James Weldon Johnson- Black Mammy

Beautiful poem on why care-takers deserve to become permanent residents in Canada (Filipina, Caribbean). Fill in the arguments. By James Weldon Johnson, African-American poet.

THE BLACK MAMMY

O whitened head entwined in turban gay,
O kind black face, O crude, but tender hand,
O foster-mother in whose arms there lay
The race whose sons are masters of the land!
It was thine arms that sheltered in their fold,
It was thine eyes that followed through the length
Of infant days these sons. In times of old
It was thy breast that nourished them to strength.

So often hast thou to thy bosom pressed
The golden head, the face and brow of snow;
So often has it ‘gainst thy broad, dark breast
Lain, set off like a quickened cameo.
Thou simple soul, as cuddling down that babe
With thy sweet croon, so plaintive and so wild,
Came ne’er the thought to thee, swift like a stab,
That it some day might crush thine own black child?

from Fifty Years & Other Poems (1917)

 

MY CITY- J.W. Johnson

When I come down to sleep death’s endless night,
The threshold of the unknown dark to cross,
What to me then will be the keenest loss,
When this bright world blurs on my fading sight?
Will it be that no more I shall see the trees
Or smell the flowers or hear the singing birds
Or watch the flashing streams or patient herds?
No, I am sure it will be none of these.

But, ah! Manhattan’s sights and sounds, her smells,
Her crowds, her throbbing force, the thrill that comes
From being of her a part, her subtle spells,
Her shining towers, her avenues, her slums–
O God! the stark, unutterable pity,
To be dead, and never again behold my city!

Black History: The World is Your Body. “Teaching My Mother to Give Birth” by Warsan Shire

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London’s first young poet laureate!!!

Teaching My Mother to Give Birth by Warsan Shire:

“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?”

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”
― Warsan Shire

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=11212527987
NEW: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781905233298

How Things Work. Gary Soto.

Aside

The welfare state… this is such a beautiful idea. The welfare of us all, fare thee well, and if forever, still forever fare thee well. The mother explains how we keep each other rolling by buying bread, a softball, coffee and rosin from our neighbour; an act that means the other is able to buy something they need. No trickle down nonsense where rich folk hoard their hundreds of thousands, millions and steal from the working people through wages that are far lower than the work is worth. Wage theft. In this poem without preaching Soto shows how people keep the neighbourhood alive and kicking, how people set up their local economy and how varied their buying is: softball, book, broom, movie ticket and crayons. And chicken. Hmmm, chicken.

How Things Work

BY GARY SOTO

Today it’s going to cost us twenty dollars
To live. Five for a softball. Four for a book,
A handful of ones for coffee and two sweet rolls,
Bus fare, rosin for your mother’s violin.
We’re completing our task. The tip I left
For the waitress filters down
Like rain, wetting the new roots of a child
Perhaps, a belligerent cat that won’t let go
Of a balled sock until there’s chicken to eat.
As far as I can tell, daughter, it works like this:
You buy bread from a grocery, a bag of apples
From a fruit stand, and what coins
Are passed on helps others buy pencils, glue,
Tickets to a movie in which laughter
Is thrown into their faces.
If we buy a goldfish, someone tries on a hat.
If we buy crayons, someone walks home with a broom.
A tip, a small purchase here and there,
And things just keep going. I guess.