Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poetic License~'Tis National Poetry Month

Un Pensee Ecrite: A Written Thought...

Saturday, April 02, 2011

I posted this today on the beginning of National Poetry Month to give recognition to many of little known in contemporary world of people who were willing to risk death, some who did indeed die, for the right to read AND write... 

For while we were considered to ignorant or not human enough for basic elementary skills let along have the sophistication to write poetry, may we ever not take so lightly the availability we have today to rise to the better side of ourselves & our community. 


We Wear The Mask 
By Paul Laurence Dunbar 

We wear the mask that grins and lies, 
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,-- 
This debt we pay to human guile; 
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, 
And mouth with myriad subtleties. 

Why should the world be overwise, 
In counting all our tears and sighs? 
Nay, let them only see us, while 
We wear the mask. 

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries 
To thee from tortured souls arise. 
We sing, but oh the clay is vile 
Beneath our feet, and long the mile; 
But let the world dream otherwise, 
We wear the mask! 

JUPITER HAMMON (1711 - 1806) 
Living on Long Island, NY, Jupiter Hammon was an African-American poet and a slave to the Lloyd family. 

His first published poem was written on Christmas Day, 1760. An Evening Thought. Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries: Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro belonging to Mr. Lloyd of Queen's Village, on Long Island, the 25th of December, 1760 appeared as a broadside in 1761. Three other poems and three sermon essays followed. In 1786 Hammon gave a speech, An Address to the Negroes of New York, to the African Society, in which he said that while he personally had no wish to be free, he did wish others, especially “the young Negroes, were free.” 

Though he was enslaved his entire life, his poetry was published and his speeches helped start the discussion of abolition. His most famous speech, was "Address to the Negroes of New York, to the African Society." 

An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penetential Cries 
By Jupiter Hammon 

Salvation comes by Christ alone, 
The only Son of God; 
Redemption now to every one, 
That love his holy Word. 

Dear Jesus, we would fly to Thee, 
And leave off every Sin, 
Thy tender Mercy well agree; 
Salvation from our King. 

Salvation comes now from the Lord, 
Our victorious King. 
His holy Name be well ador'd, 
Salvation surely bring. 

Dear Jesus, give thy Spirit now, 
Thy Grace to every Nation, 
That han't the Lord to whom we bow, 
The Author of Salvation. 

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry, 
Give us the Preparation; 
Turn not away thy tender Eye; 
We seek thy true Salvation. 

Salvation comes from God we know, 
The true and only One; 
It's well agreed and certain true, 
He gave his only Son. 

Lord, hear our penetential Cry: 
Salvation from above; 
It is the Lord that doth supply, 
With his Redeeming Love. 

Dear Jesus, by thy precious Blood, 
The World Redemption have: 
Salvation now comes from the Lord, 
He being thy captive slave. 

Dear Jesus, let the Nations cry, 
And all the People say, 
Salvation comes from Christ on high, 
Haste on Tribunal Day. 

We cry as Sinners to the Lord, 
Salvation to obtain; 
It is firmly fixed, his holy Word, 
Ye shall not cry in vain. 

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we cry, 
And make our Lamentation: 
O let our Prayers ascend on high; 
We felt thy Salvation. 

Lord, turn our dark benighted Souls; 
Give us a true Motion, 
And let the Hearts of all the World, 
Make Christ their Salvation. 

Ten Thousand Angels cry to Thee, 
Yea, louder than the Ocean. 
Thou art the Lord, we plainly see; 
Thou art the true Salvation. 

Now is the Day, excepted Time; 
The Day of the Salvation; 
Increase your Faith, do not repine: 
Awake ye, every Nation. 

Lord, unto whom now shall we go, 
Or seek a safe abode? 
Thou has the Word Salvation Too, 
The only Son of God. 

Ho! every one that hunger hath, 
Or pineth after me, 
Salvation be thy leading Staff, 
To set the Sinner free. 

Dear Jesus, unto Thee we fly; 
Depart, depart from Sin, 
Salvation doth at length supply, 
The Glory of our King. 

Come, ye Blessed of the Lord, 
Salvation greatly given; 
O turn your Hearts, accept the Word, 
Your Souls are fit for Heaven. 

Dear Jesus, we now turn to Thee, 
Salvation to obtain; 
Our Hearts and Souls do meet again, 
To magnify thy Name. 

Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove, 
The Object of our Care; 
Salvation doth increase our Love; 
Our Hearts hath felt they fear. 

Now Glory be to God on High, 
Salvation high and low; 
And thus the Soul on Christ rely, 
To Heaven surely go. 

Come, Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove, 
Accept Repentance here; 
Salvation give, with tender Love; 
Let us with Angels share.

Phillis Wheatley 1753-1784 

To S. M., a Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works 
By Phillis Wheatley written around 1767-1773? 

To show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent, 
And thought in living characters to paint, 
When first thy pencil did those beauties give, 
And breathing figures learn from thee to live, 
How did those prospects give my soul delight, 
A new creation rushing on my sight? 
Still, wond'rous youth! each noble path pursue, 
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view: 
Still may the paint's and the poet's fire 
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire! 
And may the charms of each seraphic theme 
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame! 
High to the blissful wonders of the skies 
Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes. 
Thrice happy, when exalted to survey 
That splendid city, crown'd with endless day, 
Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring: 
Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring. 
Calm and serene thy moments glide along, 
And may the muse inspire each future song! 
Still, with the sweets of contemplation bless'd, 
May peace with balmy winds your soul invest! 
But when these shades of time are chas'd away, 
And darkness ends in everlasting day, 
On what seraphic pinions shall we move, 
And view the landscapes in the realms above? 
There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flows, 
And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow: 
No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs, 
Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes, 
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain, 
And purer language on th' ethereal plain. 
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night 
Now seals the fair creation from my sight. 


She was consider one of the pioneers of American poetry... 

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