P O E T I C --- P A I N T I N G S

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen" -- da Vinci

To write poetry, you must read and, read some more -- Me

Jan 29, 2009

People [by Jean Toomer -- Harlem Renaissance Poet/Writer]

from The Collected Poems of Jean Toomer (Poet of the Harlem Renaissance)

To those fixed on white,

White is white,

To those fixed on black,

It is the same,

And red is red,

Yellow, yellow-

Surely there are such sights

In the many colored world,

Or in the mind.

The strange thing is that

These people never see themselves

Or you, or me.

Are they not in their minds?

Are we not in the world?

This is a curious blindness

For those that are color blind.

What queer beliefs

That men who believe in sights

Disbelieve in seers.

O people, if you but used

Your other eyes

You would see beings.

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Jan 24, 2009

Renaissance: Portrait of a Son -- [My tribute to] Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

My tribute to Langston Hughes
by Deborah White

He always wrote
with the strength & endurance
of noir silk

and sometimes, he'd die
on the same page --

he too, was America;

the darker
brother who scribed of rivers;

he'd known rivers,
he'd known the deep
onward movement
of Congo currents.

If you crack open
a binder you'd find

him sitting
in Harlem's Cotton Club
or Savoy's Ballroom track
at a table under

puffs and swirls
from the continent without cold;

and he'd jot
to the struck wired
strings, of Ellington,

scribble along
with Calloway's
chest rolled

Then, you'd notice
his soul
would meander
back to the rivers --

look close,

watch him drink
from Euphrates' mouth
handfuls of Black-men hopes,


hear him sip
from Nile's lip
cocao and coffee dreams --

it would be then,

that you'd know
he'd known those rivers,

he'd known

the slow,


of wearied ink;

Negro rivers.

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes.

Black History Month is just around the corner so, I thought I'd start early.

I want to celebrate Black poets
from the Renaissance to Modern Day.
No better way than to start with --


I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"



They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed --

I, too, am America.

Read More poetry by Langston Hughes

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Knopf and Vintage Books.
Copyright 1994 by the Estate of Langston Hughes. All rights reserved.

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