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
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
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
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
both inner and outer;
and devoted to transformation
and to change.