Here is another talented child writer. Her name is Michaela George, and she’s 12 years old. Michaela enjoys writing songs, stories, and poems. Isn’t it fascinating to find so many children writing such outstanding poetry at such a young age? I find it just incredible and love seeing children diving into good books, putting on their creative thinking cap and creating poetry for all to enjoy.
Please sit back and enjoy this beautiful poem written by Michaela George!
Winter is cold, with gusts of tumbling snow,
When rain falls down and nothing ever grows.
For children, it’s the snow that they desire
And cups of cocoa in front of the fire.
When winter’s gone, the grass grows green again. Roses and tulips sprout with bright green stems.
The bees are buzzing, the birds are singing.
Sheep are grazing and cow bells are ringing.
And then the sun starts to shine too brightly.
It’s so hot that fans are put on nightly,
And so then it’s off to the beach or pools
Where people swim about just to keep cool.
All the leaves on the trees turn golden-brown,
And when on the ground make a crackly sound.
In autumn a lot of money you make
From clearing backyards of leaves with a rake.
Each season has its own goods and its bads,
But since they are all different I am glad!
It’s always wonderful to see children take interest in reading & writing.
This extraordinary little fella has some of the most amazing poems. His name is Vivian and he has been writing since he was 5 years old. He loves poems with emotion. Vivian lives in India. I hope you all enjoy
each poem as I did. I sure hope this little boy keeps writing and giving
Once I had a chicken
Whose name was Licken
But it named itself Richen
I thought he was small,
But he pulled my shawl
And had a real bad fall
. One day I saw a cock
It snatched away my clock.
I got angry and threw a rock.
Then it scratched its head
And went limping to bed
With a leg that was red.
I felt quite sad
My dad said it was bad
This made me feel mad.
Then I took my chicken
Which was named Licken
And decided to call it Ricken
I took the cock
And gave it my only clock.
This is a lady I’ve heard of before, but never read any of her writings and poetry. I am very impressed and will definitely spend time reading about her. She was truly a unique woman who was blessed to have people around her who cared enough to teach her to read and write and also enhance her talents and love of poetry. Please read through her biography and take a look at the beautiful monument in her honor that stands at the Boston’s Women’s Memorial. She was truly inspiring!
Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral on September 1, 1773, brought her fame both in England and the American colonies. Figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley’s visit to England with her master’s son, African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated (set free) shortly after the publication of her book. She married in about 1778. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.
Phillis Wheatley’s church, Old South Meeting House
Although the date and place of her birth are not documented, scholars believe that Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753 in West Africa, most likely in present-day Gambia or Senegal. Wheatley was sold by a local chief to a visiting trader, who took her to Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts, on July 11, 1761, on a ship called The Phillis. It was owned by Timothy Fitch and captained by Peter Gwinn.
On arrival she was re-sold to the wealthy Boston merchant and tailor John Wheatley, who bought the young girl as a servant for his wife Susanna. John and Susanna Wheatley named the young girl Phillis, after the ship that had brought her to America. She was given their last name of Wheatley, as was a common custom if any surname was used for slaves.
Wheatleys’ 18-year-old daughter, Mary, first tutored Phillis in reading and writing. Their son Nathaniel also helped her. John Wheatley was known as a progressive throughout New England; his family gave Phillis an unprecedented education for an enslaved person, and for a female of any race. By the age of 12, she was reading Greek and Latin classics and difficult passages from the Bible. At the age of 14, she wrote her first poem, “To the University of Cambridge, in New England.” Recognizing her literary ability, the Wheatley family supported Phillis’s education and left the household labor to their other domestic slaves. The Wheatleys often showed off her abilities to friends and family. Strongly influenced by her studies of the works of Alexander Pope, John Milton, Homer, Horace and Virgil, Phillis began to write poetry.
Biography Credit Wikipedia :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillis_Wheatley
To A Lady on The Death of Her Husband –
GRIM monarch! see, depriv’d of vital breath,
A young physician in the dust of death:
Dost thou go on incessant to destroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waste our joy?
