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Etheridge Knight: Apology for Apostasy?

Soft songs, like birds, die in poison air

So my song cannot now be candy.

Anger rots the oak and elm; roses are rare,

Seldom seen through blind despair.


And my murmur cannot be heard

Above the din and damn. The night is full

Of buggers and bastards; no moon or stars

Light the sky. And my candy is deferred


Till peacetime, when my voice shall be light,

Like down, lilting in the air; then shall I

Sing of beaches, white in the magic sun,

And of moons and maidens at midnight.

“Apology for Apostasy?” from The Essential Etheridge Knight, by Etheridge Knight, © 1986. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Etheridge Knight (1931-1991) is widely regarded as one of America’s most prominent and lively poets.

Etheridge Knight (source: Poetry Foundation)

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2023 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice.

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