A Few of My Favorite Poems by Nayyirah Waheed

unharm someone by telling the truth you could not face when you struck instead of tended. — put the fire out (unburn) listen to my poems. but do not look for me. look for you. — you i don’t pay attention to the world ending. it has ended for me many times and began againContinue reading “A Few of My Favorite Poems by Nayyirah Waheed”

“America,” Richard Blanco

I. Although Tía Miriam boasted she discovered at least half a dozen uses for peanut butter— topping for guava shells in syrup, butter substitute for Cuban toast, hair conditioner and relaxer— Mamá never knew what to make of the monthly five-pound jars handed out by the immigration department until my friend, Jeff, mentioned jelly. II. ThereContinue reading ““America,” Richard Blanco”

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer, When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me, When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, TillContinue reading ““When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” Walt Whitman”

“Dreams,” Nikki Giovanni

in my younger years before i learned black people aren’t suppose to dream i wanted to be a raelet and say “dr o wn d in my youn tears” or “tal kin bout tal kin bout” or marjorie hendricks and grind all up against the mic and scream “baaaaaby nightandday baaaaaby nightandday” then as iContinue reading ““Dreams,” Nikki Giovanni”

“There Are Birds Here,” Jamaal May

        For Detroit   There are birds here, so many birds here is what I was trying to say when they said those birds were metaphors for what is trapped between buildings and buildings. No. The birds are here to root around for bread the girl’s hands tear and toss like confetti.Continue reading ““There Are Birds Here,” Jamaal May”

“Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman (section 1 only)

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, thisContinue reading ““Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman (section 1 only)”

“Do not go gentle into that good night,” Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, theContinue reading ““Do not go gentle into that good night,” Dylan Thomas”

“Invictus,” William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,       Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be       For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance       I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance       My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath andContinue reading ““Invictus,” William Ernest Henley”