African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Yusef Komunyakaa

Say something about real love.Yes, true love—more thanparted lips, than parted legsin sorrow’s darkroom of potash& blues. Let the brain stumblefrom its hidingplace, from its cell block,to the edge of oblivionto come to itself, sharp-tonguedas a boar’s grin in summer moss — Yusef Komunyakaa, from  “Safe Subjects,” Neon Venacular: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University… Continue reading Yusef Komunyakaa

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Yusef Komunyakaa

I stared at a tree against duskTill it was a girlStanding beside a country roadShucking cane with her teeth.She looked up & smiled& waved. Lost in what hurts,In what tasted good, could sheEver learn there’s no loveIn sugar? — Yusef Komunyakaa, from “Sugar,” Magic City (Wesleyan University Press, 1992)

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Robert Penn Warren

But why should I lie here longer?I am not dead yet …And the world’s way is yet long to go,And I love the world even in my anger,And love is a hard thing to outgrow. — Robert Penn Warren, from “American Portrait: Old Style,” Now and Then: Poems, 1976-1978 (Random House, 1978)

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Robert Penn Warren

And she drew my face down and pressed her lips against mine to stop my words. Her lips were cold, but they hung upon mine. I too was perfectly cold, as of mortal chill. And the coldness was the final horror of the act which we performed, as though two dolls should parody the shame… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Yusef Komunyakaa

I never said there’s a book insideevery tree. I never said I know howthe legless beggar feels whenthe memory of his toes itch.If I did, drunkennesswas then my god & naked dancer.I take it back.I’m not a suicidal mooncalf;you don’t have to take my shoelaces. — Yusef Komunyakaa, from “Corrigenda,” Pleasure Dome: New & Collected… Continue reading Yusef Komunyakaa

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

When lost in a thick-wooded country alwaysWork downward as water would. YouWill come out somewhere. — Robert Penn Warren, from “A Few Axioms for a Young Man,” Uncollected Poems 1943-1989, The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren, ed. John Burt (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · Online Anthology · Online Magazine · Passage · Periodical

Yusef Komunyakaa

Her eyelids were painted blue. When she closed her eyes the sea rolled in like ten thousand fiery chariots, leaving behind silence above and below a thousand years old. — Yusef Komunyakaa, from “Omens,” Poetry Apr 2012, Vol. 200 Issue 1, p15

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fellowship of Southern Writers · Fragment · New Criticism · Passage · Poetry · Southern Literature

Robert Penn Warren

But why should I lie here longer? I am not dead yet … And the world’s way is yet long to go, And I love the world even in my anger, And love is a hard thing to outgrow. — Robert Penn Warren, from “American Portrait: Old Style,” Now and Then: Poems, 1976-1978 (Random House,… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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