Thursday, June 07, 2012

Happy Birthday Gwendolyn Brooks !

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks
Today is the birthday of an African-American poet Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks. Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985. Presenting some poems : Being Poet

Mayor Harold Washington

Mayor. Worldman. Historyman.
Beyond steps that occur and close,
your steps are echo-makers.
You can never be forgotten.
We begin our health.
We enter the Age of Alliance.
This is our senior adventure. 

Of Robert Frost

There is a little lightning in his eyes. 
Iron at the mouth.
His brows ride neither too far up nor down.
He is splendid. With a place to stand.
Some glowing in the common blood. 
Some specialness within. 

My Dreams, My Works, Must Wait Till After Hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread 
In little jars and cabinets of my will. 
I label clearly, and each latch and lid 
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell. 
I am very hungry. I am incomplete. 
And none can give me any word but Wait, 
The puny light. I keep my eyes pointed in; 
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt 
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume 
On such legs as are left me, in such heart 
As I can manage, remember to go home, 
My taste will not have turned insensitive 
To honey and bread old purity could love. 

Kitchenette Building

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan, 
Grayed in, and gray. "Dream" mate, a giddy sound, not strong 
Like "rent", "feeding a wife", "satisfying a man". 
But could a dream sent 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. 

A Penitent Considers Another Coming of Mary

For Reverend Theodore Richardson
If Mary came would Mary 
Forgive, as Mothers may, 
And sad and second Saviour 
Furnish us today?
She would not shake her head and leave 
This military air,
But ratify a modern hay,
And put her Baby there.
Mary would not punish men—
If Mary came again. 
a song in the front yard
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.
I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.
They do some wonderful things.
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine
How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).
But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.
And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face. 

Boy Breaking Glass

To Marc Crawford 
from whom the commission
Whose broken window is a cry of art 
(success, that winks aware
as elegance, as a treasonable faith)
is raw: is sonic: is old-eyed première.
Our beautiful flaw and terrible ornament. 
Our barbarous and metal little man.
“I shall create! If not a note, a hole. 
If not an overture, a desecration.”
Full of pepper and light
and Salt and night and cargoes.
“Don’t go down the plank
if you see there’s no extension. 
Each to his grief, each to
his loneliness and fidgety revenge.
Nobody knew where I was and now I am no longer there.”
The only sanity is a cup of tea. 
The music is in minors.
Each one other
is having different weather.
“It was you, it was you who threw away my name! 
And this is everything I have for me.”
Who has not Congress, lobster, love, luau, 
the Regency Room, the Statue of Liberty, 
runs. A sloppy amalgamation.
A mistake.
A cliff.
A hymn, a snare, and an exceeding sun. 

One Wants a Teller in a Time Like This

One wants a teller in a time like this
One's not a man, one's not a woman grown
To bear enormous business all alone.
One cannot walk this winding street with pride
Straight-shouldered, tranquil-eyed,
Knowing one knows for sure the way back home.
One wonders if one has a home.
One is not certain if or why or how.
One wants a Teller now:
Put on your rubbers and you won't catch a cold
Here's hell, there's heaven. Go to Sunday School
Be patient, time brings all good things-(and cool
Stong balm to calm the burning at the brain?)
Love's true, and triumphs; and God's actual.