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Etheridge Knight

(1931 - 1991 / Mississippi)

Etheridge Knight
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Etheridge Knight was an African-American poet who became a notable poet in 1968 with his debut volume, Poems from Prison.

Biography

Etheridge Knight was born on April 19, 1931 in Corinth, Mississippi. He was one of seven children in a poor family, and only completed a ninth-grade education. Spending many of his adolescent years working in pool halls, bars, and juke joints, he mastered the art of "telling toasts". Toasts are long narrative poems coming from an oral tradition which are performed from memory and with spirit. This environment honed his poetic experience, however, it also introduced him to drugs. He became addicted to drugs at an early age. ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''convicts rest
    Like lizards on rocks.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Eastern guard tower (l. 2-3). . . Treasury of American Poetry, The. Nancy Sullivan, ed. (1978) Doubleday ...
  • ''Let all Black Poets die as trumpets,
    And be buried in the dust of marching feet.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide (l. 13-14). . . Introduction to Poetry, An. X. J. Kennedy, ed. (6th ...
  • ''Black Poets should live—not leap
    From steel bridges, like the white boys do.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide (l. 1-2). . . Introduction to Poetry, An. X. J. Kennedy, ed. (6th ed...
  • ''Hard Rock was "known not to take no shit
    From nobody," and he had the scars to prove it:''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane (l. 1-2). . . Norton Introduction t...
  • ''The WORD was that Hard Rock wasn't a mean nigger
    Anymore, that the doctors had bored a hole in his head,
    Cut out part of his brain, and shot electricity
    Through the rest.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane (l. 7-10). . . Norton Introduction ...
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Comments about Etheridge Knight

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  • Paul Ganz (5/4/2014 5:42:00 AM)

    I can feel the rhythm of the deep South and the banjo blues of the wonderful lyrics.

  • Palas Kumar Ray (5/3/2014 11:59:00 AM)

    I am happy to come across your works dear poet.Your words comes out straight from the life you lived. My sincere tribute to you.

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