Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Poetry: Sonia Sanchez

This week writer/playwright/poet/activist/ Sonia Sanchez was appointed official Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. It's the first time we've had one, and I am so glad it's her. She has had a brilliant career with and extensive list of published works, awards and accomplishments. (Bio here). I have listened to her read her work over the years, as she has been a professor at Temple U., where she is still Poet in Residence. She has a powerful voice, speaking beautifully of justice and the strength of her people. Her recently published book Morning Haiku includes tributes to Emmitt Till and Eugene Redmond. I quoted one of her haiku poems back in 2008 on this blog and included a video of her reading.

One of my favorite poems of hers is this one:

by Sonia Sanchez

(after the spanish)

forgive me if i laugh 
you are so sure of love 
you are so young 
and i too old to learn of love.

the rain exploding 
in the air is love 
the grass excreting her 
green wax is love 
and stones remembering 
past steps is love, 
but you. you are too young 
for love 
and i too old.
...the rest is here. 
Another of my favorite poems of hers is this one:

Personal Letter No. 3

nothing will keep
us young you know
not young men or
women who spin
their youth on
cool playing sounds.
we are what we
are what we never
think we are.

... the rest is here.

I seem to be on an old folk's love poem track these days. Go figure.

You can read more about Sanchez and the Poet Laurette program here in the Philadelphia Inquire article. Today's Friday Poetry round up is hosted by Julie at The Drift Record. Enjoy!!


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

it is a hard thing
to admit that
sometimes after midnight
i am tired
of it all.

That resonates for me! Thank you for sharing these, I shall have to find more poems by Sonia Sanchez.

Linda B said...

These are lovely. I don't know this poet, so thanks for showing her to us, & isn't it wonderful to have her for a poet laureate? Like Tara, I love those final lines of poem # 2, but I also like "nothing will keep us young you know not young men or women who spin their youth on cool playing sounds". As I am certainly older, I enjoyed what you shared very much!

Mary Lee said...

Huzzah for poets laureate!

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laurasalas said...

These are lovely, Andi! I like where you broke them off, too. They read well just in excerpt form. The after midnight part especially resonated with me too, like Tara.

Book Boy said...

I really like the poem about love. It is simple. Sounds like something I would write.