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.

Ben Okri

Ben Okri

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Nigerian

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'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' had a formative effect on me. I think it's one of those works that if you encounter it very early you're doubly enchanted by the beauty of the language and the strangeness of the vision. It stays with you.

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

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.

The only power that black people have is their hunger.

The road will never swallow you. The river of destiny will always overcome evil. May you understand your fate. Suffering will never destroy you, but will make you stronger. Success will never confuse you of scatter your spirit, but will make you fly higher into the good sunlight. Your life will always surprise you.

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

Maybe true travel is not the transportation of the body, but a change of perception, renewing the mind.

An inner darkness is darker than an outer darkness.

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'.

It is not death that human beings are most afraid of, it is love.

One of the greatest gifts my father gave me - unintentionally - was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity.

Reading, like writing, is a creative act. If readers only bring a narrow range of themselves to the book, then they'll only see their narrow range reflected in it.

I'm conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life. And at this particular moment I have come round to the beginning of my writing cycle. It begins with poetry. There's hardly a day that goes past on which I don't write poetry.

Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.