I know, I should have spent the weekend reading the large number of titles in my TBR and Reviewed pile, but I decided to take the weekend off. I indulged myself by reading a few books on my new NookCOLOR (loving it BTW), as well as re-reading some old favorites. One old favorite that I revisited was For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. Now I don't normally read poetry just for the sake of reading poetry, but I was introduced to this book while I was in high school. I was so enthralled by the sentiments expressed that I used several of the poems to compete in poetry interpretation contests. I was later fortunate enough to see the Broadway production (a birthday present from my beloved older brother - RIP Vondal Jr.). Of course I had to re-read the poems before going to see the show and fell in love all over again.
Some of these poems are raw and harsh but they are always real. For me they packed a powerful and visceral punch because I had never been exposed to poetry that left such a lasting impact. Don't get me wrong, I've read poetry that I've loved. Most of these poems were written by people long gone and in a language style that isn't used anymore, but nothing ever cause the reaction that these poems did. Perhaps it was because I was an extremely sheltered, introverted, academically-inclined, book loving young black woman from a conservative Southern Baptist family in the late 70s. (My brothers will probably say it was because I always had my face in a book and didn't get out into the real world.) Whatever the reason, I fell in love with these poems and still have an attachment after 30+ years. I don't have a favorite per se, but I'm rather fond of Toussaint. This was one of the poems I used in high school poetry competitions and it simply felt right every time I read it...maybe because it started off talking about the library and the discovery of the adult section.
Poetry may not be for everyone and these poems may not ring true for all readers. For the more adventurous readers I highly recommend that you read this at least once. If you do then I hope you'll find the same pleasure that I have with each reading.
Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading
"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor
“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen
"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde
"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller