Sunday, March 10, 2013

CALIFORNIA POET LAUREATE, AL YOUNG

ORIGINAL POST 12/31/2006: having read this poem by our very own california poet laureate - i am quite delighted he'll be at the pleasanton poetry & prose festival march 31, 2007

YOU DO ALL THIS FOR LOVE

you make me cry. you do all this for love.
you do it all because you dare to care,
you dare to dream. someone has to act.
you get sick of hearing about how somewhere
over the rainbow. you know too well why

the caged bird sings, (wait! i have that one! will find & post it!) but what about the blues
she sings? what about half-notes,
whole-notes, notes in-between? what about
the slot between got and got-not? someone's
got to fill that out, indeed, sweet queen of need.

i can stand here all day and tell you how much
i honor, admire, how brave you are. i can
call you courageous, make you a media star.
the truth is this: your kiss to us who survive
in sweatshops, sieves or suburbs, lingers. amazing,

your courage feels big and tight and warm enough
for me to ask: "what will it take to make
more of us feel the thrilling seal of giving?"
to give gets what we need and share. to get
and give back nothing? how incredible, how sad
this wanting world, where women, our deliverers,
get wasted or waste away. honored, humbled,
i know why you do it, know why i cry and get it
finally that you stun and give more than desert or river.
recover, discover, deliver -- for love you do all this.

-- al young. (commissioned for presentation of the minerva awards at the governor and first lady's conference on women and families, oct 2005)

and now of course, i must post on..

from the complete collected poems of Maya Angelou
pg 94

caged bird

(just thinking the title makes me teary/love this one)

a free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

but a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

the caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

the free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

but a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

the caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.


***

2 Comments:

At 5:44 PM, Blogger photo blog girl said...

Just stopping by to say Happy New Year! I love this poem by Maya Angelou. It's always been one of my favorites, since I first read her autobiography as a girl.

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger she said...

photo blog girl! great to hear from you.

you were awesome in concert by the way. great to see you & jason

caged bird is the only poem i have memorized. i love it too. phenomenal woman is next on my commit it to memory list.

look forward to the next time we get to see you two. fun watching you make your dreams come true

~s.

 

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