Saturday is Black Poetry Day! And while sometimes these super-specific holidays can be a mixed blessing (if October 17 is Black Poetry Day, what are the other 364 days of the year?) I just can’t be against any holiday that celebrates poetry. Here are a few of my favorite poems by African American writers. Er, top five, let’s make it, otherwise I’d just go on forever. . .
1. Fury by Lucille Clifton. Oh, boy. Now THAT’S what I call a poem.
2. Ars Poetica #100: I Believe by Elizabeth Alexander, in which she answers the question that all frustrated students have at one time asked: What is the point of poetry? “Poetry is the human voice/ And are we not of interest to each other?”
4. Love After Love by Derek Walcott. Reading this poem is like getting a giant hug.
5. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes!
I’m (barely) stopping myself there, but feel free to add your own favorites in the comments!