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Black Poetry Post #23 - Sonia Sanchez

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“Let a race of men now rise and take control” – Theme for Week #4, April 22 thru April 29
DevotionReader Series: 30 Ways of Looking at Black Poetry
From a Black Feminists Conference
Reflections on Margaret Walker: Poet  -  Sonia Sanchez
chicago/october 1977/saturday afternoon/margaret walker walks her red
clay mississippi walk into a room of feminists. a strong gust of a
woman. raining warm honeysuckle kisses and smiles. and i fold myself
into her and hear a primordial black song sailing down the guinea
Her face. ordained with lines. confesses poems. halleluyas. choruses.
she turns leans her crane like neck on the edge of the world, empha-
sizing us. in this hotel/village/room. heavy with women. ournames be-
come known to us.
there is an echo about her. of black people rhyming. of a woman cele-
brating herself and a people. words ripen on her mouth like pomegran-
ates. this pecan/color/woman. short limbed with lightning. and I swal-
low her whole as she pulls herself up from youth, shaking off those
early Chicago years where she and wright and others turned a chicago
desert into a well spring of words.
eyes. brillant/southern eyes torpedoing the room with sun. eyes/dressed
like a woman. seeing thru riddles. offering asylum from ghosts.
she stands over centuries as she talks. hands on waist. a feminine
memory washed up from another shore. she opens her coat. a light col-
ored blouse dances against dark breasts. her words carved from ances-
tral widows rain children and the room contracts with color.
her voice turns the afternoon brown. this black woman poet. removing
false veils, baptizes us with syllables. woman words. entering and leav-
ing at will:
Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a bloody peace
be written in the sky. Let a second generation full of courage issue
forth, let a people loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full
of healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing in our
spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the
dirges disappear. Let a race of men now rise and take control.*

walking back to my room, I listen to the afternoon. play it again and
again. scatter myself over evening walls and passageways wet with her
footprints. in my room I collect papers. breasts. and listen to our
mother hummmmming
* “For My People” by Margaret Walker
Sonia Sanchez, homegirls and handgrenades, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1984 30 Days of Looking at Black Poetry -- Day:  One O Black and Unknown Bards   Two Listen Children    Three For the Record    Four Ballad of Birmingham  Five    Six The Idea of Ancestry   Seven I Want to Write   Eight A Grandfather Poem    Nine Sweet Sound   Ten My Brother is Homemade   Eleven Those Winter Sundays   Twelve SOS   Thirteen Resurrections    Fourteen Jessie Mitchell's Mother   Fifteen April Rain Song    Sixteen I've Got A Home in that Rock    Seventeen Earth Screaming   Eighteen Returning Spring   Nineteen Newark, for Now [68]   Twenty Dawn   Twenty-One Fir   Twenty-Two Comin Strong   Twenty-Three From a Black Feminists Conference Reflections on Margaret Walker: Poet   Twenty-Four My Africa   Twenty-Five Strong Men   Twenty-Six Today's News   Twenty-Seven My Guilt   Twenty-Eight Forward, Always Forward    Twenty-Nine The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa   Thirty What Harriet Said