Quotation by Rita Dove

Billie Holiday's burned voice
had as many shadows as lights,
a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano,
the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.
...
If you can't be free, be a mystery.
Rita Dove (b. 1952), African American poet and fiction writer. "Canary," lines 1-4 and last line (1989).

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) was a great African American jazz singer with a tragic personal life.
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help