John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

50,000 books


19 bookshelves with 50,000 books fell over in domino style after the first bookshelf gave way. The library was closed for one day so the mess could be cleaned up. Lorain Public Library in Lorain, Ohio, USA. 1971. 

Learn with libations on this pub crawl of NYC’s literary history


Written by Rossilynne Skena Culgan


As Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, "What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today." His words serve as the toast to kick off the weekly Literary Pub Crawl, which highlights the fascinating literary history around New York City, particularly in Greenwich Village.

Though the Literary Pub Crawl has a long history in New York City—25 years, 200 authors and 2,000 beers—it remains one of the more under-the-radar walking tours around town. As a book nerd who loves a good pint or two, I recently took the tour and was so delighted by it that I won't gatekeep this super fun Saturday activity.

On the tour, guides will lead you to four bars throughout the Village. I won't spoil the surprise and spill the names of all four, but I will say that you'll start at The Four-Faced Liar. Inside that pub, you'll meet your fellow tour members (my group contained three librarians!) and learn that there was so much American literature written in Greenwich Village.

Authors like Ernest Hemingway, J.D. Salinger, Edith Wharton, Louisa May Alcott, Jack Kerouac, Frank McCourt, Langford Wilson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Baldwin, and Edgar Allan Poe all have connections to the neighborhood. As our guide Kurt Kingsley put it, The Village was at one time a "dumping ground of social misfits"—and, yes, that makes for really good writing.

The guides—who are actually actors—share excerpts from the author’s works during the tour. They breathe life into words by poets like Dylan Thomas and Amiri Baraka to powerful effect, so powerful that I added several works to my to-be-read list.

Along the route, guides will point out other historical sites, like the prison where Mae West served time after being arrested for her show "Sex;" the apartment where Alex Haley wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X; and the teeny-tiny building where Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent lived.

You'll learn about the notorious speakeasy, Chumley's, where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald got married and where Orson Welles was said to have left an outstanding tab totaling 30,000 beers. A few streets away, there's the tale of a fight between Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol over Edie Sedgwick's affections.

It feels very special to sip a beer at a spot where Frank McCourt tried to rub shoulders with the "real" writers and where Jessica Lange tended bar.

At each bar, you'll get a chance to buy a drink and listen as the guides share fascinating tales of the authors who hung out, drank, and wrote there. It feels very special to sip a beer at a spot where Frank McCourt tried to rub shoulders with the "real" writers and where Jessica Lange tended bar.

It's all quite dramatic. But is it true?

"We will never let the truth get in the way of a good story," our guide Camber Carpenter joked, though the team does extensive research to make sure the stories are as true as possible. They've even debunked neighborhood legends. As Eric Chase, owner of Literary Pub Crawls and Walking Tours puts it: "Often the truth is more interesting."

He founded the company in the late 1990s when Greenwich Village still maintained an identity as a counter-culture, accessible and affordable neighborhood. Back then, dozens of literary bars remained true to their cultural roots.

He was part of a group trying to fundraise for a small theater company called The New Ensemble (now defunct). They'd host events at bars like Chumley’s, the White Horse Tavern and Cornelia Street Cafe, where they'd share history about writers and perform their work. Eventually, that turned that into a literary pub crawl, drawing inspiration from the famed Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.

Even after the theater company closed, Chase gave the pub crawl its own life, expanding the tours to other neighborhoods. There’s a Brooklyn Literary Tour and a Bohemian Village Tour as well, in addition to the classic Literary Walking Tour in Greenwich Village.

We’ve dedicated ourselves to help keep the history and memory of the people and literature that made Greenwich Village a truly iconic neighborhood.

"What makes us unique is our passion, performance, our ongoing research and our tenacity. We have watched gentrification rapidly change the vibe and the affordability of Greenwich Village and we’ve dedicated ourselves to help keep the history and memory of the people and literature that made Greenwich Village a truly iconic neighborhood," Chase said. "Of the five bars part of the original 1998 tour, only one still exists, and is not really accessible to tours in the same way anymore. Yet we persevere and continue to find new and interesting stories and pubs that keep the spirit of the village alive."

