Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Alice Walker: "Expect Nothing"

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
Become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress
Unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human giant
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But live frugally
on surprise.

"Expect Nothing" by Alice Walker, from Anything We Love Can Be Saved. © Ballantine Books, 1998.

Photography credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer (originally sepia).



  1. So much truth and wisdom. These words touched my heart and soul today. Thank you.

  2. When was the poem first published?

    1. I found it in a book published in 1998 (see source beneath poem). I don't know if it was previously published.


Thank you for participating respectfully in this blog's community of readers.