Saturday, October 22, 2005

Quote: Octavia Butler

Choose your leaders
with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward
is to be controlled
by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool
is to be led
by the opportunists
who control the fool.
To be led by a thief
is to offer up
your most precious treasures
to be stolen.
To be led by a liar
is to ask
to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant
is to sell yourself
and those you love
into slavery.

--Octavia Butler, an excerpt "From EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING," in The Parable of the Talents (New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998), p. 167.


  1. All Hail Queen Octavia! Those 'Parable'/"Earthseed" books are MUCH to precient. Very scary and insightful stuff.

  2. Reggie and Xyborg,

    Yesterday at her public conversation with Sandra Govan at the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference at Chicago State, she mentioned that the two "Parable" books had arisen out her responses to the awful news she was encountering as a "news junkie." You're so right about the prescience of these works (and of others, like "Survivor," for example); and this particular poem, which is part of the narrator's self-constructed spiritual system, really does describe W to a T!

  3. butler is one of my fav authors - i love parable of the talents/sower

  4. Nice. I recently posted the same quote on my blog along with a link to an interview with her.

    Check out:
    Planet Grenada