Over the decades, they've stayed true to their mission: Get lit with us.

The tour runs about three hours, totaling a mile of walking. Tickets cost $49/person, plus bring along some cash if you'd like to buy drinks. When I attended, the group was a mix of longtime locals and visitors of all ages. From the young librarians visiting from Canada to the longtime Manhattanite in her senior citizen years, everyone left having learned something, having sipped a few drinks, and hopefully feeling inspired to go read.


The appearance of things changes

 The appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves. Khalil Gibran


Kurt Vonnegut told his wife he was going out to


Kurt Vonnegut told his wife he was going out to buy an envelope. She replied “Oh, she says, well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet?

And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope.

I meet a lot of people. And see some great looking babies. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And I'll ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is - we're here on Earth to goof around.

And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And it's like we're not supposed to dance at all anymore."

apocryphal (uh-PAH-kruh-ful)


apocryphal  (uh-PAH-kruh-ful)

Of doubtful authenticity; the term is often applied to stories or legends that are often repeated but likely not true.

Apocryphal can also describe something resembling or relating to the Apocrypha, the ancient Jewish books that are not part of the Hebrew Bible but are considered canonical in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. In the biblical use, the word is often capitalized.

 Both apocrypha and apocryphal come, via Latin, from the Greek word apokrĂ˝ptein, meaning "to hide (from), keep hidden (from)," which in turn comes from krĂ˝ptein, "to conceal, hide." 

Memento Mori


“Memento Mori” is Latin expression meaning “Remember that you will die”

This phrase, originated in ancient Rome and was used by soldiers, philosophers, and the religious. The expression meant different thing to each group, for some it meant a call to conscience, a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of embracing the present.  For others it meant reflection, exploring the mysteries of death and the purpose of life and spiritual preparation.

Another expression is Amor Fati or love of fate. It means to love everything that happens to you as a way of learning and as a way of toughening yourself. There is pain in Life …but….that’s life. That's part of what life is about is about. Part of Amor Fati means that if complain about what you must deal with in life, pain as an example, and you wish things were different, if you wish for a life without pain, it means that you don't love life because you don’t accept it. Accept everything that happens and find a way to love it and see the purpose behind it.

One of my sites on Facebook

 A Hodgepodge of Unsolved Crimes, Fact over fiction and Scandals


 Salvific (sal-VIF-ik)  Having the power to save or redeem. From Latin salvus (safe). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sol- (whole), which also gave us solid, salute, save, salvo, soldier, catholicity, solicitous, solicitude, salutary, and salubrious. 

Out of quarrels


Out of quarrels with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. -William Butler Yeats, writer, Nobel laureate 

Latin word of the day



 Slowness or sluggishness.

From Latin lentus (slow). 

if who. A poem by Kaie Kellough


About this Poem

“This poem is a short section from within a much larger poem. It has been a long time since I’ve written a brief, self-contained lyric. This piece serves a particular function within the larger poem from which it’s drawn, and that is to avoid dwelling within itself, and instead to carry its momentum into what is yet to come. It is less about the poem as a fully realized work, and more about the poem as direction, as possibility, as opening into.”
—Kaie Kellough

some nights

you may experience

thought’s diamond

drop           squeezed

from an enraged

zero. strained

& so so

bitterly wrought

some nights

labour, some nights

grieve, some nights

exorcise somnolence

o who                  come middle age

can enjoy their white noise machine

their plastic anti-bruxism mouthpiece

their apnea apparatus           & allow

their subconscious to work

its internalized heresies

its backward dance

its sandpaper erasures that smooth it to sleep


as night drips

pandemic & toil

& the schoolchildren

dream of sugar’s

refined fluorescence

speed into tomorrow’s


hyped by lucky charms


locker-lined corridors

that twist into a rich dad

poor dad



& their anemic allowance

offers only

a leadership mentality

fueled by squats &

plant-based proteins

by plyometrics


feral invective

to arise

& grind – but tonight


that rare

ecstatic hour between

the internet’s thirst traps &

the pillow’s

wicked blow

is –



can afford to release

their unrealized life

into a freakish


microtonal cry

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

 One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.



