Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?
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Lyrical and cadent, dramatic and sometimes playful, these poems speak of love, longing, parting; of freedom and shattered dreams; of Saturday-night partying and the smells and sounds of Southern cities.
and speeding toward the light. IMPECCABLE CONCEPTION I met a Lady Poet who took for inspiration colored birds, and whispered words, a lover’s hesitation. A falling leaf could stir her. A wilting, dying rose would make her write, both day and night, the most rewarding prose. She’d find a hidden meaning in every pair of pants, then hurry home to be alone and write about romance. CAGED BIRD A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the
through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. AVEC MERCI, MOTHER From her perch of beauty
cascades of brilliance, astrally. If you are Black and constant, descend importantly, as ritual, and I will arch a crescent moon, naturally. INSOMNIAC There are some nights when sleep plays coy, aloof and disdainful. And all the wiles that I employ to win its service to my side are useless as wounded pride, and much more painful. WEEKEND GLORY Some dichty folks don’t know the facts, posin’ and preenin’ and puttin’ on acts, stretchin’ their necks and strainin’
here alone, my life has turned to blue. I’ve heard the news that winter too will pass, that spring’s a sign that summer’s due at last. But until I see you lying in green grass, my life has turned to blue. Another book for GUY JOHNSON and COLIN ASHANTI MURPHY JOHNSON Thanks to ELEANOR TRAYLOR for her radiance ELIZABETH PHILLIPS for her art RUTH BECKFORD for her constancy ALSO BY MAYA ANGELOU I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Gather Together in My Name Singin’
sleep, Savannah. Clocks run down in Tara’s halls and dusty Flags droop their unbearable Sadness. Remember our days, Susannah. Oh, the blood-red clay, Wet still with ancient Wrongs, and Abenaa Singing her Creole airs to Macon. We long, dazed, for winter evenings And a whitened moon, And the snap of controllable fires. Cry for our souls, Augusta. We need a wind to strike Sharply, as the thought of love Betrayed can stop the heart. An absence of tactile Romance, no