Enough thou never yet wast known to say,
Though millions die, the vassals of thy sway:
Nor youth, nor science, not the ties of love,
Nor ought on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the spouse from his dire dart to save,
In vain we ask the sovereign of the grave.
Fair mourner, there see thy lov’d Leonard laid,
And o’er him spread the deep impervious shade.
Clos’d are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep
His senses bound in never-waking sleep,
Till time shall cease, till many a starry world
Shall fall from heav’n, in dire confusion hurl’d
Till nature in her final wreck shall lie,
And her last groan shall rend the azure sky:
Not, not till then his active soul shall claim
His body, a divine immortal frame.
But see the softly-stealing tears apace
Pursue each other down the mourner’s face;
But cease thy tears, bid ev’ry sigh depart,
And cast the load of anguish from thine heart:
From the cold shell of his great soul arise,
And look beyond, thou native of the skies;
There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind
Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyself prepare to pass the vale of night
To join forever on the hills of light:
To thine embrace this joyful spirit moves
To thee, the partner of his earthly loves;
He welcomes thee to pleasures more refin’d,
And better suited to th’ immortal mind.
On Imagination –
THY various works, imperial queen, we see,
How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov’d object strikes her wand’ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
And leave the rolling universe behind:
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy’s raptur’d eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o’er the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow’ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown’d:
Show’rs may descend, and dews their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,
And thine the sceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
Of subject-passions sov’reign ruler thou;
At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
Fancy might now her silken pinions try
To rise from earth, and sweep th’ expanse on high:
From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora rise,
Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
While a pure stream of light o’erflows the skies.
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
Winter austere forbids me to aspire,
And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy’s flowing sea,
Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.
Thoughts On The Works Of Providence –
A R I S E, my soul, on wings enraptur’d, rise To praise the monarch of the earth and skies, Whose goodness and benificence appear As round its centre moves the rolling year, Or when the morning glows with rosy charms, Or the sun slumbers in the ocean’s arms:
Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my soul, and favour my intend.
Celestial muse, my arduous flight sustain
And raise my mind to a seraphic strain!
Ador’d for ever be the God unseen,
Which round the sun revolves this vast machine,
Though to his eye its mass a point appears:
Ador’d the God that whirls surrounding spheres,
Which first ordain’d that mighty Sol should reign
The peerless monarch of th’ ethereal train:
Of miles twice forty millions is his height,
And yet his radiance dazzles mortal sight
So far beneath–from him th’ extended earth
Vigour derives, and ev’ry flow’ry birth:
Vast through her orb she moves with easy grace
Around her Phoebus in unbounded space;
True to her course th’ impetuous storm derides,
Triumphant o’er the winds, and surging tides.
Almighty, in these wond’rous works of thine,
What Pow’r, what Wisdom, and what Goodness shine!
And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explor’d,
And yet creating glory unador’d!
Creation smiles in various beauty gay,
While day to night, and night succeeds to day:
That Wisdom, which attends Jehovah’s ways,
Shines most conspicuous in the solar rays:
Without them, destitute of heat and light,
This world would be the reign of endless night:
In their excess how would our race complain,
Abhorring life! how hate its length’ned chain!
From air adust what num’rous ills would rise?
What dire contagion taint the burning skies?
What pestilential vapours, fraught with death,
Would rise, and overspread the lands beneath?
Hail, smiling morn, that from the orient main
Ascending dost adorn the heav’nly plain!
So rich, so various are thy beauteous dies,
That spread through all the circuit of the skies,
That, full of thee, my soul in rapture soars,
And thy great God, the cause of all adores.
O’er beings infinite his love extends,
His Wisdom rules them, and his Pow’r defends.
When tasks diurnal tire the human frame,
The spirits faint, and dim the vital flame,
Then too that ever active bounty shines,
Which not infinity of space confines.
The sable veil, that Night in silence draws,
Conceals effects, but shows th’ Almighty Cause,
Night seals in sleep the wide creation fair,
And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
Again, gay Phoebus, as the day before,
Wakes ev’ry eye, but what shall wake no more;
Again the face of nature is renew’d,
Which still appears harmonious, fair, and good.
May grateful strains salute the smiling morn,
Before its beams the eastern hills adorn!
Shall day to day, and night to night conspire
To show the goodness of the Almighty Sire?
This mental voice shall man regardless hear,
And never, never raise the filial pray’r?
To-day, O hearken, nor your folly mourn
For time mispent, that never will return.
But see the sons of vegetation rise,
And spread their leafy banners to the skies.
All-wise Almighty Providence we trace
In trees, and plants, and all the flow’ry race;
As clear as in the nobler frame of man,
All lovely copies of the Maker’s plan.
The pow’r the same that forms a ray of light,
That call d creation from eternal night.
“Let there be light,” he said: from his profound
Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the sound:
Swift as the word, inspir’d by pow’r divine,
Behold the light around its Maker shine,
The first fair product of th’ omnific God,
And now through all his works diffus’d abroad.
As reason’s pow’rs by day our God disclose,
So we may trace him in the night’s repose:
Say what is sleep? and dreams how passing strange!
When action ceases, and ideas range
Licentious and unbounded o’er the plains,
Where Fancy’s queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear in soft strains the dreaming lover sigh
To a kind fair, or rave in jealousy;
On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent,
The lab’ring passions struggle for a vent.
What pow’r, O man! thy reason then restores,
So long suspended in nocturnal hours?
What secret hand returns the mental train,
And gives improv’d thine active pow’rs again?
From thee, O man, what gratitude should rise!
And, when from balmy sleep thou op’st thine eyes,
Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts
O’erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
Our God forgetting, by our God forgot!
Among the mental pow’rs a question rose,
“What most the image of th’ Eternal shows?”
When thus to Reason (so let Fancy rove)
Her great companion spoke immortal Love.
“Say, mighty pow’r, how long shall strife prevail,
“And with its murmurs load the whisp’ring gale?
“Refer the cause to Recollection’s shrine,
“Who loud proclaims my origin divine,
“The cause whence heav’n and earth began to be,
“And is not man immortaliz’d by me?
“Reason let this most causeless strife subside.”
Thus Love pronounc’d, and Reason thus reply’d.
“Thy birth, coelestial queen! ’tis mine to own,
“In thee resplendent is the Godhead shown;
“Thy words persuade, my soul enraptur’d feels
“Resistless beauty which thy smile reveals.”
Ardent she spoke, and, kindling at her charms,
She clasp’d the blooming goddess in her arms.
Infinite Love where’er we turn our eyes
Appears: this ev’ry creature’s wants supplies;
This most is heard in Nature’s constant voice,
This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice;
This bids the fost’ring rains and dews descend
To nourish all, to serve one gen’ral end,
The good of man: yet man ungrateful pays
But little homage, and but little praise.
To him, whose works arry’d with mercy shine,
What songs should rise, how constant, how divine!
Monument Tribute to Phillis Wheatley –
The Phillis Wheatley monument is a part of the Boston’s Women’s Memorial. This memorial was established to honor important contributors to Boston’s rich and vibrant history. The sculpture is located between Fairfield Street and Gloucester Street on Commonwealth Avenue. Phillis Wheatley was chosen to be in this memorial because of her progressive ideas, commitment to social change and the impact of her legacy and writings. Her statue represents youth and imagination and is a fitting tribute to the first person of African descent to be publish a book of poetry in America and the third woman to do so in the American colonies. The book was entitled, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral”.
The statue is made out of bronze and granite and measures 59″ x 50″ x 32″. It was designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann and installed and dedicated on October 25, 2003. Phillis Wheatley’s look was created from the only surviving image of the deceased poet. Meredith Bergmann used a new vision when it came to designing the Boston Women’s Memorial. Phillis Wheatley and the other subjects were not made in a “larger than life” manner. They are actually small enough for the public to intimately interact with them and instead of standing on a pedestal these sculptures are shown using them and displayed in poses that reflect the use and importance of language in their life.