Submissions are now open for the 2024 cycle of PlayList, a short play development series from The CRY HAVOC Company.

Each participating playwright will complete the project with a submission-ready 10-minute play. The 2024 PlayList project will culminate with a public presentation of the play collection.


City Theatre is looking for the best short plays from all over for our upcoming 2024-25 season that furthers our mission to identify, acknowledge, and award excellence in dramatic writing. Having produced hundreds of plays, we want scripts that are lively and timely, hilarious, provocative, poignant, and surprising. We look for plays that span style and genre. We will consider bilingual scripts and ten-minute musicals. We have no restriction on the age range of the characters. In other words, we are seeking compelling plays that rise above the ordinary.


The 2024/25 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award aims to identify and champion debut/early career playwrights.

You are an eligible writer if you have not already had a full-length play of more than 65 minutes produced for 3-4 weeks or more in any theatre, and two weeks or more in a major subsidised theatre/organisation including a national tour. You only have limited international credits where longer runs are not part of a country’s ecology and/or limited screen credits.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at https://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


There are four mysterious areas of Marlowe's life: his homosexuality, his atheism, his involvement in espionage, and the circumstances of his death. The evidence about them is suggestive but inconclusive, which helps explain the endless fascination of his life, character, and connections.

After his death Marlowe was damned as a homosexual who supposedly said "all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools" and as a "lewd lover" of women who'd been stabbed to death by a bawdy rival. Evidence for both (he may have been bisexual) can be found in his works. The dalliance of Jupiter and Ganymede in Dido, Queen of Carthage, of Henry III and his minions in The Massacre at Paris, of Neptune and Leander in Hero and Leander, and of Edward and Gaveston in Edward II, which exalts notable homosexuals ("The mightiest kings have had their minions," 1.4.390-396) suggest the former. His sexy translation of Ovid's Fifth Elegy ("all liked me passing well; / I clinged her naked body, down she fell. / Judge you the rest: being tired she bade me kiss; / Jove send me more such afternoons as this"), publicly burned in 1599, and intensely erotic passages in Hero and Leander suggest the latter. A sexually ambiguous couplet in this poem—"She swore he was a maid in man's attire, / For in his looks were all that men desire"—complicates the confusing question.




A controversial document in which the playwright Christopher Marlowe reportedly declared that Christ was gay, that the only purpose of religion was to intimidate people, and that “all they that love not tobacco and boys were fools” is to go on show online for the first time.

The so-called “Baines note”, a star item in the British Library’s Renaissance manuscript collection, offers tantalising evidence about the private life of Marlowe, one of the most scandalous and magnetic figures of the Elizabeth period.

Compiled in May 1593 by the police informant and part-time spy Richard Baines, it claims to record a conversation between the two men in which the playwright airs a long list of what Baines describes as “monstrous opinions”.




There  are  those  who  believe  King  Edward  II  was  a  homosexual,  and  those who  believe  he  was  not. A  very  few  extant  descriptions,  centuries-long  rumor, and Christopher Marlowe’s 1592 play have led to Edward II becoming known in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as a homosexual, a sodomite, and a sexual deviant.1 Accounts of the historical Edward’s “brotherly” relationships convince some that he engaged in intimate sexual relationships with men, while others insist that the absence of firm evidence and the fact that he produced children mean he could not have had sex with men.2 That Marlowe himself is thought to have had male sexual partners only adds to Edward’s mystique.




MARIO DiGANGI, a professor at the City University of New York and the author of ''The Homo erotics of Early Modern Drama,'' said in an interview, ''People who have been uncomfortable with the homoerotic element in Shakespeare -- such as the sonnets -- have tried to rescue Shakespeare from homosexuality by displacing it onto Marlowe.'' In the Victorian era, he suggested, critics argued that ''one of the things that made Shakespeare a better dramatist was that Shakespeare's sexuality was more 'normal' than Marlowe's.''

