Etheridge Knight

(1931 - 1991 / Mississippi)

Quotations

  • ''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 & Company.
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  • ''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 ed., 1986) Little, Brown & Company.
  • ''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., 1986) Little, Brown & Company.
  • ''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 to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''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 to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''He sees through stone
    he has the secret
    eyes this old black one''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. He Sees through Stone (l. 1-3). . . Made Thing, The; an Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry. Leon Stokesbury, ed. (1987) The University of Arkansas Press.
  • ''Each Fall the graves of my grandfathers call me, the brown
    hills and red gullies of mississippi send out their electric
    messages, galvanizing my genes.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. The Idea of Ancestry (l. 22-24). . . Norton Introduction to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''This yr there is a gray stone wall damming my stream, and when
    the falling leaves stir my genes, I pace my cell or flop on my bunk
    and stare at 47 black faces across the space. I am all of them,
    they are all of me, I am me, they are thee, and I have no sons
    to float in the space between.''
    Etheridge Knight (1933-1991), U.S. poet. The Idea of Ancestry (l. 35-39). . . Norton Introduction to Poetry, The. J. Paul Hunter, ed. (3d ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.

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He Sees Through Stone

He sees through stone
he has the secret
eyes this old black one
who under prison skies
sits pressed by the sun
against the western wall
his pipe between purple gums

the years fall

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