SONIA SANCHEZ’S POEM PRESENT: “I SEE MY HISTORY, HEARING THE ANCIENT BLACK WOMAN, ME”

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[Women's History Month\Poet Sonia Sanchez]
Sanchez: "And in my head, i see my history, standing like a shy child, and i chant lullabies, as i ride my past on horseback, tasting
the thirst of yesterday tribes, hearing the ancient/black/woman, me..."
Photo: Facebook

[Women's History Month]

Sonia Sanchez (September 9, 1934) is an American poet, writer, and professor who was also a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement.

In honor of Women's History Month, all month the Black Star News will be featuring speeches, interviews, poetry, etc. from important Black female figures who fought for Black liberation and who represent the Black experience with honor.

The following is Sanchez's poem "Present."

This woman vomiting her

hunger over the world

this melancholy woman forgotten

before memory came

this yellow movement bursting forth like

coltrane's melodies all mouth

buttocks moving like palm tress,

this honeycoatedalabamianwoman

raining rhythm to blue/black/smiles

this yellow woman carrying beneath her breasts

pleasures without tongues

this woman whose body waves

desert patterns,

this woman wet with wandering,

reviving the beauty of forests and winds

is telling you secrets

gather up your odors and listen

as she sings the mold from memory.

 

there is no place

for a soft / black / woman.

there is no smile green enough or

summertime words warm enough to allow my growth.

and in my head

i see my history

standing like a shy child

and i chant lullabies

as i ride my past on horseback

tasting the thirst of yesterday tribes

hearing the ancient/black/woman

me, singing hay-hay-hay-hay-ya-ya-ya.

hay-hay-hay-hay-ya-y a-ya.

like a slow scent

beneath the sun

and i dance my

creation and my grandmothers gathering

from my bones like great wooden birds

spread their wings

while their long/legged/laughter

stretched the night.

and i taste the

seasons of my birth. mangoes. papayas.

drink my woman/coconut/milks

stalk the ancient grandfathers

sipping on proud afternoons

walk like a song round my waist

tremble like a new/born/child troubles

with new breaths

and my singing

becomes the only sound of a

blue/black/magical/woman. walking.

womb ripe. walking. loud with mornings. walking.

making pilgrimage to herself. walking.

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