Okay, I know I've been harassing poets and embarrassing myself with burning questions, but I am truly interested in answers, poets and poetry.
Yesterday, neat, small package arrived. An actual human at the Carolina Wren Press, not an impersonal printer, wrote the address label in a round, warm hand. To hold the book is to hold a pound of someone's flesh. Not ghastly demanded as Shylock, but alive and pulsating and generously offered.
I got into bed earlier than is my habit, and found an easy avenue into Evie Shockley's iconography, because her key word is "Ancestor." It also happens to be also mine. My preoccupation has been to save the voices which have disappeared in the chaos of time and war without a complaint. She is giving her voice to ANCESTORS who have struggled and submerged without a murmur. It will take me long weeks and months to taste and digest.
I could hear the music and the rhythm. In many ways I am happy I learned traditional scansion, because it better educates me to read free verse, even if traditional meter and form seems to have been left behind by vers libre. We must understand history to know how we become who we are today. This applies to equally personal history, the history of ancestors and to our poetic legacy.
bio / autography
(or, 18th - century multiculturalism)
found in Africa / dawned in freedom
raised in boston / rose in slavery
schooled in greek / grew in god
published in england / died in poverty
for Phyllis wheatley
Causes Belle Yang Supports
826 Valencia Street