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Alice Walker's first published book collects poems written as a student and on her first visit to Africa For readers seeking the origins of Alice Walker's potent, distinctive voice, this collection will provide ample insight. Composed while she was still a student at Sarah Lawrence College in the late 1960s, these poems are already engaged with some of the moral dilemmas that have defined Walker's entire career. Luminous vignettes from her first trip to Africa give way to reflections on the flourishing civil rights movement, while an eye for the transformative power of love and beauty run through all twenty-seven entries. Walker's talents are prodigious, yet it's her pure moral and aesthetic clarity that impress most in this debut work. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author's personal collection.
boy to Sell me a Hat For five shillings— How bright His eyes were! xxxvi In a kunzu Long and white Stands my African Dad The sound of drums Fills The air! xxxvii On my brother’s motorcycle The Indian mosques And shops fade behind us My hair takes flight He laughs He has not seen such hair Before. xxxviii An African girl Gives me a pineapple Her country’s national Flower How proudly she Blinks the eye Put out By a sharp pineapple Frond. I wonder if I should Kneel
raised the Law Someone in America is being protected (from me.) In the morning there was a man in grey but the sky was blue. ii “Look at that nigger with those white folks!” My dark Arrogant friend turns calmly, curiously helpfully, “Where?” he asks. It was the fifth arrest In as many days How glad I am that I can look surprised still. iii Running down Atlanta streets With my sign I see heads turn Eyes goggle “a nice girl like her!” A Negro cook assures
Sitting here embarrassed with me Watching the birth Hearing the cries Bearing witness To the child, Music. THE DEMOCRATIC ORDER: SUCH THINGS IN TWENTY YEARS I UNDERSTOOD My father (back blistered) beat me because I could not stop crying. He’d had enough ‘fuss’ he said for one damn voting day. THEY WHO FEEL DEATH (for martyrs) They who feel death close as a breath Speak loudly in unlighted rooms Lounge upright in articulate gesture Before the herd of jealous
uncannily of life. iii My nausea has nothing to do With the fact that you love me It is probably just something I ate at your mother’s. iv To keep up a passionate courtship with a tree one must be completely mad In the forest in the dark one night I lost my way. v If I were a patriot I would kiss the flag As it is, Let us just go. vi My father liked very much the hymns in church in the amen corner, on rainy days he would wake himself up to hear them. vii I like
to see you try to worm yourself away from me first you plead your age as if my young heart felt any of the tiredness in your bones … viii Making our bodies touch across your breezy bed how warm you are … cannot we save our little quarrel until tomorrow? ix My fear of burial is all tied up with how used I am to the spring …! A Biography of Alice Walker Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories,