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

Ben Okri

Ben Okri

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Nigerian

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I believe in leavening. You can't have words sticking out too much, like promontories. They disturb the density. You have to flatten them, or raise the surrounding terrain.

He felt there had to be ‘something'. He felt human beings must create, each in their own way, and that it was only by the application of vision, only by making things, that we could transform the negative ‘nothing'.

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.

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

One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.

In a world where no one listens, where no one seems to care, where hatred is greater than love, where hearts are hardened by vengeance and pride, where violence is preferable to peace, what else is there for him to do but heal the wounded, and bury the dead, in a war that could go on forever?

What if by sheer repetition we become the person we most often pretend to be? Does that mean there is no authentic self? Are we made of habits, compressed by time, like layered rocks?

TWars are not fought on battlegrounds but in a space smaller than the head of a needle.

I mean we desperately wanted to be in love with something or other. We were lonely people. It seemed more sensible to fall in love with another person who also wanted to fall in love, than to love a chair or a cat or an idea.

I was going to be a scientist.

It was a night replaying its corrosive recurrence on the road of our lives, on the road which was hungry for great transformations.

I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing 'Famished Road,' which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.

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

Politics is the art of the possible; creativity is the art of the impossible.