N. Scott Momaday Quotes

N. Scott Momaday Quotes

Indians are marvelous storytellers. In some ways, that oral tradition is stronger than the written tradition.

My father was a painter and he taught art. He once said to me, 'I never knew an Indian child who could not draw.'

As far as I am concerned, poetry is a statement concerning the human condition, composed in verse.

Writing is not a matter of choice. Writers have to write. It is somehow in their temperament, in the blood, in tradition.

A word has power in and of itself. It comes from nothing into sound and meaning; it gives origin to all things.

For the storyteller, for the arrowmaker, language does indeed represent the only chance for survival.

It's a landscape that has to be seen to be believed. And as I say on occasion, it may have to be believed in order to be seen.

Your imagination comes to life, and this, you think, is where Creation was begun.

If you believe in the power of words, you can bring about physical changes in the universe.

The highest human purpose is always to reinvent and celebrate the sacred.

I sometimes think the contemporary white American is more culturally deprived than the Indian.

He used both hands when he made the bear. Imagine a bear proceeding from the hands
He used both hands when he made the bear. Imagine a bear proceeding from the hands of God.

They have assumed the names and gestures of their enemies, but have held on to their own, secret souls; and in this there is a resistance and an overcoming, a long outwaiting.

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it.

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, and dwell upon it.

To look upon that landscape in the early morning, with the sun at your back, is to lose the sense of proportion.

We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine, at least, completely, who and what, and that we are. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.

Art is affirmation.

There was only the dark infinity in which nothing was. And something happened. At the distance of a star something happened, and everything began. The Word did not come into being, but it was. It did not break upon the silence, but it was older than the silence and the silence was made of it.

I wonder if, in the dark night of the sea, the octopus dreams of me.

Share Page

N. Scott Momaday Wiki

N. Scott Momaday At Amazon