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Thursday, February 27, 2014

POETRY CHALLENGE 1

WRITE A POEM BY FILLING IN THE BLANK, AND USING THE STATEMENT AS  THE FIRST OR LAST LINE OF YOUR POEM: I wish people would                     !

  I will meet you back here next Thursday, 3/6/14 on BLACK POETS CAFE to share with you what I've been inspired to create.


POEMING BLACK POETRY


From  the very beginning, the Black poet has been right in the mix of life. Although the poet has had desires to address universal themes in his or her poetry, like love, roses, the moonlight, and other flights of fancy, the existence of racism in their daily lives has made it almost impossible for him or her  to ignore this fact. For that reason, most Black poets have been PROTEST POETS.

When you examine the poetry of the earliest Black poets, you will find that the overriding theme in their poems have been about standing up for their freedom, and rights as human beings in this country. This trend started in the early 16th century with Jupiter Hammon, and has continued until this day.

Here at BLACK POETS CAFE we encourage our fellow  poets to develop whatever themes inspire them. While protest poetry is our tradition and legacy, we will offer writing prompts that can also be universal in nature. Once a week in our feature called Poetry Challenges, we will create and write poems from the prevalent BLACK EXPERIENCE.

FOR INFO ON GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR POEMING, CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK writedatbook.blogspot.com AND CHECK OUT "THE TOOL BOX," AND ANY OTHER POSTS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU.



POET PROFILE

JAMES LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967)

Known as the Poet Laureate of Black people, Langston Hughes has lived up to the title, penning over 800 poems depicting the Black experience in America. He was the first Black person to earn a living solely from  his writing, (poems, plays, essays, novels, etc), and public lectures. 

His early works, during the 1920's  was not well received by "Negro" intellectuals, but Langston, undaunted, blazed a trail that eventually earned him international acclaim as a poet, writer, and spokesperson for Black people. His star emerged during the Harlem Renaissance and continued to rise until his death in 1967.

 Langston Hughes ranks as one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century.     

***For a bio of Langston Hughes, and a sample of his poetry and essays, click on the link poets.org and search his name.



Saturday, February 22, 2014

IN MEMORY OF

Amiri Baraka  aka Le Roi Jones   (1934-2014)

His method and style of writing Black poetry was scalding. It was confrontational and shocking. His poems screamed "wake-up" to all who read them. His voice WAS, and still REMAINS, the TRUE VOICE of Black Poetry.

To read his bio and a sample of his words click this link poets.org and search his name.

========================================================
                                                  NO TEARS
                                            (for Amiri Baraka)


HE WAS OF ALL THINGS
A BLACK TOUR DE FORCE
BEHIND THE PROGRESS OF
THE IMPETUS OF
THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT
HE WAS NO
ANGEL NO BULL
A BLACK PRINCE
FROM THE STREETS OF
HARLEM PAST
POET LAUREATE OF NEWARK
HOME-TOWN HERO
'TIL DEATH DID HE PART
AND THE HATERS REJOICED
THEY DID
THEY SHED NO TEARS
IN THE END







Saturday, February 15, 2014

IN RETROSPECT

First lessons were strange
Fruit trees growin' in
Jim Crow's back yard deep
Down South in Mississippi
When next
Chicago's son
Em Till took a sharp blow
To the head it
Jarred the collective consciousness
Of already down-trodden people
Who realized that something
MUST
Be done
NOW
Or the future reeked of
Blood flowin'
Of misplaced fear
And hatred

Friday, February 14, 2014

WHOLE WORLD ON FIRE

As the whole world turns it burns
Like fire shut up in Miss Hettie's 
Bones on Sunday mornin' at Pee Dee
Baptist church burns
Like flames blazed in Watts and Harlem torched
Neighborhoods to rubble
In the 60's Black revolution burns
Like red-hot bullets blasted holes in
Malcolm's chest on the podium burns
Like the whole world on fire
That day in late February 1965.

As the world turns it burns
Like tires spinnin' on Earnest McCloud's '57 chevy
Hittin' the Blenheim highway doin'
Ninety scorchin' rubber
For a woman's love burns
Like newspaper through a magnifyin' glass
Sparked by the low-winter sun burns
Like trapped souls ignited in the World Trade
Smolderin' to a crisp burns
Like the whole world on fire
That day in early September 2001.
















Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NOTHIN' NEW

Sunrise,sunset,
Best evidence yet
Of a higher power,
But mankind comes
Doubtin',
Shoutin' obscenities
At the sky,
As they continue to die
Without a clue.
There's nothin' new
Under the sun.

Sunrise, sunset,
The rhythm of the universe
Hasn't changed yet.
Not in a billion years,
Not in a lifetime of tears.
Sons of man still doubt
Still shout obscenities
At the sky
As they continue to die
Without a clue.
There's nothin' new
Under the sun.











TO MOTHER WITH LOVE (2010)

Since you've been gone
I'm always lookin'
For your presence
In rain clouds passin'
Through dark skies
Hopin' to see
Your smile                                    
In bright flashes of lightnin'
Hear your voice
In the boomin'
Aftermath of thunder rolls
Feel your love
In warm rays of sunshine