Black History Month Day 1.
On Being Brought from Africa to America
By Phillis Wheatley
‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic die.”
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.
This poem is in Public Domain.
Poets, if you are agitated, angry, sad, or confused by the current racially charged situation in the USA, speak out. We are all trying to make sense of the killing of George Floyd, the latest black man to die in police custody. While we, as artists, grapple with our own conscience, try to understand how we can bring the change to our own actions and attitudes that will make a small change in the world around us, we can use the one tool at our disposal, our voice.
You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger, yes. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
― Maya Angelou
Speak up, write, and send us your poems. We will have a separate “Poetic Response” section in the summer issue to be released on June 30th. The details are on the submissions page. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am almost at the end of a poetry-writing marathon and fundraiser for Tupelo Press—one of the premier independent publishers of contemporary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in the United States. They have published the early books of many renowned poets such as Annie Finch, Ilya Kaminski, Maggie Smith, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Gary Soto, Kazim Ali, Lise Goett, Matthew Zapruder, Rajiv Mohabir, Rusty Morrison, and so many more.
The challenge is to write a poem a day for 30 days, Tupelo 30/30 project. I am asking you to take a look at the many contest and submission opportunities at Tupelo Press and also support the press in honor of your favorite participating poet in this challenge, although I hope you would support my (Pratibha’s) campaign.
If you enjoy reading and contributing to The Literary Nest, I would urge you to support my campaign by donating a small amount by clicking here.
Also, keep those sonnets coming for our summer issue. The deadline is June 15. Here are the submission guidelines.
Stay well out there, readers.