Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Margaret Walker: I Want to Write

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.

4 comments on “Margaret Walker: I Want to Write

  1. triciaknoll
    March 29, 2017

    Lovely. Thank you for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gospel Isosceles
    March 29, 2017

    Didn’t she have a famous poem, “Songs of my People”? Is this an excerpt of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gospel Isosceles
      March 29, 2017

      Oh nevermind, just noticed the caption. I guess it was “For My People.” It’s a stunning and rhythmic work.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sherryshavon07
    March 29, 2017

    Write about what?


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