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.