[Women’s History Month\Poet Sonia Sanchez]
Sanchez: “And in my head, i see my history, standing like a shy child, and i chant lullabies, as i ride my past on horseback, tasting
the thirst of yesterday tribes, hearing the ancient/black/woman, me…”
[Women’s History Month]
Sonia Sanchez (September 9, 1934) is an American poet, writer, and professor who was also a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement.
In honor of Women’s History Month, all month the Black Star News will be featuring speeches, interviews, poetry, etc. from important Black female figures who fought for Black liberation and who represent the Black experience with honor.
The following is Sanchez’s poem “Present.”
This woman vomiting her
hunger over the world
this melancholy woman forgotten
before memory came
this yellow movement bursting forth like
coltrane’s melodies all mouth
buttocks moving like palm tress,
raining rhythm to blue/black/smiles
this yellow woman carrying beneath her breasts
pleasures without tongues
this woman whose body waves
this woman wet with wandering,
reviving the beauty of forests and winds
is telling you secrets
gather up your odors and listen
as she sings the mold from memory.
there is no place
for a soft / black / woman.
there is no smile green enough or
summertime words warm enough to allow my growth.
and in my head
i see my history
standing like a shy child
and i chant lullabies
as i ride my past on horseback
tasting the thirst of yesterday tribes
hearing the ancient/black/woman
me, singing hay-hay-hay-hay-ya-ya-ya.
like a slow scent
beneath the sun
and i dance my
creation and my grandmothers gathering
from my bones like great wooden birds
spread their wings
while their long/legged/laughter
stretched the night.
and i taste the
seasons of my birth. mangoes. papayas.
drink my woman/coconut/milks
stalk the ancient grandfathers
sipping on proud afternoons
walk like a song round my waist
tremble like a new/born/child troubles
with new breaths
and my singing
becomes the only sound of a
womb ripe. walking. loud with mornings. walking.
making pilgrimage to herself. walking.