DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 14 2008

Gwendolyn Brooks Strikes Straight

by Jimmy L

Gwendolyn Brooks is one of my favorite poets.  Growing up in Chicago, Brooks took her inspiration from the local community and published her first collection of poems, A Street in Bronzeville, when she was only 28.  Her second collection of poetry, Annie Allen, won her the Pulitzer Prize, the very first one given to an African-American.  She was the Poet Laureate of Illinois and she used her position to promote poetry and help the younger generation.  She often visited hospitals, prisons and drug rehabilitation centers.

Here’s a poem of hers for you to enjoy this Valentine’s Day:

One Wants A Teller In A Time Like This

One wants a teller in a time like this

One’s not a man, one’s not a woman grown
To bear enormous business all alone.

One cannot walk this winding street with pride
Straight-shouldered, tranquil-eyed,
Knowing one knows for sure the way back home.
One wonders if one has a home.

One is not certain if or why or how.
One wants a Teller now:

Put on your rubbers and you won’t catch a cold
Here’s hell, there’s heaven.  Go to Sunday School
Be patient, time brings all good things–(and cool
Strong balm to calm the burning at the brain?)
Love’s true, and triumphs; and God’s actual.

And here are some of her books that the library owns:

Bronzeville boys and girls / with pictures by Ronni Solbert.

To disembark

In Montgomery, and other poems

Conversations with Gwendolyn Brooks / edited by Gloria Wade Gayles

Report from part one (Biography)

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