I have been reading Alice Walker. Her book In Search Of Our Mother’s Gardens; a wonderful series of antidotes, speeches at colleges, remembrances of others, and throughout, her never ending search for writers that speak to her experience.
When a student, she was dismayed by the lack of black writers…let alone female black writers represented in the literature classes she took. So upon that archeological journey she launched…along the way discovering that the renown Zora Neal Hurston died in poverty and lay in an unmarked grave somewhere south of forever. Walker took herself to Eatonville, FL; conned and cajoled her way into the lives of the folks there and not only located the correct cemetery, but the grave site…and commissioned an upright grave stone to stand as something, at least to mark out where Hurston lay.
Zora Neal Hurston
“A genius of the South”
We owe an incredible debt to this woman, Alice Walker, for the relentless work of her own brand of anthropology and archeology…she quite simply refuses to rest and instead leads us on a delightful and passionate journey towards little known and forgotten literary geniuses.
And so she gifts us with this poet of whom Alice said: “a poet of such obvious necessity it would be impossible to overlook her.”
An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire
By Gwendolyn Brooks
In a package of minutes there is this We.
Merry foreigners in our morning,
we laugh, we touch each other,
are responsible props and posts.
A physical light is in the room.
Because the world is at the window
we cannot wonder very long.
You rise. Although
genial, you are in yourself again.
your direct and respectable stride.
You are direct and self-accepting as a lion
in Afrikan velvet. You are level, lean,
There is a moment in Camaraderie
when interruption is not to be understood.
I cannot bear an interruption.
This is the shining joy;
the time of not-to-end.
On the street we smile.
in different directions
down the imperturbable street.
Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois.
Read more of her at Poetry Foundation.org, you won’t be disappointed.
And let us hear you, join us at m.diane.writeon@gmailfor our monthly on-line writers group.