Quotable Nerdy Chick: Caroline Kennedy

Caroline with her father in August, 1963

Caroline with her father in August, 1963

In November, our nation commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. His daughter Caroline wasn’t quite six years old when her father died. Over the years, she faced other tragedies—the murder of her uncle, the loss of her mother to cancer, and the airplane accident that took her brother’s life. Through it all, she remained strong, quietly out of the public eye. Caroline Kennedy became a wife, a mother, a lawyer, an author, and was recently appointed Ambassador to Japan.

To honor the memory her mother, Caroline helped publish The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 2001. She has since edited other poetry anthologies, including the recent children’s book, Poems to Learn by Heart.

Caroline Kennedy Quotes:

Caroline was recently appointed Ambassador to Japan

Caroline was recently appointed Ambassador to Japan

• Education was the most important value in our home when I was growing up. People don’t always realize that my parents shared a sense of intellectual curiosity and a love of reading and of history.

• I think my mother… made it clear that you have to live life by your own terms and you have to not worry about what other people think and you have to have the courage to do the unexpected.

• As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.

• The arts are really one of the things that make this country strong. We always think it’s our economy or our military power, but in fact, I think it’s our culture, our civilization, our ideas, our creativity.

• It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.

• The biggest problem is people are afraid of poetry, think they can’t understand it or that it will be boring.

• When you’re going through something, whether it’s a wonderful thing like having a child or a sad thing like losing somebody, you often feel like ‘Oh my God, I’m so overwhelmed; I’m dealing with this huge thing on my own.’ In fact, poetry’s a nice reminder that, no, everybody goes through it. These are universal experiences.

• In a funny way, poems are suited to modern life. They’re short, they’re intense. Nobody has time to read a 700-page book. People read magazines, and a poem takes less time than an article.

• The biggest problem is people are afraid of poetry, think they can’t understand it or that it will be boring.

Caroline may have been speaking to me in that last quote. I definitely need to check out her latest poetry book and face my fears.

If you’d like to learn more about Caroline Kennedy’s life, please go to this bio.

kennedy_poems_WEBTo read more about Poems to Learn by Heart, go to this interview with Caroline.

One comment on “Quotable Nerdy Chick: Caroline Kennedy

  1. writersideup says:

    Whenever I think of Caroline Kennedy, I wonder how she got through the loss of her entire immediate family so young in her life. It had to be difficult. I don’t follow what she’s doing, but am under the impression she has a strong marriage. It sounds like Jacqueline advised her children in the best way she could, especially considering their place in the world. I’m happy for her, that she seems to be a happy person, in general. I’m actually the same age as Caroline, my 6th birthday being the day after her father’s assassination.

    As far as poetry, I’ve never taken the time out to find the poets whose work I truly enjoyed. I don’t have the patience for the ones written cryptically : /

    Great post, Mary :D

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