The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLoveMatters #BlackLivesMatter #‎thisisluv‬ #BlackWomenMatter

The Little Dandelion by Lula Lowe Weeden

The dandelion stares
In the yellow sunlight.
How very still it is!
When it is old and grey,
I blow its white hair away,
And leave it with a bald head.

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The african-american poet Lula Lowe Weeden started writing poems as a child to immediate success. Her poems are intricate and direct.

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“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

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Can a dream compete with onions, fried tomatoes and a hot shower? “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackWomenMatter #ValentinesDay

Do you let a dream go by because there is so much else to do? So much to cook, take the trash out, sing out loud arias and dance around. And a hot shower makes you forget everything, a luke warm shower makes you want the heat so much that you keep standing in the hope the water gets warmer. It doesn’t. And then you’re too tired or ready to go out.
Kitchenette Building by Gwendolyn Brooks
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
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From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

I love you for your brownness. #BlackHistoryMonth #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHerStory

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennet

I love you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast.
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk.

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate,
Keep all you have of queenliness,
Forgetting that you once were slave,
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

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“Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

brothers, who will hold her, who will find her beautiful if you do not? Lucille Clifton. #OscarsSoWhite

song at midnight

brothers,
this big woman
carries much sweetness
in the folds of her flesh.
her hair
is white with wonderful.
she is
rounder than the moon
and far more faithful.
brothers,
who will hold her,
who will find her beautiful
if you do not?

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on the bridge between
starshine and clay,
my own hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton

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From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Snow White was nude at her wedding, she’s so white… #OscarsSoWhite #ThyliasMoss #poetryisjustawesome

Lessons from a Mirror

Snow White was nude at her wedding, she’s so white
the gown seemed to disappear when she put it on.

Put me beside her and the proximity is good
for a study of chiaroscuro, not much else.

Her name aggravates me most, as if I need to be told
what’s white and what isn’t.

Judging strictly by appearance there’s a future for me
forever at her heels, a shadow’s constant worship.

Is it fair for me to live that way, unable
to get off the ground?

Turning the tables isn’t fair unless they keep turning.
Then there’s the danger of Russian roulette

and my disadvantage: nothing falls from the sky
to name me.

I am the empty space where the tooth was, that my tongue
rushes to fill because I can’t stand vacancies.

And it’s not enough. The penis just fills another
gap. And it’s not enough.

When you look at me,
know that more than white is missing.

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From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

About the meaning read this post by Tara Betts: ““Lessons from a Mirror” is from Moss’ third collection. Pyramid of Bone was part of the Callaloo Poetry Series, which published early books by Rita Dove, Brenda Marie Osbey, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Lessons from a Mirror” is a concise gathering of 10 couplets that articulates the contrast between a woman of color and someone who she will never be, Snow White.

[…]

This not only implies a sense of possible servitude but a sense that a shadow, darkness will always be beneath whiteness that

darkness must bow and defer as an underling.

[…]

“And it’s not enough.” To say this, recalls how black people have often had to work much

harder to gain a toehold

similar to counterparts of another race, a toehold that has become increasingly more difficult to gain as shown in recent Pew Research Center study about wealth accumulation and loss in the U.S..

[…]

After revisiting Anne Sexton’s poems in Transformations or Lucille Clifton’s biblical poems many times and looking at recent work like Barbara Jane Reyes’ Diwata, Marjorie Tesser’s The Magic Feather, Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Miracle Fruit, Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, and the anthology The Poets’ Grimm, I’m reminded of how necessary

and jarring it is to see

archetypal stories deconstructed, retold, or even replaced with more inclusive stories.”

USED and NEW– books by Tara Betts at abebooks!

Tune for a Teenage Niece, Eugene B. Redmond

Tune for a Teenage Niece

Smile/ rippling river of dance—
Flow, blow green soul-lyre
Ballooning under brown flesh
Song/swirl, startling as claps
Of unexpected waves;
Girlriver dancing its drumdeep past,
Its boogalooborn/e day,
Fluteflown afro freight
Grandmother/mamma/aunt—sun-led—
Yesterwhistling confluence
.                       /childwoman and charmsong:
.                       Brown blues and honey-river, girl!
.                       Girlmother gonna sing her song someday, boy !
.                       Brown blues and honey-river, girl!”
Smile/river dancing, splashing flame-waves
Applaud and burn/mold brownfruit,
Afro-plum,
River symphony, water ritual:
.                       “Brown blues and honey-river, girl!”
Girlriver, spiced as pot liquor, flowing up/under
From queenmother’s heartbeam; from magic and marmelade
Fluteflown to fleshdance and birdgrace:
Flowing to omen, to woman:
.                       “Brown blues and honey-river, girl!”
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Fantastic compilation of black voices: buy the book.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

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