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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Ben Okri on life, death, famished, age, magic, poems, road, magician, storytelling, love, perfection, inspiration, art and despair.

29 Famous Quotes By Ben Okri

Quick Facts

Famous As
Writer, Journalist, Novelist, Author, Poet

Born On

Born In
Minna, Nigeria

Ben Okri is a distinguished Nigerian novelist and poet who is considered as one of the top-notch African authors in the post-colonial and post-modern traditions. He has been compared to authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie. Okri is considered to be Africa’s ruling writer who shot to with his first novel ‘Flowers And Shadows’. Since then he has risen to international recognition. Some of his notable works include, ‘Songs Of Enchantment’, ‘The Famished Road’, ‘The Infinite Riches’, ‘Dangerous Love’ and ‘The Age of Magic’. His renowned essays, poetries and short-stories include, ‘Birds Of Heaven’, ‘Wild’, ‘Stars Of The New Curfew’, ‘Tales Of Freedom’ amongst others. Following is a corpus of thoughts, viewpoints and opinions that the prolific writer has shared through his writings, novels, poems, essays, novels, work and life. Let us browse through the quotes and sayings by Ben Okri and get a glimpse of his creative mind.

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.

- Ben Okri

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.

- Ben Okri

This is what you must be like. Grow wherever life puts you down.

- The Famished Road, Ben Okri

The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.

- Astonishing the Gods, Ben Okri

We can redream this world and make the dream come real. Human beings are gods hidden from themselves.

- The Famished Road, Ben Okri

A dream can be the highest point of a life

- The Famished Road, Ben Okri

Don't neglect the gold in your own back yard.

- Ben Okri

What you see is what you make. What you see in a people is what you eventually create in them.

- A Time For New Dreams, Ben Okri

If we could be pure dancers in spirit we would never be afraid to love, and we would love with strength and wisdom.

- Birds of Heaven, Ben Okri

To see the madness and yet walk a perfect silver line. ... That's what the true story-teller should be: a great guide, a clear mind, who can walk a silver line in hell or madness.

- Birds of Heaven, Ben Okri

Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose its moorings or lose its orientations. even in silence we are living our stories

- Birds of Heaven, Ben Okri

Don't read what everyone else is reading. Check them out later, cautiously.

- Ben Okri

We have not yet arrived, but every point at which we stop requires a re-definition of our destination.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

A man must be able to hold his drink because drunkenness is sometimes necessary in this difficult life.

- The Famished Road, Ben Okri

I held you in the square And felt the evening Re-order itself around Your smile.

- Ben Okri

Who knows, maybe this whole planet is an asylum, a penal realm. A place for hard cases.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

An inner darkness is darker than an outer darkness.

- Dangerous Love, Ben Okri

He had to learn how not to let his eyes be bewildered by manifestations, and thereby learn to treat appearances as signs and codes of the interior.

- Dangerous Love, Ben Okri

A tolerable hell is better than an impossible heaven.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

So long as a canvas is empty its potential is infinite… The empty canvas can become a gateway into the landscape of nightmares or a vision of sensual bliss.

- Dangerous Love, Ben Okri

It is easier to get lost within sight of the palace. [...] Hope makes all things near, and so can prove treacherous.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

But to hear Mozart in a bombed city: how much more beautiful it sounds, as if it were composed to somehow soothe the ruins, to promise a wiser future rising from the rubble.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

We ought to step out of our old, hard casing. We think that we are one kind of people, when in fact we are always creating ourselves. We are not fixed. We are constantly becoming, constantly coming into being.

- A Time For New Dreams, Ben Okri

If You Look Too Deeply Everything Breaks Your Heart.

- Songs of Enchantment, Ben Okri

If I don't say the thought right I might destroy it.

- Tales Of Freedom, Ben Okri

Vivere una continua metamorfosi. Ogni cosa cambiamento; ogni cosa relativa.

- Ben Okri

Storytellers ought not be too tame. They ought to be wild creatures who function adequately in society. They are best in disguise. If they lose all their wildness, they cannot give us the truest joys.

- Ben Okri

I love your loneliness. It is brave. It makes the universe want to protect you.

- Astonishing the Gods, Ben Okri

Understanding is a pure glass of water. All great truths have no taste. Hints of sweetness are coloured by the need for amazement.

- Ben Okri