Etheridge Knight was an African-American poet who became a notable poet in 1968 with his debut volume, Poems from Prison.
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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Quotationsmore quotations »
''convicts restEtheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Eastern guard tower (l. 2-3). . . Treasury of American Poetry, The. Nancy Sullivan, ed. (1978) Doubleday ...
Like lizards on rocks.''
''Let all Black Poets die as trumpets,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 ...
And be buried in the dust of marching feet.''
''Black Poets should livenot leapEtheridge 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...
From steel bridges, like the white boys do.''
''Hard Rock was "known not to take no shitEtheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane (l. 1-2). . . Norton Introduction t...
From nobody," and he had the scars to prove it:''
''The WORD was that Hard Rock wasn't a mean niggerEtheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane (l. 7-10). . . Norton Introduction ...
Anymore, that the doctors had bored a hole in his head,
Cut out part of his brain, and shot electricity
Through the rest.''
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