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Susan Griffin

  • Rape is a form of mass terrorism ... The fear of rape keeps women off the streets at night. Keeps women at home. Keeps women passive and modest for fear that they be thought provocative.

    • Susan Griffin,
    • in Jo Freeman, ed., Women: A Feminist Perspective ()
  • ... there is always a time to make right / what is wrong.

    • Susan Griffin,
    • "I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman," Like the Iris of an Eye ()
  • Mother / I write home / I am alone and / give me my body back.

    • Susan Griffin,
    • "Mother and Child," Like the Iris of an Eye ()
  • ... the way of the river is sacred, and this grove of trees is sacred, and we ourselves, we tell you, are sacred.

  • This earth is my sister; I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am. How we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: We are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her.

  • ... we are nature. We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature. Nature weeping. Nature speaking of nature to nature.

  • I know I am made from this earth, as my mother's hands were made from this earth, as her dreams came from this earth and all that I know, I know in this earth, the body of the bird, this pen, this paper, these hands, this tongue speaking, all that I know speaks to me through this earth.

  • ... more than rape itself, the fear of rape permeates our lives. And what does one do from day to day, with this experience, which says, without words and directly to the heart, your existence, your experience, may end at any moment. Your experience may end, and the best defense against this is not to be, to deny being in the body, as a self, to ... avert your gaze, make yourself, as a presence in the world, less felt.

  • Every time I deny myself I commit a kind of suicide.

  • Each time I write, each time the authentic words break through, I am changed. The older order that I was collapses and dies. I do not know what words will appear on the page. I follow language, I follow the sound of the words, and I am surprised and transformed by what I record.

  • We keep secrets from ourselves that all along we know.

  • A story is told as much by silence as by speech.

  • One can find traces of every life in each life.

  • Perhaps every moment of time lived in human consciousness remains in the air around us.

  • Telling a story of illness, one pulls a thread through a narrow opening flanked on one side by shame and the other by trivia.

  • Far more frightening than the thought of dying was the experience of erasure already occurring in my life. My fear of becoming someone who did not count.

  • Self-reflection is a desire felt by the body, as well as the soul. As dancers, healers, and saints all know, when you turn your attention toward even the simplest physical process — breath, the small movements of the eyes, the turning of a foot in midair — what might have seemed dull matter suddenly awakens.

  • War starts in the mind, not in the body.

    • Susan Griffin,
    • "The Mind Can Be a Prison Door," in Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, eds., Stop the Next War Now ()
  • Waging war is not a primary physical need.

    • Susan Griffin,
    • "The Mind Can Be a Prison Door," in Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, eds., Stop the Next War Now ()
  • Before a secret is told, one can often feel the weight of it in the atmosphere.

    • Susan Griffin

Susan Griffin, U.S. poet, writer, educator, eco-feminist

(1943)