Betty Smith

Born: December 15, 1896

Die: January 17, 1972

Occupation: Author

Quotes of Betty Smith

Betty Smith

She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered 'different.' She did not suffer too much.

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Betty Smith

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....

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Betty Smith

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....

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

Forgiveness is a gift of high value. Yet its cost is nothing.

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Betty Smith

Francie was ten years old when she first found an outlet in writing. What she wrote was of little consequence. What was important was that the attempt to write stories kept her straight on the dividing...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

There had to be dark and muddy waters so that the sun could have something to background it's flashing glory.

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Betty Smith

Did you ever see so many pee-wee hats, Carl?" "They're beanies." "They call them pee-wees in Brooklyn." "But I'm not in Brooklyn." "But you're still a Brooklynite." "I wouldn't want that to get around,...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

She had had the pain; it had been like being boiled alive in scalding oil and not being able to die to get free of it

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Betty Smith

Books became her friends, and there was one for every mood.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

The library was a little old shaby 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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

And always, there was the magic of learning things.

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Betty Smith

There are very few bad people. There are just a lot of people that are unlucky.

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Betty Smith

It was a good thing that she got herself into this other school. It showed her that there were other worlds beside the world she had been born into and that these other worlds were not unattainable.

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Betty Smith

It was so simple that a flash of astonishment that felt like pain shot through her head. Education! That was it! It was education that made the difference! Education would pull them ut of the grame and...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

...the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only - the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

But she needs me more than she needs him and I guess being needed is almost as good as being loved. Maybe better.

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Betty Smith

They learned no compassion from their own anguish. thus their suffering was wasted.

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Betty Smith

Oh time...time, pass so that I forget! Oh time, Great Healer, pass over me and let me forget.

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Betty Smith

It's come at last", she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

Some people do crossword puzzles. I do books.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

I came to a clear conclusion, and it is a universal one: To live, to struggle, to be in love with life--in love with all life holds, joyful or sorrowful--is fulfillment. The fullness of life is open to...

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Betty Smith

I can never give a 'yes' or a 'no.' I don't believe everything in life can be settled by a monosyllable.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

In teaching your child, do not forget that suffering is good too. It makes a person rich in character.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?

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Betty Smith

You took a walk on a Sunday afternoon and came to a nice neighborhood, very refined. You saw a small one of these trees through the iron gate leading to someone's yard and you knew that soon that section...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

Francie looked at her legs. They were long, slender, and exquisitely molded. She wore the sheerest of flawless silk stockings, and expensively made high-heeled pumps shod her beautifully arched feet. "Beautiful...

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Betty Smith

Well, there's a little bit of man in every woman and a little bit of woman in every man.

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Betty Smith

All of us are what we have to be and everyone lives the kind of life its in him to live.

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Betty Smith

And you must tell the child the legends I told you--as my mother told them to me and her mother to her. You must tell the fairy tales of the old country. You must tell of those not of the earth who live...

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Betty Smith

From that moment on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again.

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Betty Smith

How much do they be paying you?" he asked mellowly. "The usual salary. A little more than they think I'm worth and a little less than I think I'm worth.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

It meant that she belonged some place. She was a Brooklyn girl with a Brooklyn name and a Brooklyn accent. She didn't want to change into a bit of this and a bit of that.

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Betty Smith

A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep...

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

No. I don't want to need anybody. I want someone to need me ... I want someone to need me.

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Betty Smith

Those were the Rommely women: Mary, the mother, Evy, Sissy, and Katie, her daughters, and Francie, who would grow up to be a Rommely woman even though her name was Nolan. They were all slender, frail creatures...

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Betty Smith

I wrote about people who liked fake fireplaces in their parlor, who thought a brass horse with a clock embedded in its flank was wonderful.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

Well' Francie decided, 'I guess the thing that is giving me this headache is life - and nothing else but'.

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Betty Smith

Suffering is also good, it makes a person rich in charachter.

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Betty Smith

People looking up at her--at her smooth pretty vivacious face--had no way of knowing about the painfully articulated resolves formulating in her mind.

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Betty Smith

The world was hers for the reading.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I'll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

You won't die, Francie. You were born to lick this rotten life.

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Betty Smith

'Dear God,' she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.'

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Betty Smith

People always think that happiness is a faraway thing … something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up.

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Betty Smith

I'll not punish you for having an imagination.

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Betty Smith

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.

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Betty Smith

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...

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Betty Smith

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...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss