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Collected Poems by Sonia Sanchez
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Collected Poems by Sonia Sanchez
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Mar 22, 2022 | ISBN 9780807007358

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  • Mar 22, 2022 | ISBN 9780807007358

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Praise

“Her masterful use of spacing, spelling and sound to create impact and celebrate the unique vernacular known as Black English is what gives her work that edge of poetic genius, but it’s the intensely human quality, the intimacy and realness of the words, that drives them deep into the heart of many who receive them.”
RUSSH Magazine

“In impressive volume showcasing the broad scope of her literary work in general and word smithing talents in particular.”
Midwest Book Review

“This long-overdue retrospective will be treasured by all who spend time with it. If you are looking for light in the darkness, a reminder of what kindred spirits are capable of when they work together for change, this book will galvanize and comfort you.”
Rain Taxi

“Sonia Sanchez is a lion in literature’s forest. When she writes she roars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly.”
—Maya Angelou

“Her songs of destruction and loss scrape the heart; her praise songs thunder and revitalize. We need these songs for our journey together into the next century.”
—Joy Harjo, US poet laureate

“The poetry of Sonia Sanchez is full of power and yet always clean and uncluttered. It makes you wish you had thought those thoughts, felt those emotions, and, above all, expressed them so effortlessly and so well.”
—Chinua Achebe, Nobel Prize laureate

“Sonia Sanchez remains one of the most read, respected, and visible figures of the Black Arts Movement.”
—Amiri Baraka

“You have spoken for us . . . Written for us . . . Sung to us . . . How much in your debt we are.”
—Toni Morrison

“Sonia Sanchez’s illustrious career spans seven decades. Her commanding oeuvre continues to elevate language’s ability to give voice to entire communities (their daily pleasures and pains) inside our shared and troubled history.”
—Claudia Rankine

“The magnificent Sonia Sanchez – lifelong poet, crafter of the complex and the clear, the hard and the beautiful – acknowledges who we are on this earth through American eras hopeful, frightening, and imponderable… She is an eloquent international figure, helping us understand the world. Over our many decades, I have looked up to Sonia Sanchez as bard and also as a forger of the new intellectual field of Black studies that has remade our consciousness.”
—Nell Painter

Table Of Contents

1. from Home Coming

homecoming
poem at thirty
nigger
black magic
summary
malcolm
small comment
the final solution/
to CHucK
poem for dcs 8th graders—1966–67
definition for blk/children
Memorial [1. The supremes—cuz they dead . . . ]
Memorial [2. bobby hutton . . . ]
personal letter no. 2

2. from We a BaddDDD People

SURVIVAL POEMS
a poem for my father
blk / rhetoric
personal letter no. 3
television / poem
right on: wite america 1
right on: wite america 2
right on: wite america 3
right on: wite america 4
in the courtroom
summer words of a sistuh addict
on watching a world series game

LOVE/SONG/CHANTS
10:15 am — April 27, 1969 poem
last poem i’m gonna write bout us
for our lady

TCB/EN POEMS
“To Fanon, culture meant only one thing . . .”
why i don’t get high on shit
sunday / evening at gwen’s
—a poem for nina simone to put some music to and blow our nigguh / minds—
a ballad for stirling street (to be sung) For Amina and Amira Baraka
now poem. for us.

3. from Love Poems

Why
Poem No. 1
July
Father and Daughter
Haiku from a husband
Poem No. 3
Poem No. 4
Magic
Words
Haiku [we grow up my love . . . ]
After the fifth day
Haiku [Was it yesterday . . . ]
Haiku [O i am so sad, i . . . ]
Prelude to Nothing
Blues
Kaleidoscope
Haiku [o i was wide and . . . ]
Ballad (after the spanish)
Poem No. 7
Sequences
Old Words
Haiku [if i had known, if . . . ]
To You/Who Almost Turned/Me On
Formula
Haiku [there are things sadder . . . ]
Poem No. 8
Poem No. 10
Welcome home. my prince
Haiku [your love was a port . . . ]
Haiku [i could love you Black . . . ]
I Have Walked a Long Time
Hey There
A Blk/Woman/Speaks
Poem No. 12
Haiku (written from Peking)
Depression
Listening to Jimmy Garrison
Haiku [in your wet season . . . ]
Haiku [O this day like an . . . ]
Poem No. 15

4. from A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women

PAST
[COME into Black geography . . . ]
1. woman
2. earth mother
3. young/black/girl
4. young womanhood
5. womanhood

PRESENT
1 [THIS woman vomiting her . . . ]

REBIRTH
[WHEN i stepped off the plane i knew i was home . . . ]

5. from It’s a New Day poems for young brothas and sistahs

For Morani/Mungu/Meusi
Words for Kali and Poochie
Words for Geoffrey and Stephanie Hamilton
City Songs
to P. J. (2 yrs old who sed write a poem for me in Portland, Oregon)
When we come
We Can Be

6. from I’ve Been a Woman

(Haikus / Tankas & Other Love Syllables)

7. from Under a Soprano Sky

BEGINNINGS
Under a Soprano Sky
(section 1) A poem for my brother
elegy for MOVE and Philadelphia
Poem
Morning raga: 6/28/84
Philadelphia: Spring, 1985
At the Gallery of La Casa de Las Americas, Habana. Dec. 1984
haiku for morani and mungu
3 x 3 shigeko: a hiroshima maiden speaks:
3 x 3 Carl: a Black man Speaks:
3 x 3 the poet: speaks after silence:
insomnia
“There is no news from Auschwitz”
question for mrs. rinaldi
words for mr. and mrs. rinaldi
the inmate
Last recording session/for papa Joe
tanka for papa Joe Jones who used to toss me up to the sky
haiku (walking in the rain in Guyana)
on listening to Malcolm’s Ballot or The Bullet
Song No. 3 for 2nd & 3rd grade sisters
Dear Mama,
Fall
short poem: at midnight
short poem 3
haiku for mungu and morani and the children of soweto
haiku for john brown
A poem for my most Intelligent 10:30 am Class/ Fall, 1985
Haiku for Paul Robeson
Africa Poem No. 4
style no. 1
Graduation Notes

8. from Generations

From a Black Feminist Conference Reflections on Margaret Walker: Poet
Reflections After the June 12th March for Disarmament
A Poem of Praise for Gerald Penny . . .
Father and Daughter

9. from Homegirls and Handgrenades

Story
Poem Written After Reading Wright’s “American Hunger”
A Song
Haiku [i see you blackboy . . . ]
Masks
A Poem for Paul
Bubba
A Letter to Dr. Martin Luther King
MIAS
On Seeing a Pacifist Burn
Letter to Ezekiel Mphahlele

10. from Wounded in the House of a Friend

PART I
Wounded in the House of a Friend: Set No. 1

PART II
Catch the Fire
A Love Song for Spelman
Poem [What I have seen in the twentieth century . . . ]

PART III
Love Song No. 3
Introduction of Toni Morrison . . .
Poem for July 4, 1994 For President Václav Havel
This Is Not a Small Voice

PART IV
Poem for Some Women
haiku 1 [i have died and dreamed . . . ]
blues haiku 1 [all this talk bout love . . . ]
tanka [i have taken five . . . ]
haiku 2 [everywhere i turn . . . ]
haiku 4 [your breath in exile . . . ]
haiku 6 [if i had known then . . . ]
sonku [have mercy on the . . . ]
South African tanka [the necklace i bring . . . ]
haiku 8 [i am hunched down in . . . ]
blues haiku 2 [ain’t no curves in his . . . ]
haiku 9 [the sprawling sound . . . ]

11. from Does Your House Have Lions?

sister’s voice
brother’s voice

12. from Like the Singing Coming off the Drums

Dancing
Haiku [you ask me to run . . . ]
Song
Tanka [i don’t know the rules . . . ]
Haiku [i come from the same . . . ]
Haiku [i have caught fire from . . . ]
Haiku [love between us is . . . ]
Haiku [i turn westward in . . . ]
Sonku [i collect . . . ]
Sonku [i who have . . . ]
Blues haiku [you too slippery . . . ]
Haiku [come windless invader . . . ]
Haiku [i am moving in . . . ]
Haiku on passing Toni Cade Bambara’s house
Blues haiku [what i need is traveling . . . ]
Haiku [old man standing long . . . ]
Haiku [it is i who have . . . ]
Tanka [this man has sucked too . . . ]
Haiku [i am watersnake . . . ]
Haiku [i am the ugly . . . ]
Haiku [have you ever crossed . . . ]
Haiku [mixed with day and sun . . . ]
Blues [even though you came in december be my january man . . . ]
Haiku [how fast is the wind . . . ]
Blues Haiku [let me be yo wil . . . ]
Blues Haiku [am i yo philly . . . ]
Haiku [my womb is a dance . . . ]
Haiku [sweet woman dancing . . . ]
Poem [i am dreaming . . . ]
Sonku [love comes with . . . ]
Haiku [c’mon man hold me . . . ]
Tanka [c’mon man ride me . . . ]
Sonku [i feel your . . . ]
Sonku [i hear the . . . ]
Haiku [i am who i am . . . ]
Haiku question from a young sister
Poem [Good morning, sex . . . ]
Blues haiku [yall talkin all under . . . ]
Blues haiku [i wuz in Kansas . . . ]
Haiku [i am looking for . . . ]
Haiku [these waves boisterous like . . . ]
Haiku for Louis Massiah
Sonku [what is love . . . ]
Blues haiku [my face is a scarred . . . ]
Haiku [derelict with eyes . . . ]
Haiku [they smell like rust . . . ]
Haiku [a tint on the tongue . . . ]
Haiku [my teeth can write your . . . ]
Haiku [i have carved your face . . . ]
Sonku [my eyes look . . . ]
Haiku [i am a small piece . . . ]
Haiku [to be lifted in . . . ]
Tanka [woman without heat . . . ]
Haiku [it was nothing big . . . ]
Sonku [what i want . . . ]
Haiku [i hear your breath . . . ]
Haiku for Joe Barry
Haiku [red orange breasts sweet . . . ]
Haiku [and i am flesh burnt . . . ]
Haiku [this poem is for me . . . ]
Short Poem [quite often without . . . ]
Haiku 2 [my bones migrate in . . . ]
Haiku [do you want ashes . . . ]
Haiku [if i were an old . . . ]
Haiku [you are rock garden . . . ]
Tanka [to surround yourself with . . . ]
Sonku [to worship . . . ]
Haiku [my bones hang to . . . ]
Haiku [in this wet season . . . ]
A Poem for Ella Fitzgerald
Love Poem for Tupac
For Tupac Amaru Shakur
from Remembering and Honoring Toni Cade Bambara
For Sister Gwen Brooks

13. from Shake Loose My Skin

Morning Song and Evening Walk
For Sweet Honey in the Rock
Aaaayeee Babo (Praise God)
Fragment 1
Fragment 2
Haiku [man. you write me so . . . ]
Towhomitmayconcern
Song No. 2
An Anthem for the ANC and Brandywine Peace Community

14. from Morning Haiku

haikuography
10 haiku for Max Roach
dance haiku
14 haiku for Emmett Louis Till
from 21 haiku for Odetta
4 haiku for Max Roach
sister haiku for Pat
15 haiku for Toni Morrison
6 haiku for Elizabeth Catlett in Cuernavaca
2 haiku for Ras Baraka
5 haiku for Sarah Vaughan
9 haiku for Freedom’s Sisters
5 love haiku
6 haiku for Maya Angelou
memory haiku
haiku poem: 1 year after 9/11

15. Envoi: For Harriet Tubman

Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman

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