For today's theater and film artists, however, the sexuality issue makes Marlowe more approachable, helping to bridge the gap between the world of Armani suits and one of taffeta doublets. That was the attitude behind Derek Jarman's 1991 film ''Edward II,'' which was filled with references to antigay prejudice in Britain. Similarly, Michael Elias, who wrote the screenplay for ''Dead Man in Deptford'' and is expected to direct it, said he admired the author of ''Edward II'' because: ''He's gay in a contemporary way; that is, he considers it his nature. He has no guilt about it.''




One of 16th century English playwright Christopher Marlowe’s major and final works, Edward II focuses on the relationship between the titular King and his favorite nobleman, Piers Gaveston and how it led to both of their murders at the arrangement of military head Roger Mortimer. It had endured as a stage production up through the present, but Jarman was the first (and to date, only person) to attempt a feature film of it. While Marlowe’s prose subtly acknowledged the intimacy between Edward and Gaveston, Jarman’s adaptation places it at the forefront—gleefully, defiantly homoerotic, his Edward II is a story of a King (Steven Waddington) and his male lover, Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan), the threat it poses to the straight establishment headed by Mortimer (Nigel Terry) and Queen Isabella (Swinton) and the ensuing seizure of the throne by said establishment, whose murders of Edward and Gaveston are equated to hate crimes.

The notion of lending an explicitly queer slant to Marlowe’s prose is expected coming from an openly gay filmmaker/activist in 1991. From his casting of hunky actors to play his two queer leads to the inclusion of such imagery as two naked men engaged in sexual intercourse in the background of one scene for no reason germane to the plot, Jarman holds nothing back in this regard; in an era where the sight of two men lying in bed together on the TV series Thirtysomething provoked mass indignation, being so out, loud and proud felt more daring and radical than it might now.




Hylas and Hercules are not referenced here without purpose, although it is a rather implicit one. According to Summers (1992), the relationship between these two classical figures is one of the most famous examples of homoeroticism in ancient Greek (p. 9) — by comparing his mourning to Hylas’, Edward would be implicitly setting the tone of his own relationship with Gaveston as one of homoeroticism. There are other clear references to the Greek mythology, one of the most interesting present in Gaveston’s beginning monologue:

“May draw the pliant king which way I please

Music and poetry is his delight;

Therefore I’ll have Italian masks by night,

Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing shows;

And in the day, when he shall walk abroad

Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad;

My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns

Shall with their goat-feet dance an antic hay

Sometime a lovely boy in Dian’s shape

With hair that gilds the water as it glides

Crownets of pearl about his naked arms

And in his sportful hands an olive tree

To hide those parts which men delight to see”




Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,

Enamour'd of his beauty had he been.

His presence made the rudest peasant melt,

That in the vast uplandish country dwelt;

The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with nought,

Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought.

Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,

For in his looks were all that men desire,—

A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye,

A brow for love to banquet royally;

And such as knew he was a man, would say,

"Leander, thou art made for amorous play;

Why art thou not in love, and lov'd of all?

Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall."



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Countermand came to English via Anglo French..................


The Latin verb mandare, meaning "to entrust" or "to order," is the authority behind countermand. It's also behind the words mandate, command, demand, commend (which can mean "to entrust" as well as "to praise"), and mandatory. Countermand came to English via Anglo French, where the prefix cuntre- ("against") was combined with the verb mander ("to command"). It has been a part of English since the 1400s.


BREAK A LEG PRODUCTIONS seeks plays up to 25 pages (no musicals) to be performed in our annual One Act Slam on September 28th at 2:00 pm at the Unity Center (213 West 58th Street.)
The Slam is a one act play competition. The audience votes for their favorite play, and the winning playwright receives a $100 cash prize


Nomad Theatre seeks new unproduced short plays to be a part of our upcoming season! Our mission is to provide an immersive theatre experience by exposing audience members to eclectic and moving stories, taking theatre outside of a traditional theatre space and into site-specific locations.


