Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--Black History Month

This week let's celebrate the poetry of Rita Dove. Ms. Dove won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and served a term as United States Poet Laureate (1993–95).

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems [811 DOV] was published in 1999. Here is part of the publisher's description: "...these poems explore the intersection of individual fates with the grand arc of history. If there are heroes, Dove maintains, they continually reinvent themselves, as each of us must do every morning..."

Back when the earth was new
and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things
hadn't had time to stick;

back when the smallest breezes
melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered
sweetly in rank and file...

the world called, and I answered.
Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life,
swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.

I was pirouette and flourish,
I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings
when I didn't know their names?

Back when everything was still to come,
luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world,
and the world followed me here.

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up visit my librarian friend, Jone, at Check It Out.


  1. Such a beautiful poem! She had an amazing gift for creating images. I think my favorite line is "back when the smallest breezes/melted summer into autumn." Stunning.

  2. Diane, the last stanza spoke to me in terms of positivity and optimism: "luck leaked out everywhere./I gave my promise to the world,/and the world followed me here." We need luck leaking out in today's world.

  3. So beautiful. I love the idea of reinvention, both on a historical level, and on a personal level. Just beautiful.

  4. Wonderful poem Diane, thanks for sharing it with us! Transports me to another place.

  5. "Back when everything was still to come,
    luck leaked out everywhere."

    Yes, that's what I'm pining for.