It’s Monday fellow Obots! It’s the start of the new week and the start of a new open thread.
This week’s open threads will focused on African-American Poets.
Cornelius Eady (born 1954) is an American poet focusing largely on matters of race and society, particularly the trials of the African-American race in the United States. His poetry often centers around jazz and blues, family life, violence, and societal problems stemming from questions of race and class. His poetry is often praised for its simple and approachable language.
In most of Eady’s poems, there is a musical quality drawn from the Blues and Jazz. His first book of poetry, Kartunes, was published in 1980, with several books of poetry following it. Recently awarded honors include the Strousse Award from Prairie Schooner, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, and individual Fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Eady has also recently collaborated with jazz composer Deidre Murray in the production of several works of musical theater, including You Don’t Miss Your Water, Running Man, Fangs, and Brutal Imagination. In 1996, Eady and fellow poet Toi Derricotte founded Cave Canem Workshop, a nonprofit organization for black poets. Cornelius Eady has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, The Writer’s Voice, The College of William and Mary, and Sweet Briar College. Formerly an associate professor of English and Director of the Poetry Center at State University of New York at Stony Brook and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the City College of New York, Eady currently lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife, novelist Sarah Micklem, and holds the Miller Chair in Poetry at the University of Missouri.
I’m a Fool to Love You
Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in love with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don’t want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.
My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That’s how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.
And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it’s the only leverage
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man’s kisses
Poem courtesy of www.Famouspoetsandpoems.com