92NY’s Musical Theater Development Lab is seeking playwrights and composers specializing in Theater for Young Audiences (TYA). The Lab offers a unique platform designed to support and showcase works specifically tailored for young audiences, providing an invaluable opportunity for these pieces to undergo active exploration and development.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION about these and other opportunities see the web site at https://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


Primary Trust, Eboni Booth’s play that was given an Off Broadway staging by Roundabout Theatre Company last summer, won the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Drama today.

The play was described by the Pulitzer board as “A simple and elegantly crafted story of an emotionally damaged man who finds a new job, new friends and a new sense of worth, illustrating how small acts of kindness can change a person’s life and enrich an entire community.”

The critically acclaimed play follows Kenneth, a 38-year-old bookstore worker who, in the words of Roundabout’s synopsis, “spends his evenings sipping mai tais at the local tiki bar. When he’s suddenly laid off, Kenneth finally begins to face a world he’s long avoided – with transformative and even comical results.”



Booth, 43, grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Queens; she had a previous play, “Paris,” staged in New York in 2020, and she has also worked as an actress. She talked about “Primary Trust” on Monday afternoon, shortly after learning that she had won the prestigious award.

For those of our readers who didn’t get to see it, what is “Primary Trust” about?

“Primary Trust” is about a lonely guy with an imaginary friend, and what happens when he loses his job.

You’re a city girl, but this play is firmly set in a small town in upstate New York. Why?

There’s something about the Northeast that really has captured my imagination. I really am interested in the weather, and what those towns look like, and, for “Primary Trust,” I was interested in a place where maybe its better days were behind it, so there’s this sense of loss that people have to live with all the time.

Loneliness seems to be a subject you’re interested in. Where does that come from?

I think I’m just a little mournful by nature, and a lot of my writing has been a way to understand people I’ve loved and lost, and it’s been a way to reckon with my anxiety about all that I’ll lose in the future. That sounds a little overheated, but I think it was my way of trying to understand some of my sadness and some of my hope.



Maybe you’ve seen him tucked into the corner of a dive bar, muttering to himself now and then, empty glasses multiplying on his table. And perhaps you’ve thought — though, it’s just as likely you haven’t — What’s up with that guy?

In “Primary Trust,” the playwright Eboni Booth zooms in on one such man: He lives in a fictional suburb of Rochester, N.Y., where mai tais are his drink of choice at an unlikely tiki bar named Wally’s. He is alone and adrift in this tender, delicately detailed portrait, though surely he has not always been. Listen, and he’ll tell you about the moment he almost drowned and how he learned to keep his head above water.

“Primary Trust,” which opened at the Laura Pels Theater in Manhattan on Thursday, finds Kenneth (William Jackson Harper, of “The Good Place”) approaching 40 when the bookstore where he’s worked for 20 years closes shop. (The owner, played by Jay O. Sanders, needs cash for surgery.) But Kenneth has never found a job on his own; social workers helped him get his current one some years after he was orphaned.



Which is to say, Eboni Booth’s Primary Trust may not be set in a post-pandemic America (in fact, it’s set in an intentionally unspecified “time before smartphones”), and the series of traumas that have beset the life of its protagonist, Kenneth, may lean toward the individual rather the collective, but it still spoke to me of the emotional landscape of the moment in a way that felt all the more surprising for how gentle, even hopeful, the play feels. Booth doesn’t turn a blind eye to the darkness in Kenneth’s life, but the things that weigh him down are often the substrate, rather than the center, of what she’s choosing to focus on.




Eboni Booth’s delicate, dream-quiet play is a character study in search of a character: thirty-eight-year-old Kenneth (William Jackson Harper, astonishing on the edge of tears) certainly has traits—such as his belief in an imaginary friend (Eric Berryman) and a dependence on a local tiki bar (where every waitstaff member is played by April Matthis)—but, in order to develop, Kenneth would need to make choices, which he’s too traumatized to do. Booth gives him time, though, and he eventually establishes a toehold on life, aided by kindly folk in his small town, including a warmhearted waitress (Matthis again) and his new boss (Jay O. Sanders). Booth and the director, Knud Adams, deploy various classic techniques (Kenneth recalls the stage manager in “Our Town”; the musician Luke Wygodny rings a call bell periodically, like a Buddhist mindfulness chime) to create a timeless mood.



