I want to write
I want to write the songs of my people.
I want to hear them singing melodies in the dark.
I want to catch the last floating strains from their sob-torn throats.
I want to frame their dreams into words; their souls into notes.
I want to catch their sunshine laughter in a bowl;
fling dark hands to a darker sky
and fill them full of stars
then crush and mix such lights till they become
a mirrored pool of brilliance in the dawn.
This poem is available through the Internet Poetry Archive sponsored by the University of North Carolina Press. For educational use only.
Margaret Walker (1915 – 1998) was part of the African-American literary movement in Chicago. Her notable works include the award-winning poem For My People (1942) and the novel Jubilee (1966), set in the South during the American Civil War.