Jazzonia by Langston Hughes. “oh, silver rivers of the soul” #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryYouDidntLearnInSchool #blackpoet

Jazzonia by Langston Hughes

Oh, silver tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

In a Harlem cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.
A dancing girl whose eyes are bold
Lifts high a dress of silken gold.

Oh, singing tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

Were Eve’s eyes
In the first garden
Just a bit too bold?
Was Cleopatra gorgeous
In a gown of gold?

Oh, shining tree!
Oh, silver rivers of the soul!

In a whirling cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.

 

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From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
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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 shall drown you in love poems. By Valentine’s Day you will be able to face the chocolate hearts and red red roses!

Not typical love poems, although some are.

Freedom, summer (To my mother, reminding her of the fire)

I hold the photo of two lovers who fell into the sea. They’re dressed
.   for winter, I ask them to take off their clothes. During siestas we sit
.   beside the water pump and stare at each other: light collects in her
.   breasts again; he loved horses and one time he tried to kill himself. (1978)

La Libertad, el verano (A mi madre, recordándole el fuego)

Tengo la foto de dos novios que cayeron al mar. Están vestidos de
.   invierno, los invito a desnudarse. En las siestas nos sentamos junto
.   a la bomba de agua y nos miramos: de nuevo embolsan luz los
.   pechos de ella; él amaba a los caballos y una vez intentó suicidarse. (1978)

For more on Héctor Viel Témperley go here!

Canto IV
[…]
Rose upturned and rose returned and rose and rose
Though the warden don’t want it
Muddy rivers make for clean fishing.
[…]

Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

Stations by Audre Lorde

Some women love
to wait
for life          for a ring
in the June light          for a touch
of the sun to heal them           for another
woman’s voice       to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to their passages      sound
to their screams        for some other sleeper
to remember         their future         their past.

Some women wait for their right
train          in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow       to aim
at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
That do not return
Where they were not welcome
Naked
For invitations to places
They always wanted
To visit
To be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
Around the next corner
And call the empty spot peace
But the opposite of living
Is only not living
And the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something
To change        and nothing
Does change
So they change
Themselves.

 

From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
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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

America by Henry Dumas. Black Poet. If we must die.

America

If an eagle be imprisoned
On the back of a coin
And the coin is tossed into the sky,
That coin will spin,
That coin will flutter,
But the eagle will never fly.

Henry Dumas.

From: The Oxford anthology of African-American poetry

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
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The Night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. Langston Hughes.

The film Selma was heart-aching. One of the most beautiful shots was where Dr. King phones Mahalia Jackson and asks to hear the voice of the Lord and she sings to him My Precious Lord. 

Listen to the song hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ceCpU25vA

My people

 
The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

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