Sherman Alexie ~ ‘Indian Boy Love Song (#1)’. "Middle Passage" is one of the major landmarks of modern American poetry, right up there with "Prufrock" and "Sunday Morning." This poem gave me a voice and a crucial model to carve out my own world, to know it is possible to sing a self. Toi Derricotte is the author of five poetry collections, including The Undertaker’s Daughter (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). Like a surgeon with a sturdy hand, May pens a succinctly textured psalm, birthing light and life against the landscape of a machine designed to punish and wound until extinction. “For My People" is timeless. The country we all woke to on November 9, 2016, was the same one it’s always been. Even though rural areas cover a vast majority of the American territory, less than 20% of the total population live in rural areas. We might say, then, that Williams is declaring – in typically concrete, Imagist terms – that much depends on these fleeting moments, on capturing moments of beauty which may seem ordinary or mundane (wheelbarrow, chickens). This is the question I return to, a quality of thought and careful sensation I find in Melvin Dixon’s “Heartbeats” and the steady patient-turned-at-moments-insistent spondees of its lines that, for always renegotiating this pace, manages to maintain what sadness we suspect is present alongside something like strength, audacity. You forgot your origin and seed, While you are busy to feed need. I love the playful leaps in the poem, the shifting dramas, the changes in voice, syntax, and diction, how the poem pulls the rug out under us as it breaks out into song, “Ahh awe & aw.” I love the way the poem uses black vernacular, repeating “she/Do” instead of “she/Does.” The two quick and clear syllables perfectly capture the sound and sense of an explosive action, and the repetition of the phrase creates the feeling of an action that keeps happening. He lives in Columbus, Ohio. Some of the most remarkable and groundbreaking. A great poem releases the language it uses from the tether of its normal terms—not to destroy language but to reveal the wounds therein and enliven them and, in turn, the entire language. Like our fathers gone missing. What better way to continue our brief introduction to America’s best poets than with a poem by one of American poetry’s pioneers, praising the many different people in his nation and the various songs they sing? He lives in Massachusetts. Famous Poems About American Culture. And here Lucille Clifton shows us that both joy and self-love radiating from a black woman is also a kind of defiance. The poetic craft of chant and righteous rage finds a delicate balance on the page as May threads together repetition and steel and nature as comforting as any lullaby. The culture of the United States of America is primarily of Western origin, but is influenced by a multicultural ethos that includes African, Native American, Asian, Pacific Island, and Latin American people and their cultures. [Pinsky] American Culture and the Voice of Poetry 155. process of culture, a form of memory, controls us and also enables us. But this is not a poem to be easily dismissed. From that collection comes "On Being Brought from Africa to America" one of the most amazing poems I have ever read. Like our brothers gone homeless. The poem is the gift of a poet’s sincerity. I would add: At just two lines and six words, this poem is the briefest on this list, and might almost be described as a one-liner, since it works much like a joke. The poem itself follows the neoclassical model—it’s concerned with order, structure, reason. by Ernest Hemingway "Arsiero, Asiago…" by Ernest Hemingway "Book of Gems," The by Henry David Thoreau "Célibataire" by Sylvia Plath "Company … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Walt Whitman. We. Believing what we don’t believe Let it be the pioneer on the plain. Adrienne Rich. Sitting in a circle around a table outside of a southern hotel this fall, I played and lost several games of spades with black writers I love. Rankine begins the poem by collaborating with her reader. Wallace Stevens ~ ‘Of Mere Being’ "Middle Passage" by Robert Hayden Hayden was an African American poet who managed, in this brief epic, to bring the slave trade into lyrical focus with a polyphony of voices. 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