Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Poetry Resources

Poetry Foundation

  • Wondering about using this poem. Thinking about an excerpt at the beginning of our unit and then revealing more over time. Thoughts?
  • Theme for English B

    The instructor said,

          Go home and write
          a page tonight.
          And let that page come out of you—
          Then, it will be true.

    I wonder if it’s that simple?
    I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.   
    I went to school there, then Durham, then here   
    to this college on the hill above Harlem.   
    I am the only colored student in my class.   
    The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,   
    through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,   
    Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,   
    the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator   
    up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

    It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me   
    at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
    I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you.
    hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.   
    (I hear New York, too.) Me—who?

    Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.   
    I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.   
    I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
    or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
    I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
    the same things other folks like who are other races.   
    So will my page be colored that I write?   
    Being me, it will not be white.
    But it will be
    a part of you, instructor.
    You are white—
    yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
    That’s American.
    Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.   
    Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
    But we are, that’s true!
    As I learn from you,
    I guess you learn from me—
    although you’re older—and white—
    and somewhat more free.

    This is my page for English B.

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