A Tribute to Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks

Sherril White
 
I don’t just like her work because it baffles me–
Her critics call it ambiguity.
I don’t just like her work because she’s a Black woman,
A successful Negro Poet, an elevated good
From the Mecca Kitchenette – I don’t just like her
Work because an educated Black was scarce, to whom
One could not help but lend an ear.
I don’t just like her work because she seemed bitter, and if so, rightfully.
She’s clever, dear friends, but censors don’t think.
I don’t just like her work because she knows my thoughts
Are to rebel,and her Ballads tell them well.
I don’t just like her work because she chose obscurity
Which crowns her First Black Belle at Pulitzer’s Party,
Blakely’s Half, The Brooks’s Apple,
Henry’s and Nora’s appointed role model.
I don’t just like her work because her Poetry is a vent
And window through which voices lament.
She’s stylish, complicated, yet commands attention
In twenty-eight collections—I love her work
Because it tells the story of me and the reality
Of my present, my future, and my history.
Thank you, Miss Brooks, for your Poetry.

Zoe Lion


 
 
 
 
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