48 Frank McCourt Quotes | Kidadl


48 Frank McCourt Quotes

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Frank McCourt was a famous Irish-American teacher and writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography (1997) for his autobiography 'Angela's Ashes' published in 1996.

On August 19, 1930, Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the eldest child of his Irish parents, Malachy Gerald McCourt and Angela Sheehan.

Frank McCourt was raised by his mother in Limerick, Ireland, and had a tragic childhood as his family wallowed in poverty. He lost three of his siblings in early childhood and almost died of typhoid fever when he was 11.

Frank McCourt began his writing career in his late teens when he wrote debt-collection letters in Limerick and moved to the United States of America on his own at 19. Frank McCourt sponsored himself through school in the US, even up to his doctorate in his motherland at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He worked at various schools as a teacher and wrote many books.

Frank McCourt received an Award of Excellence from The International Center in New York. He received several other awards and founded the Frank McCourt High School of Writing, Journalism, and Literature. On July 19, 2009, Frank McCourt passed away due to meningeal complications at a Manhattan hospital after a brief cancer history.

Discover the most shocking stock of these famous Frank McCourt quotes on writing, life, teaching, and education to give you insights into his life and to draw inspiration.

Frank McCourt Quotes On Writing

Frank McCourt was an accomplished writer with his mind. Listed below are some of the best Frank McCourt quotes on writing.

"I don't know what it means and I don't care because it's Shakespeare and it's like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"I just have to proceed as usual. No matter what happens, nothing helps with the writing of the next book."

"I think I settled on the title before I ever wrote the book."

"After a full belly, all is poetry."

"Sit and quiet yourself. Luxuriate in a certain memory and the details will come. Let the images flow. You'll be amazed at what will come out on paper. I'm still learning what it is about the past that I want to write. I don't worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told."

"I'm more interested in writing than in performing."

"Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes, you can never get enough of him."

"Keep scribbling! Something will happen."

"First of all, there is always that artistic challenge of creating something. Or the particular experience of taking slum life in that period and making something out of it in the form of a book. And then I felt some kind of responsibility to my family."

"I've been writing in notebooks for 40 years or so."

"The day I write my last word will be the day that I feel free."

Frank McCourt Quotes On Teaching

(The quotes by Frank McCourt on teaching are motivational and influential.)

Frank McCourt loved his teaching profession. Feel free to go through some of his famous quotes here on teaching.

"There’s no use saying anything in the schoolyard because there’s always someone with an answer and there’s nothing you can do but punch them in the nose and if you were to punch everyone who has an answer, you’d be punching morning noon and night."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"There are boys here who have to mend their shoes whatever way they can. There are boys in this class with no shoes at all. It’s not their fault and it’s no shame. Our Lord had no shoes. He died shoe-less. Do you see Him hanging on the cross-sporting shoes? Do you, boys?"

"Teaching is bringing the news."

"I became a teacher all right. I wanted to become a teacher because I had a misconception about it. I didn't know that I'd be going into - when I first became a high school teacher in New York, that I'd be going into a battle zone, and no one prepared me for that."

"The main thing I am interested in is my experience as a teacher."

"I am teaching. Storytelling is teaching."

- 'Teacher Man'.

"Teacher? I never dreamed I could rise so high in the world."

"Early in my teaching days, the kids asked me the meaning of a poem. I replied, 'I don't know any more than you do. I have ideas. What are your ideas?' I realized then that we're all in the same boat. What does anybody know?"

"I loved reading and writing, and teaching was the most exalted profession I could imagine."

Frank McCourt Quotes On Life

Here you will find famous Frank McCourt quotes on life and how he lived his.

"The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"I am for who I was in the beginning but now is present and I exist in the future."

"It's not enough to be American. You always have to be something else, Irish-American, German-American, and you'd wonder how they'd get along if someone hadn't invented the hyphen."

- 'Tis: A Memoir'.

"When I look back on my childhood, I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: a happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"A mother's love is a blessing, no matter where you roam. Keep her while you have her, you'll miss her when she's gone."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"You feel a sense of urgency, especially at my advanced age, when you're staring into the grave."

"People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years."

"Happiness is hard to recall. It's just a glow."

"I'm sitting up in the bed with my knees pulled to my chest and there are tears that won't come to my eyes but beat instead like a small sea around my heart."

"There's so much absurdity. Poverty is so absurd."

"Always a woman and child. Mam finds them wandering the streets and if they ask, could you spare a few pennies, miss? her heart breaks."

"Love her as in childhood, though feeble, old and grey. For you’ll never miss a mother’s love till she’s buried beneath the clay."

"I had no accomplishments except surviving. But that isn't enough in the community where I came from, because everybody was doing it. So, I wasn't prepared for America, where everybody is glowing with good teeth and good clothes and food."

"You never know when you might come home and find Mam sitting by the fire chatting with a woman and a child, strangers."

"Oh, God above, if heaven has a taste, it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea?"

"Before the famine, which was in the 1840s, that was an emotional turning point... There are various documents showing how the Elizabethan English, in particular, was shocked by Irish displays of affection, by the way women acted toward strangers, walking up and putting their arms around them and kissing them right full on the mouth."

"Mam was always saying we had a simple diet: tea and bread, bread and tea, a liquid and a solid, a balanced diet - what more do you need? Nobody got fat."

"If I were in America I could say, I love you, Dad, the way they do in the films, but you can't say that in Limerick for fear you might be laughed at."

"She never has money so she invites them home for tea and a bit of fried bread and if it's a bad night she'll let them sleep by the fire on a pile of rags in the corner."

"Scatter my ashes on the Shannon."

Frank McCourt Quotes On Education

This section contains some great quotes on education from Frank McCourt.

"He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace."

- 'Angela's Ashes'.

"The sky is the limit. You never have the same experience twice."

"Your mind is a treasure house that you should stock well and it's the one part of you the world can't interfere with."

- 'Tis: A Memoir'.

"Rest your eyes and then read till they fall out of your head."

"I know that big people don't like questions from children. They can ask all the questions they like, How's school? Are you a good boy? Did you say your prayers? but if you ask them did they say their prayers you might be hit on the head."

"You have to give yourself credit, not too much because that would be bragging."

"There are so many ways of saying Hi. Hiss it, trill it, bark it, sing it, bellow it, laugh it, cough it. A simple stroll in the hallway calls for paragraphs, sentences in your head, decisions galore."

"One day a week should be set aside for field trips."

"I was unloading sides of beef down on the docks when I decided enough was enough. By then, I'd done a lot of reading on my own, so I persuaded New York University to enroll me."

Editorial credit: Sonia Alves-Polidori / Shutterstock.com

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