Alice Walker

(9 February 1944 - / Eatonton Georgia)

Expect Nothing - Poem by Alice Walker

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.

Comments about Expect Nothing by Alice Walker

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (1/25/2016 10:32:00 PM)

    Beautiful and meaningful poem and thought provoking too. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Manonton Dalan (1/25/2016 7:01:00 PM)

    I like seagulls they
    only take what they
    need and nothing is
    wasted...go watch them (Report) Reply

  • val Rogers val Rogers (1/25/2016 7:00:00 PM)

    This is GREAT. FROM BEING to end. Live FRUGALLY BY SURPRISE. Val Brooklyn Rogers. (Report) Reply

  • John Richter (5/1/2015 7:19:00 AM)

    Wish for nothing larger than your own small heart..... Those words surround and define my entire soul Alice.... I love your poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga Rajnish Manga (3/20/2015 1:04:00 AM)

    There is no end to desires. What is needed is how to tame this headstrong horse to be at peace with the world around us. Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul Kumarmani Mahakul (2/15/2015 7:04:00 AM)

    Tame wild disappointment
    With caress unmoved and cold
    Make of it a parka
    For your soul.- -Really it is too necessary to lead a peaceful life. Very nicely envisioned the poem Expect nothing.Words choice is very good. Many htanks respected Alice madam. (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham Patricia Grantham (10/15/2014 7:05:00 AM)

    I love this poem that is full of much wisdom.
    Also there is a sense of humbleness that
    encircles this write. Leave room for surprise. (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • Bernard Snyder Bernard Snyder (3/20/2014 12:04:00 PM)

    The people of the world wouldnt be so disappointed if they didn't have any expectations! (Report) Reply

  • Low Law (2/21/2014 9:35:00 AM)

    this is really really bad (Report) Reply

  • Albert Price Albert Price (3/20/2013 8:48:00 PM)

    Live frugally - - - let surprises energize. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Morgan (3/20/2012 8:36:00 AM)

    Wonderful stoical sentiments economically unrolled. Great poem! (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

  • Karen Deeks (3/10/2012 5:00:00 AM)

    Beautiful words so finely put... (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

  • Mattie Jay (5/5/2008 2:33:00 PM)

    inspiring and inciteful! (Report) Reply

  • Blue angel Florida (9/21/2007 7:50:00 PM)

    'Expect Nothing' Experience Everything. (Report) Reply

  • Mo. (8/11/2007 1:52:00 PM)

    Inspirational Poem! (Report) Reply

Read all 19 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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