Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Am a Black Woman

Idiom is larger than geography; it is the hot breath of a people singing, slashing, explorative. Imagery becomes the magic denominator, the language of a passage, saying the ancient unchanging particulars."
--Mari Evans, poet

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Mari Evans was raised in a very traditional black family. She attended the University of Toledo.

Evans has lectured on literature, written, directed and produced a television program called “The Black Experience,” written a play (“River of My Song”), a musical based on Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and taught at Indiana University, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Miami at Coral Gables and at Spellman College, Atlanta.

She has won numerous awards for her poetry, including the Indiana University Writers' Conference award, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters' first annual poetry award.

The poem “I Am a Black Woman” speaks to the pain of the black experience but also the resilience of black women:

I am a Black Woman

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

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
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
on me and be

Books of poetry by Mari Evans:

1. A Dark and Splendid Mass (Harlem River Press, 1992)
2. Nightstar: 1973-1978 (1981)
3. I Am a Black Woman (1970)
4. Where Is All the Music? (1968)


Anonymous said...

Actually, I like "Who Can be Born Black" better. But this is a great one too.

Nun in the Hood said...

Happy, 4th, MacDaddy....
Actually, today is a day of mourning for us Nun in the 'Hood....Our dear, dear Guatemalan friends were overlast evening, and Mom and Dad have to wear ankle bracelets to the 'won't run'...For all pracical purposes they are on House Arrest! After 17 years in this country their immigration status is being questioned...When I read Mari Evens' poetry I wondered how many people in this country are tempted to despair because of the oppresion they experience at the hand of our government. "LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS" is surely an exclusive freedom in this U.S.A. Write me something hopeful, MacDaddy!!!!

MacDaddy said...

"ringing with the sound above sound above sound
to explode/in the majesty of our oneness
our coming together
in a coming togetherness"
Yes, anon, it's a great poem.
nuninthehood: Sorry to hear about the Guatemalan family. I know of some resources in that area. Let me know if there's anything I can do. Meanwhile, the next poem will be more hopeful. Let's talk later. said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

Hey there MacDaddy!!

Thank you for honoring Mari Evans....

Have you seen this book?

The Columbia Granger's Index To African-American Poetry

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!