IN PRAISE OF ARTISTS~GOD’S TREASURE
The Lord says, “You are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you.”
–Isaiah 43:4 (NRSV)
Artistic Expression is a live and well in Buffalo, New York. I am extremely honored to introduce to you several young prolific poets, a compassionate educator , a furniture designer and an outstanding artist. They currently reside in Western New York: James J. Cooper III “Coopconcepts”, Ashley Rita Graves, Ms. Quinn Lee “Q”, “Pen Pimpen” Rodney Barnes, “Miss Jennifer” Booker, Lander Gilyard, Omar Abdul Carter, Martha Burt, Marvin Askew “Phranciz”, “DB Hands” and others I didn’t intentionally mean to forget. Several of the poets and the poetry lovers gather weekly at the EM Tea Coffee Cup Café located in the Hamlin Park District of Buffalo, NY. This café is also known as the Poetry Place on Tuesday evenings hosted by James J. Cooper III. It’s an electric atmosphere ripe with inspiration for the creative heart.
As you now know when I am introduced to such awesome people literally my heart leaps with joy and I have to share. I marvel at their creativity and how they capture our essence and God’s greatness through their artistic expressions. They have a voice whether it be through their prose, their paint brushes or in their ability to teach and reach others. These beautiful minds know they’ve been gifted and pursue their passions with abandonment! They are wise to seek out others that are as passionate as they hone their gifts, share the wealth and encourage each other to stretch forth and believe! That’s what these Buffalo artists demonstrate to me.
Yesterday my heart/the Holy Spirit lead me to contemplate and ask myself a question. What is it that we love about poets and those in the fine arts arena? I think it’s many things, particularly their insight, the complexity and beauty of life-it’s their quest, it’s the rhythm of their hearts and the divine that dwells in them. These folks are blessed and generally not afraid to venture out, explore new vistas.
I goggled my question and wouldn’t you know it! Well, the remarkable Gwendolyn Brooks’poetry is what my search revealed. I believe this excerpt conveys what I consider is a gift from God. Here read and enjoy:
`To Gwen with Love’ –
Great Poet Captured Soul of Black America
WE were children together in the struggle and storm that created a new America and a new us. She published her first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, in 1945, in the same year and at almost the same time that EBONY was born. From that moment, in the turning point of worlds that was mid-20th-century America, we sang her praises and followed her light. When she became the first African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize, we said she was the harbinger of a new poem and a new Black America. When she mothered and mentored a new generation of poets, when she sang in a new Black voice from a new mountaintop, winning White House honors and the praise of the critics, when she made poetry talk about Birmingham and Montgomery and Johannesburg and the last days of De Witt Williams, we marveled and printed her works. And when, in December, Gwendolyn Brooks, the Poet Laureate of the Black Spirit, died in her 83rd year, after six generations of Gwendolyning, we joined the mighty chorus of Black men and women–African kings and queens, slaves, sharecroppers, rappers, rhymers, praise singers and troth-tellers, Langston Hughes, Martin, Malcolm, Rosa Parks, Henry Blakely, Harold Washington–who echoed the mighty words of her pen: We are each other’s business. We are each other’s harvest. We are each other’s magnitude and bond.
IN MONTGOMERY WABX, the Soul station. “Come ON, stag the SONG this mawnin’!” The Soul Stirrers sing the song. –WABX is-bemoaning Astronaut-talk of a Government Visitor to Alabama State University …. which had NUTHIN’, but NUTHIN’ to do with black folks….” “O Happy Day! (when Jesus washed, oh when He washed…. my sins away!)” “The Old Ship of Zion!” WABX is pleading: “Try to feed somebody who’s, HUNGRY. Try to clothe somebody who’s NAKED. Try to visit somebody who’s SICK or in PRISON. Won’t cha?” The Soul Stirrers sing. Martin Luther King is not free. Nor is Montgomery
BLACK LOVE Black love, provide the adequate electric For what is lapsed and lenient in us now. Rouse us from blur. Call us. Call adequately the postponed corner brother. And call our man in the pin-stripe suiting and restore him to His abler logic; to his people. Call to the shattered sister and repair her in her difficult hour, narrow her fever. Call to the Elders our customary grace and further sun loved in the Long-ago, loathed in the Lately: a luxury of languish and of rust. Appraise, assess our Workers in the Wild, test they descend to malformation and to undertow. Black love, define and escort our romantic young, by means and redemption, discipline. Nourish our children–proud, strong little men upright-easy: quick flexed little stern-warm historywomen…. I see them in Ghana, Kenya, in the city of Dar-es-Salaam, in Kalamazoo, Mound Bayou, in Chicago. Lovely loving children with long soft eyes. Black love, prepare us all for interruption; assaults, unwanted pauses; furnish for leavings and for losses. Just come out Blackly glowing! On the ledges–in the lattices: against the failing light of candles that stutter, and in the chop and challenge of our apprehension– be the Alwayswonderful of this world.
AN ARRIVAL A tribute to Ourselves. And to the will the precise will, the full will that manages Arrivals through the fire; that manages revisions of the wave. Beyond the genuine crucifixions, and the sleep, the steep flint, the high howl of the hurricane, the wide ice, across our self-recovery and redress– we look at one another. And we love.
CHICAGO, THE I WILL CITY
Now, the way of the I Will city is on this wise: ripe roused ready: richly rambunctious, implausible: sudden, or saddle-steady. In the jamboree jounce and jumble of our Season of Senselessness the I Will city is ready to rise. Toward robust radiance. Valid! Away from hunger, anger, and from dread. Toward health and difficult Splendor. Toward immense creative indignation and defense. Toward, verily, the level land beneath the solid tread.
SPEECH TO THE YOUNG SPEECH TO THE PROGRESS-TOWARD
(Among them Nora and Henry III) Say to them, say to the down-keepers, the sun-slappers, the self-soilers, the harmony-hushers, “Even if you are not ready for day it cannot always be night.” You will be right. For that is the hard home-run. Live not for battles won. Live not for the-end-of-the-song. Live in the along.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Johnson Publishing Co.COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group
Yes ,we are all God’s treasure, but today in praise of all artist I’d like to encourage you to:
keep living and surely creating
and please, keep inspiring us all as you keep the faith!
Let Gwendolyn Brooks be your guide and never forgotten as a treasure among us.
Joyfully Submitted by:
Linda Mose Meadows, author
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lesson’s and God’s Promises
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