Tag Archives: bigotry

Oriflamme: a poem by Jessie Redmon Fauset, 1920

So very many talented black writers – then and now. I am always amazed (though perhaps I shouldn’t be) at the talent of which I’ve never been made aware. Poets.org is a great site for dipping your toe into new and talented writers  –  both old and new.

Oriflamme 

by Jessie Redmon Fauset

I think I see her sitting bowed and black,
  Stricken and seared with slavery’s mortal scars,
Reft of her children, lonely, anguished, yet
  Still looking at the stars.

Symbolic mother, we thy myriad sons,
  Pounding our stubborn hearts on Freedom’s bars,
Clutching our birthright, fight with faces set,
  Still visioning the stars!

I Dream A World – a poem by Langston Hughes

I Dream A World

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Divided We Stand-off

This post is a poem written as a villanelle. Perhaps the most famous example of such a poem is Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”.  I posted the Thomas poem recently, allowing that it is one of my favorites. My villanelle, while nowhere near the quality of his (understatement), was written with thoughts of our current struggles as a nation. The era of Trump has been fraught with division. And while a true villanelle is nineteen lines with two rhymes throughout, I made a slight change in the last line, adding “oh sweet angels”. Anyway, here is my little poem…

Divided We Stand-off

by Joel Howard

 

Friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind,

on freedom’s meaning we rage and foment,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

only yesterday one could easy find

comfort born of closeness which now’s misspent,

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind

 

loss upon loss leaves prized kindness behind

untold victims of rotting resentment,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

on ob’lisk to heaven we’ve grief-signed

echoing our long recurring lament,

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind

 

fistful words, vengeful cries, quick to remind

we’ve drowned this land with relationships bent,

to chaos and regret we’re now resigned

 

oh Camelot! How once we dined,

as all about us the future shined!

friendships bloodied amidst a fury blind,

oh sweet angels, to chaos and regret we’re now resigned