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  #21  
Old 02-21-2017, 11:52 AM
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RCL RCL is offline
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I'd seen this before and like it even more this time. Thanks for posting.
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  #22  
Old 02-21-2017, 08:29 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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https://muse.jhu.edu/article/175182

Link to a chunk of an interview with Tracy K. Smith. I was/am looking for one of her poems from The Body's Question online, called Gospel: Miguel (el Lobito).

Amazing poem. But then just about all of her poems, in that book at least, are amazing in some way.

**Edited in: ah well, it's not online anywhere, apparently. Just buy the book. You'll love it, I can just about gua-ran-tee it (< my Joe Willy Namath impression).

https://www.amazon.com/Bodys-Questio...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 02-21-2017 at 08:37 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-24-2017, 09:51 PM
Siham Karami Siham Karami is offline
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Hey y'all,

Having no poem of my own notably significant for this month, but as I usually try to post a number of poems by black poets on my blog during fleeting February, and by chance while reading an anthology I got from a used store, I discovered Etheridge Knight. Not having time to copy the long poem that was a perfect rebuttal to Trump and right-wing excess in general that I found in that book, I will content myself to post one rather interesting poem by Knight, whose first book I believe was written or published while he was in prison.

A Wasp Woman Visits a Black Junkie in Prison

By Etheridge Knight

After explanations and regulations, he
Walked warily in.
Black hair covered his chin, subscribing to
Villainous ideal.
“This can not be real,” he thought, “this is a
Classical mistake;
This is a cake baked with embarrassing icing;
Somebody’s got
Likely as not, a big fat tongue in cheek!
What have I to do
With a prim and proper-blooded lady?”
Christ in deed has risen
When a Junkie in prison visits with a Wasp woman.

“Hold your stupid face, man,
Learn a little grace, man; drop a notch the sacred shield.
She might have good reason,
Like: ‘I was in prison and ye visited me not,’ or—some such.
So sweep clear
Anachronistic fear, fight the fog,
And use no hot words.”

After the seating
And the greeting, they fished for a denominator,
Common or uncommon;
And could only summon up the fact that both were human.
“Be at ease, man!
Try to please, man!—the lady is as lost as you:
‘You got children, Ma’am?’” he said aloud.

The thrust broke the dam, and their lines wiggled in the water.
She offered no pills
To cure his many ills, no compact sermons, but small
And funny talk:
“My baby began to walk... simply cannot keep his room clean...”
Her chatter sparked no resurrection and truly
No shackles were shaken
But after she had taken her leave, he walked softly,
And for hours used no hot words.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2017, 01:36 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Well, Siham, I've been following this thread since it began and your post just broke a dam.

I have long been afraid to do, to say, what I feel to be right in less specific but similar circumstances, only to be told that it's not OK. I remember with horror a situation when a member of a writing group, actually a wellknown person who is both black and gay, flung back his chair and walked out, shouting over his shoulder that he couldn't stay in the same room as someone who was so "right on". I struggle to recall what it was I said; if only, if only...

I remember the frisson of confused feelings when the actor Benedict Cumberbatch said "coloured people" instead of "people of colour" and was torn apart by the press. And I'm still not quite sure when it is OK to say "black".

I don't want to introduce any discussion along these lines - this is the wrong thread - but the Etheridge Knight poem meant a great deal to me and I shall think deeply about the comfort I got from it.

Thank you for posting it.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 02-25-2017 at 01:44 AM. Reason: changed "correct" to OK (the second one) because I am still thinking.
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  #25  
Old 02-25-2017, 02:22 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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People of colour, Ann? What does that mean? Anyone who is not white? Is a Japanese person a 'person of colour'? I don't think he/she would like that at all. Similarly with Chinese people. Not PC at all.
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  #26  
Old 02-25-2017, 02:53 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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John, I was afraid this might happen. That's why I put the comment in bold above. This thread is not the right place for such a discussion. Ralph and the other posters deserve better, not to mention the people whose history is being celebrated.

Once again, I appear to have said a wrong thing and I'm sorry.

John, we can talk about this by PM or email if you like, but not here.
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  #27  
Old 02-25-2017, 08:14 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Whitworth View Post
People of colour, Ann? What does that mean? Anyone who is not white? Is a Japanese person a 'person of colour'? I don't think he/she would like that at all. Similarly with Chinese people. Not PC at all.
John, sometimes the things you wonder about out loud have readily discernible answers if you would only take a moment to find out. Not that you care about being PC, but it's a completely PC term with a plainly understood meaning in the US. Read about it here.
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  #28  
Old 02-25-2017, 08:52 PM
Siham Karami Siham Karami is offline
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PC is sometimes used as cover for racism, but as with all things, it's complicated. A heavy dose of you can't please all the people all the time with a basic main dish of we're all human and mostly vulnerable/ culpable so take a stab at shaking hands, etc. The devil in the details often will defer to the angels of goodwill apparent for those with open eyes.

Knight was one of those with open eyes. As is Ann Drysdale, thank you.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2017, 05:38 PM
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Default It's one fall after another

Thanks to all who participated!


Fall Leaves in Charlotte

The brighter they are
the faster they fail.

The higher they are
the farther they fall.

The fewer they are
the faster they fall.

The darker they are
the fiercer they flame.

(in New Verse News 9/27/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.30130a523b47
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