feb 2, 1977 - Dark Phrases by Ntozake Shange


From Among Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf published in 1977.

dark phrases of womanhood
of never having been a girl
half-notes scattered
without rhythm/ no tune
distraught laughter falling
over a black girl's shoulder
it's funny/ it's hysterical
the melody-less-ness of her dance
don't tell nobody don't tell a soul
she's dancin on beer cans & shingles

this must be the spook house
another song with no singers
lyrics/no voices
& interrupted solos
unseen performances

are we ghouls?
children of horror?
the joke?

don't tell nobody don't tell a soul
are we animals? have we gone crazy?

i can't hear anything
but maddening screams
& the soft strains of death
& you promised me
you promised me...
sing a black girl's song
bring her out
to know herself
to know you
but sing her rhythms
carin/struggle/hard times

sing her song of life
she's been dead so long
closed in silence so long
she doesn't know the sound
of her own voice
her infinite beauty
she's half-notes scattered
without rhythm/no tune
sing her sighs
sing the song of her possibilities
sing a righteous gospel
the making of a melody
let her be born
let her be born
& handled warmly.

Added to timeline:

1 Dec 2017
A Timeline of the First Five Poetic Movements
This is a timeline of the first five poetic movements: Absur...


feb 2, 1977
~ 41 years ago
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