Adult Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday] Relevant Truths in Alice Walker’s Poems


Fats here.

This week, I am sharing two poems by Alice Walker that were taken from her poetry collection entitled, The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers. The first contains excerpts from a poem she wrote about lies and truths, in which the message clearly evokes what is happening in America today. The second speaks about the power and significance of poetry in our society.

Poetry Friday round-up is hosted by Catherine at Reading to the Core.

9/11: An Irrelevant Truth

They tell so many lies
I do not wonder that you have lost trust
in human beings.

Now you ask me seriously:
Auntie, do those who tell humongous lies,
and get away with it, celebrate their victories the same
as those who tell, and get away with,
smaller, “whiter” ones?
Is it just a matter of bigger bottles
of champagne,
more expensive party girls
and a bigger cake?

What can I tell you?

Never believe “the truth” as set before you
by your enemies,
is about all I would say.
Be alert to whatever makes no sense
to you.

with all of our experience of it
find absolute evil almost impossible
to believe. Even looking at it.

That is why I feel this tenderness
this overwhelming
for the human race:
we are so gullible and so trusting
and so afraid by now: we are willing to believe
even that Truth itself is irrelevant
if the lie is big enough.


Every Revolution Needs Fresh Poems

Every revolution needs fresh poems
that is the reason
poetry cannot die.
It is the reason poets
go without sleep
and sometimes without lovers
without new cars
and without fine clothes
the reason we commit to facing the dark
resign ourselves, regularly, to the possibility
of being wrong.
Poetry is leading us.
It never cares how we will
be held by lovers
or drive fast
or look good
in the moment;
but how completely
we are committed
to movement
both inner and outer;
and devoted to transformation
and to change.

10 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Relevant Truths in Alice Walker’s Poems

  1. Loving the militant feel of this entire post. 🙂 Much much needed and valued especially during these times.


  2. We need our truth, not humungous lies. Alice Walker speaks our truth.


  3. Poetry is leading us. Yes! If we let it… thank you!


  4. Incredible words.

    with all of our experience of it
    find absolute evil almost impossible
    to believe.”

    Alice Walker strikes straight to the heart, her words are so full of anger and sadness, but still love and hope.


  5. maryleehahn

    What a timely pair!


  6. Walker’s words resonate so much in today’s reality. Thank you for sharing these poems today, Fats. =)


  7. Both of Walker’s poems speak to today so powerfully. The second one, especially, gives me hope.


  8. haitiruth

    Thank you for this! Ruth,


  9. Both of these powerful poems are new to me. As Mary Lee said, how timely!


  10. Two very powerful poems by Alice Walker, thanks for sharing them with us. Alice Walker was one of the women poets I was considering featuring this week on my blog, so it’s serendipitous to find her here. Poetry surely is “leading us.”


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