Primary Trust | A Conversation With the Cast and Creative Team

Meet Kenneth, a 38-year-old bookstore worker who spends his evenings sipping mai tais at the local tiki bar. When he’s suddenly laid off, Kenneth finally begins to face a world he's long avoided – with transformative and even comical results. Directed by Knud Adams, Eboni Booth’s Primary Trust is a touching and inventive world-premiere play about new beginnings, old friends, and seeing the world for the first time.



WLIW-FM is proud to partner with The WNET Group’s ALL ARTS for this special edition of WLIW-FM In Conversation.


“Primary Trust” is a simple story from the mind of playwright Eboni Booth: 38-year-old Kenneth (William Jackson Harper) loses his long-time job at a bookstore, forcing him into a terrifying-but-electrifying cycle of change.

ALL ARTS facilitated a conversation between Booth and Harper about “Primary Trust,” their individual creative processes, collaborating to bring a story from script to stage and more. Listen to the conversation or read the transcript here.


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The Grapes of Wrath...still holds up after all these decades


“There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do.”


“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

 “It was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.”

“...and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

 “How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?”

 “The quality of owning freezes you forever in "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we.”

 “You're bound to get idears if you go thinkin' about stuff”

 “Death was a friend, and sleep was Death's brother.”

 “The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains. And the smell of rot fills the country. Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.

 There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate- died of malnutrition- because the food must rot, must be forced to rot. The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

 “Before I knowed it, I was sayin' out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.' . . . . I says, 'What's this call, this sperit?' An' I says, 'It's love. I love people so much I'm fit to bust, sometimes.' . . . . I figgered, 'Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of.' Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent-I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.”


“Up ahead they's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes it'll on'y be one.”


“Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create - this is man.”

 “A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.”

 “If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich, seems to me he needs it 'cause he feels awful poor inside hisself, and if he's poor in hisself, there ain't no million acres gonna make him feel rich, an' maybe he's disappointed that nothin' he can do 'll make him feel rich.”

“Sure, cried the tenant men,but it’s our land…We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours….That’s what makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it."


"We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man."

"Yes, but the bank is only made of men."

 "No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

 “She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt or fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build laughter out of inadequate materials....She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall.”

“Our people are good people; our people are kind people. Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor.”

 “And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed. The great owners ignored the three cries of history. The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great owners was directed at repression. The money was spent for arms, for gas to protect the great holdings, and spies were sent to catch the murmuring of revolt so that it might be stamped out. The changing economy was ignored, plans for the change ignored; and only means to destroy revolt were considered, while the causes of revolt went on.”

 “I'm jus' pain covered with skin.”

  ““Women can change better’n a man,” Ma said soothingly. “Woman got all her life in her arms. Man got it all in his head.”

 “Man, he lives in jerks-baby born an’ a man dies, an’ that’s a jerk-gets a farm and looses his farm, an’ that’s a jerk. Woman, its all one flow, like a stream, little eddies, little waterfalls, but the river, it goes right on. Woman looks at it like that. We ain’t gonna die out. People is goin’ on-changin’ a little, maybe, but goin’ right on.”


“And this you can know- fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”


“This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning—from "I" to "we". If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I", and cuts you off forever from the "we". ”

 “Then it don' matter. Then I'll be all aroun' in the dark. I'll be ever'where - wherever you look. Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever they's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad an' - I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build, why, I'll be there.”


“I’m gettin’ tired way past where sleep rests me.”


“If you're in trouble or hurt or need–go to poor people. They're the only ones that'll help–the only ones.”

 “Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, and emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”

 “The bank - the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size.”

 “You got a God. Don't make no difference if you don' know what he looks like.”