Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday's Poetry: "I Too, Hear America Singing"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Yesterday I mentioned the death this past weekend of anti-war activist and civil rights leader Julian Bond.  Mr. Bond passed away Saturday night in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  He was seventy-five.

I had a chance to see Julian Bond at a college lecture in the 1960's at a time when he had just begun his service in the Georgia state legislature.  During his lifetime Julian Bond also helped to found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  In addition to serving eight years as President of the SPLC, he also served a couple of terms as President of the NAACP.  He was definitely a man who left his mark on humanity.

While reading about Julian Bond over the weekend, I also learned that he dabbled in writing poetry.  He wrote the following verse in 1960 when he was only twenty years old.  It is his response to the very famous "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman.  Bond's words show us that America has many voices - but few as eloquent as his.

I Too, Hear America Singing
by Julian Bond

I too, hear America singing
     But from where I stand
I can only hear Little Richard
     And Fats Domino.
But sometimes
I hear Ray Charles
     Drowning in his own tears
     or Bird
Relaxing at Camarillo
     Or Horace Silver doodling,
Then I don't mind standing
     a little longer.

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