'bout us as you think yo do. It's so easy to make yo'self out God Almighty when you ain't got nothin' tuh strain against but women and chickens.
She knew things that nobody had ever told her... She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pastor of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one every sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making.
When Janie looked out of her door she saw the drifting mists gathered in the west -- that cloud field of the sky -- to arm themselves with thunders and march forth against the world. Louder and higher and lower and wider the sound and motion spread, mounting, sinking, darking.
When the people sat around on the porch and passed around the pictures of their thoughts for the others to look at and see, it was nice. The fact that the thought pictures were always crayon enlargements of life made it even nicer to listen to.
Tain't no use in you cryin' . . . But folks is meant to cry 'bout somethin' or other. Better leave things de way dey is. Youse young yet. No tellin' whut mout happen befo' you die.
...she woke up in time to see the sun sending up spies ahead of him to mark out the road through the dark. He peeped up over the door sill of the world and made a little foolishness with red.
The varicolored cloud dust that the sun has stirred up in the sky was settling by slow degrees.
Seeing the woman as she was made them remember the envy they had stored up from other times. so they chewed up the back parts of their minds and swallowed with relish. They made burning statements with questions, and killing tools out of laughs. It was mass cruelty. A mood come alive. Words walking without masters; walking altogether like harmony in a song. (2).
But any man who walks in the way of power and property is bound to meet hate.
She tore off the kerchief from her head and let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was all there. She took careful stock of herself, then combed her hair and tied it back up again.
She's got those big black eyes with plenty shiny white in them that makes them shine like brand new money and she knows what God gave women eyelashes for, too. Her hair is not what you might call straight. It's negro hair, but it's got a kind of white flavor. Like the piece of string out of a ham. It's not ham at all, but it's been around ham and got the flavor.
Sometimes she stuck out into the future, imagining her life different from what is was.
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.