8 Poets’ Thoughts on Courage

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“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

― Maya Angelou

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”

― Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth

“Anybody can learn to think, or believe, or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel… the moment you feel, you’re nobody ― but-yourself ― in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ― means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”

― E.E. Cummings, E. E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

― Audre Lorde

“Yet each man kills the thing he loves

By each let this be heard

Some do it with a bitter look

Some with a flattering word

The coward does it with a kiss

The brave man with a sword”

― Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

“The courage it took to get out of bed each 

morning

to face the same things

over and over

was

enormous.”

― Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense

“Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.”

― Robert Louis Stevenson

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