Black People : On the Pulse of Morning - Dr Maya Angelou

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, May 28, 2014.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    "Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library"​
    On the Pulse of Morning

    A Rock, A River, A Tree
    Hosts to species long since departed,
    Marked the mastodon.
    The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
    Of their sojourn here
    On our planet floor,
    Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
    Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

    But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
    Come, you may stand upon my
    Back and face your distant destiny,
    But seek no haven in my shadow.

    I will give you no more hiding place down here.

    You, created only a little lower than
    The angels, have crouched too long in
    The bruising darkness,
    Have lain too long
    Face down in ignorance.

    Your mouths spilling words
    Armed for slaughter.

    The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
    But do not hide your face.

    Across the wall of the world,
    A River sings a beautiful song,
    Come rest here by my side.

    Each of you a bordered country,
    Delicate and strangely made proud,
    Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

    Your armed struggles for profit
    Have left collars of waste upon
    My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

    Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
    If you will study war no more. Come,

    Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
    The Creator gave to me when I and the
    Tree and the stone were one.

    Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
    Brow and when you yet knew you still
    Knew nothing.

    The River sings and sings on.

    There is a true yearning to respond to
    The singing River and the wise Rock.

    So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
    The African and Native American, the Sioux,
    The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
    The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
    The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
    The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
    They hear. They all hear
    The speaking of the Tree.

    Today, the first and last of every Tree
    Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

    Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

    Each of you, descendant of some passed
    On traveller, has been paid for.

    You, who gave me my first name, you
    Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
    Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
    Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
    Other seekers- desperate for gain,
    Starving for gold.

    You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot...
    You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
    Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
    Praying for a dream.

    Here, root yourselves beside me.

    I am the Tree planted by the River,
    Which will not be moved.

    I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
    I am yours- your Passages have been paid.

    Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
    For this bright morning dawning for you.

    History, despite its wrenching pain,
    Cannot be unlived, and if faced
    With courage, need not be lived again.

    Lift up your eyes upon
    The day breaking for you.

    Give birth again
    To the dream.

    Women, children, men,
    Take it into the palms of your hands.

    Mold it into the shape of your most
    Private need. Sculpt it into
    The image of your most public self.
    Lift up your hearts
    Each new hour holds new chances
    For new beginnings.

    Do not be wedded forever
    To fear, yoked eternally
    To brutishness.

    The horizon leans forward,
    Offering you space to place new steps of change.
    Here, on the pulse of this fine day
    You may have the courage
    To look up and out upon me, the
    Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

    No less to Midas than the mendicant.

    No less to you now than the mastodon then.

    Here on the pulse of this new day
    You may have the grace to look up and out
    And into your sister's eyes, into
    Your brother's face, your country
    And say simply
    Very simply
    With hope
    Good morning.

    -Maya Angelou

    This is video footage of Maya Angelou reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the 1993 Presidential Inaugural. This footage is official public record produced by the White House Television (WHTV) crew, provided by the Clinton Presidential Library.
    Date: January 20, 1993 Location: US Capitol. Washington, DC
    Access Restriction(s): unrestricted Use Restrictions(s): unrestricted
    Camera: White House Television (WHTV) / Main
    This material is public domain, as it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government as part of that person's official duties. Any usage must receive the credit "Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library," and no exclusive rights or permissions are granted for usage.
  2. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa,

    Maya Angelou Portrait Installed in Washington

    A portrait of the late poet Maya Angelou was installed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. The painting, by Ross Rossin, will be on display through June 12. (May 29)

    click to see video coverage:

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