Any excuse to list my favorite poems

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. . .Love to Langston

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?”

3. So many of Rita Dove‘s lovely poems, especially anything from Thomas and Beulah, the story of her grandparents.

4. Love After Love by Derek Walcott. Reading this poem is like getting a giant hug.

5. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes!

Not to mention some of our own very talented African American poets here at Lee & Low, like Tony Medina and Eloise Greenfield.

I’m (barely) stopping myself there, but feel free to add your own favorites in the comments!

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