On the monument you will find several inscriptions including a brief biography and her poem Imagination which reads as follows:
Imagination! who can sing thy force? Or who describe the swiftness of thy course? Soaring through air to find the bright abode, Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God, We on thy pinions can surpass the wind, And leave the rolling universe behind: From star to star the mental optics rove, Measure the skies, and range the realms above. There in one view we grasp the mighty whole, Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded soul.
Monument Info and photo credit: https://www.blackartdepot.com/
Although Oscar Wilde’s life was riddled with controversy, he was still a great poet. His quotes are still being used to this day. I never knew anything about him growing up, or at least I don’t remember. My love for Ireland and Phil Lynott led me to read about this poet. There is a pretty cool statue of him located in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland. Please enjoy the poetry and also famous quote of the late Oscar Wilde. I have read the things he was accused of and the relationship he had with his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. but I am only focusing on his poetry and one of his many quotes. Wilde left us to cherish many poems as well as great quotes.
“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.” Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for “gross indecency”, imprisonment, and early death at age 46. Wilde is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Wilde’s parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. Wilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884-1898, they had two sons, Vyvyan Holland and Cyril Holland.
As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new “English Renaissance in Art” and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a license for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.
At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ hard labor, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
De Profundis (letter)
De Profundis (Latin: “from the depths”) is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to “Bosie” (Lord Alfred Douglas).
In its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde’s conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred’s vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterizes as a romantic, individualist artist. The letter began “Dear Bosie” and ended “Your Affectionate Friend”.
Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment. Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labor, and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labor. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write “for medicinal purposes”; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions. Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897.
Wilde entrusted the manuscript to the journalist Robert Ross (another former lover, loyal friend, and rival to “Bosie”). Ross published the letter in 1905, five years after Wilde’s death, giving it the title “De Profundis” from Psalm 130. It was an incomplete version, excised of its autobiographical elements and references to the Queensberry family; various editions gave more text until in 1962 the complete and correct version appeared in a volume of Wilde’s letters.
A VISION – Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone With no green weight of laurels round his head, But with sad eyes as one uncomforted, And wearied with man’s never-ceasing moan For sins no bleating victim can atone, And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed. Girt was he in a garment black and red, And at his feet I marked a broken stone Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees. Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame, I cried to Beatrice, ‘Who are these? ‘ And she made answer, knowing well each name, ‘AEschylos first, the second Sophokles, And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.’
Apologia – IS it thy will that I should wax and wane, Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey, And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day? Is it thy will–Love that I love so well– That my Soul’s House should be a tortured spot Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth not? Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure, And sell ambition at the common mart, And let dull failure be my vestiture, And sorrow dig its grave within my heart. Perchance it may be better so–at least I have not made my heart a heart of stone, Nor starved my boyhood of its goodly feast, Nor walked where Beauty is a thing unknown. Many man hath done so; sought to fence
In straitened bonds the soul that should be free,
Trodden the dusty road of common sense,
While all the forest sang of liberty,
Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight
Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air,
To where the steep untrodden mountain height
Caught the last tresses of the Sun God’s hair.
Or how the little flower he trod upon,
The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold,
Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun
Content if once its leaves were aureoled.
But surely it is something to have been
The best belovèd for a little while,
To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen
His purple wings flit once across thy smile.
Ay! though the gorgèd asp of passion feed
On my boy’s heart, yet have I burst the bars,
Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed
The Love which moves the Sun and all the stars!
