Treasure Island

Alice Walker

(9 February 1944 - / Eatonton Georgia)

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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 midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Expect Nothing by Alice Walker )

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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/22/2014 10:11:00 AM)

    We can have expectations but no more than we can achieve someday. When we are unable to achieve the expected we must not be disenchanted or disillusioned.Also compassion to fellow human being is a positive behaviour as well as good for community goodness. A good poem any way to read and self awareness. It likes much and also being it short one small is beautiful anyway so says. (Report) Reply

  • Dave Walker (3/11/2012 12:43:00 PM)

    A really fantastic poem, short but to the point, love it.
    May i invite you to read my poem called,
    Holy Man. (Report) Reply

  • Kainwo Moses (7/12/2009 7:49:00 AM)

    The world would be a better place if all were to live like this expecting nothing. The world would be rid of suicides. My ambitious spirit tells me I can. Yes I can! (Report) Reply

  • Glorr Kkk (5/8/2008 10:58:00 AM)

    this poem is soo inspirational<3.
    i have to do a huge assignment on alice walker
    and thank god i found this poem.
    it makes my day. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »

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