The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and the collective body of our ancestral memoriesMargaret Walker
By Margaret Walker (1915 – 1998)
When I was a child I knew red miners
dressed raggedly and wearing carbide lamps.
I saw them come down red hills to their camps
dyed with red dust from old Ishkooda mines.
Night after night I met them on the roads,
or on the streets in town I caught their glance;
the swing of dinner buckets in their hands,
and grumbling undermining all their words.
I also lived in low cotton country
where moonlight hovered over ripe haystacks,
or stumps of trees, and croppers’ rotting shacks
with famine, terror, flood, and plague near by;
where sentiment and hatred still held sway
and only bitter land was washed away.
by Countee Cullen (1903 – 1946)
This is not water running here,
These thick rebellious streams
That hurtle flesh and bone past fear
Down alleyways of dreams
This is a wine that must flow on
Not caring how or where
So it has ways to flow upon
Where song is in the air.
So it can woo an artful flute
With loose elastic lips
Its measurements of joy compute
With blithe, ecstatic hips