Her Voice – THE wild bee reels from bough to bough With his furry coat and his gauzy wing. Now in a lily-cup, and now Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, In his wandering; Sit closer love: it was here I trow I made that vow, Swore that two lives should be like one As long as the sea-gull loved the sea, As long as the sunflower sought the sun,– It shall be, I said, for eternity ‘Twixt you and me! Dear friend, those times are over and done, Love’s web is spun. Look upward where the poplar trees Sway and sway in the summer air, Here in the valley never a breeze Scatters the thistledown, but there Great winds blow fair From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, And the wave-lashed leas. Look upward where the white gull screams, What does it see that we do not see? Is that a star? or the lamp that gleams On some outward voyaging argosy,– Ah! can it be We have lived our lives in a land of dreams! How sad it seems. Sweet, there is nothing left to say But this, that love is never lost, Keen winter stabs the breasts of May Whose crimson roses burst his frost, Ships tempest-tossed Will find a harbor in some bay, And so we may. And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty,–you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here is another amazing poet that I have never heard of, but who is doing some incredible things with her life, while touching and inspiring the lives of many others! I am truly happy to have run across this author, poet and teacher!
Erika L. Sánchez (born c. 1984) is a poet and writer. She is the author of poetry collection Lessons on Expulsion and a young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Early Life and Education –
Sánchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, is from Cicero, Illinois. She has two brothers. She attended Morton East High School, then the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. After college she traveled to Madrid, Spain to teach English with the Fulbright program and pursued poetry.She then earned an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico.
Sánchez won a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship in 2015.
Her first poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf in July 2017. The Washington Post named it to a list of best poetry of July 2017, calling it a “fierce, assertive debut”. In The New York Times, Kathleen Rooney praised Sánchez’s “wrenching explorations of guilt and shame, grief and misogyny…Her depictions of misery hurt and haunt,” particularly through her use of the second person “to draw readers close to difficult subjects.” In 2017, United States poet laureate Tracy K. Smith recommended Sánchez as among the best new voices in poetry.
Sánchez’s young adult novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is forthcoming on October 17, 2017. Bustle named it to a list of the best 15 young adult books appearing in October 2017 and it is a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature.
From 2017 to 2019, Sánchez is an arts fellow at Princeton University, teaching poetry and fiction writing.
To read more of the biography of Erika L. Sánchez, please visit:
Please sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful poetry of Erika L. Sanchez!
All of Us –
Every day I am born like this-
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.
Six Months After Contemplating Suicide –
you wanted the end
with a serpentine
greed. How to negotiate
mist, the fibrous
To cease to exist
and to die
are two different things entirely.
But you knew this,
Some days you knelt on coins
in those yellow hours.
You lit a flame
to your shadow
scorpions with your naked fingers.
So touched by the sadness of hair
in a dirty sink.
The malevolent smell
When instead of swallowing a fistful
of white pills,
you decided to shower,
the palm trees
nodded in agreement,
of crickets singing
behind your swollen eyes.
The masked bird
turned to you
with a shred of paper hanging
from its beak.
hair wet and fragrant,
you cupped a goat’s face
his trembling horns.
It fell prostrate,
passed through you
like a swift
and generous storm.
In the republic of flowers I studied
the secrets of hanging clothes I didn’t
know if it was raining or someone
was frying eggs I held the skulls
of words that mean nothing you left
between the hour of the ox and the hour
of the rat I heard the sound of two
braids I watched it rain through
a mirror am I asking to be spared
or am I asking to be spread your body
smelled like cathedrals and I kept
your photo in a bottle of mezcal
semen-salt wolf’s teeth you should have
touched my eyes until they blistered
kissed the skin of my instep for thousands
of years sealed honey never spoils
won’t crystallize I saw myself snapping
a swan’s neck I needed to air out
my eyes the droplets on a spiderweb
and the grace they held who gave me
permission to be this person to drag
my misfortune on this leash made of gold
Robert Lee Frost (March26, 1874 – January29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
This is a short biography on this amazing poet. For more information and to read his full biography, please visit the link below.
Storm Fear –
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
The Road Not Taken –
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Nothing Gold Can Stay –
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay.
It has truly been a pleasure and an honor to have the ability to read up on such amazing human beings, who exhibited such great strength and courage! This man lived a great life and wrote in a way that others could live through his writings in a time filled with chaos.
