9.7 C
London
November 28, 2020
Kentake Page
Image default
Poems Post of the day

Five Inspirational Poems for Black Women

My favorite anthology is Daughters of Africa edited by Margaret Busby. I am fortunate to have a signed hardback copy in my book collection. Busby began her introduction to Daughters of Africa with the poem, To Black Women by Gwendolyn Brooks. This was how I first came across the Sistar-writers featured below. I hope these five poems strengthen your spirit as you read, for they are masterpieces crafted with love, magic, whispers and sighs. The poems are bridges to our divinity, sensuality and uniqueness. Only a Black woman can know what has been denied other Black women. Only a Black woman can give us the words we need to weave gold and silver threads into the tapestry of our lives. “O ye daughters of Africa, arise! arise! awake!”

Eve

I am a Black Woman by Mari Evans

I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
and I
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
humming
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew….I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers
seek the softness in my warrior’s beard

I am a black woman
tall as a cypress
strong
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
assailed
impervious
indestructible
Look
on me and be
renewed

*Artwork: “Eve” by Lloyd G. Wade


Foxy lady

To Black Women by Gwendolyn Brooks

Sisters,
where there is cold silence
no hallelujahs, no hurrahs at all, no handshakes,
no neon red or blue, no smiling faces
prevail.
Prevail across the editors of the world
who are obsessed, self-honeying and self-crowned
in the seduced arena.

It has been a
hard trudge, with fainting, bandaging and death.
There have been startling confrontations.
There have been tramplings. Tramplings
of monarchs and of other men.

But there remain large countries in your eyes.
Shrewd sun.

The civil balance.
The listening secrets.
And you create and train your flowers still.

*Artwork: “Foxy Lady” by Larry Silver


Beauty

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn B. Bennett

I love you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate
Keep all you have of queenliness
Forgetting that you were once were slave
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

*Artwork: “Madame De Fer” by GerryArthur on Deviant Art


Nicola

My Black Triangle by Grace Nichols

My black triangle
sandwiched between the geography of my thighs

Is a Bermuda
of tiny atoms
forever seizing
and releasing
the world

My black triangle
is so rich
that it flows over
on to the dry crotch
of the world

My black triangle
is black light
sitting on the threshold
of the world

Overlooking deep-pink
probabilities

and though
it spares a thought
for history
my black triangle
has spread beyond his story
beyond the dry fears of parch-ri-archy

spreading and growing
trusting and flowering
my black triangle
carries the seal of approval
of my deepest self

*Artwork: “Nicola” 2015, Oil on Canvas Candace Fong (CFONGART) www.cfongart.com


Elizabeth Colomba painting

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise

*Artwork: By Elizabeth Colomba


*This post was updated on March 7th, 2018.


Photo credit: Main image/Painting by Estherr Luntadila @4everestherr

 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Invalid email address

Related posts

Filthy Negroes by Jacques Roumain

Meserette Kentake

I Am a Black Woman by Mari Evans

Meserette Kentake

If You Know Her by Kwame Dawes

Meserette Kentake

3 comments

alex54alexx June 20, 2016 at 04:42

Thank you for these all inspiring art and words

Reply
Mandy March 5, 2018 at 23:26

These poems give me the courage to be comfortable in my own skin. I now know that beauty goes beyond race #AfricanAndProud

Reply
Alexandra July 17, 2020 at 05:58

“My Black triangle” is deeper than Maya Angelou’s “Black Ocean”.
I have always said that our Black triangle is like the triangle of Bermuda. It swallows all and everything that comes near it. 2020 a year to reckon with. In the search of Self I came across this page

Reply

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More