Please take the time to read the biography of Langston Hughes and enjoy the three poems I’ve posted below the bio.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902– May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. He famously wrote about the period that “the negro was in vogue”, which was later paraphrased as “when Harlem was in vogue”.
Ancestry and childhood
Like many African Americans, Hughes had a complex ancestry. Both of Hughes’ paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved African Americans and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky. According to Hughes, one of these men was Sam Clay, a Scottish-American whiskey distiller of Henry County, said to be a relative of statesman Henry Clay. The other was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish-American slave trader of Clark County. Hughes’s maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African-American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to attend Oberlin College, she married Lewis Sheridan Leary, also of mixed race, before her studies. Lewis Leary subsequently joined John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia in 1859, where he was fatally wounded.
Ten years later, in 1869, the widow Mary Patterson Leary married again, into the elite, politically active Langston family. (See The Talented Tenth.) Her second husband was Charles Henry Langston, of African-American, Euro-American and Native American ancestry. He and his younger brother John Mercer Langston worked for the abolitionist cause and helped lead the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858.
After their marriage, Charles Langston moved with his family to Kansas, where he was active as an educator and activist for voting and rights for African Americans. His and Mary’s daughter Caroline (known as Carrie) became a schoolteacher and married James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934). They had two children; the second was Langston Hughes, born in 1901 in Joplin, Missouri.
Langston Hughes grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. His father left the family soon after the boy was born and later divorced Carrie. The senior Hughes traveled to Cuba and then Mexico, seeking to escape the enduring racism in the United States.
After the separation, Hughes’s mother traveled, seeking employment. Langston was raised mainly in Lawrence, Kansas, by his maternal grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston. Through the black American oral tradition and drawing from the activist experiences of her generation, Mary Langston instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride. Imbued by his grandmother with a duty to help his race, Hughes identified with neglected and downtrodden black people all his life, and glorified them in his work. He lived most of his childhood in Lawrence. In his 1940 autobiography The Big Sea, he wrote: “I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books—where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.”
After the death of his grandmother, Hughes went to live with family friends, James and Auntie Mary Reed, for two years. Later, Hughes lived again with his mother Carrie in Lincoln, Illinois. She had remarried when he was an adolescent. The family moved to the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended Central High School and was taught by Helen Maria Chesnutt, whom he found inspiring.
His writing experiments began when he was young. While in grammar school in Lincoln, Hughes was elected class poet. He stated that in retrospect he thought it was because of the stereotype about African Americans having rhythm.
I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everyone knows, except us, that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me as class poet.
During high school in Cleveland, Hughes wrote for the school newspaper, edited the yearbook, and began to write his first short stories, poetry, and dramatic plays. His first piece of jazz poetry, “When Sue Wears Red,” was written while he was in high school.
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
As I Grew Older –
It was a long time ago. I have almost forgotten my dream. But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun— My dream. And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream. Rose until it touched the sky— The wall. Shadow. I am black. I lie down in the shadow. No longer the light of my dream before me, Above me. Only the thick wall. Only the shadow. My hands! My dark hands! Break through the wall! Find my dream! Help me to shatter this darkness, To smash this night, To break this shadow Into a thousand lights of sun,It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
And then the wall rose,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
April Rain Song –
Let the rain kiss you Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops Let the rain sing you a lullaby The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk The rain makes running pools in the gutter The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the rain.
Born Mary Elizabeth Clark, and orphaned at the age of three. In 1927 she married Claud Frye.
The identity of the author of the poem was unknown until the late 1990s, when Frye revealed that she had written it. Her claim was later proven by Abigail Van Buren.
Her poem was also used in one of the Norwegian protocols to express condolences after the 2011 Norway attacks.
Credit: poem hunter.com
The original poem was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) from Baltimore, MD. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. This is the only surviving poem of Mary Elizabeth Frye and quite possibly her only poem.
What a beautiful poem; Although sad, the words are still comforting. I hope each of you enjoy reading it as much as I did!
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep –
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.