Tuesday, April 23, 2019
A to Z: Letters to Dead Writers: Sojourner Truth
This month I'm writing one post for each letter of the alphabet, all on the theme of "Letters to Dead Writers." You can see my theme reveal post here and learn more about the blogging challenge here.
Today's writer is Sojourner Truth
For the longest time, I thought poetry was supposed to be decorous and calm.
The classic poems I'd been shown in school as a child were probably selected for their inoffensiveness above any other criteria. Not to put down Mr. Wordsworth, but "I wandered lonely as a cloud" is definitely on the sweeter side of things.
But then, I found you. I wish I could remember the context more fully. But I do remember that I heard your famous spoken word piece "Ain't I a Woman?" performed by someone costumed as you. It must have been at some kind of history event.
It blew me away.
It was raucous. Loud. Funny. Angry. Sarcastic. Definitely not decorous.
Completely new to me. I was enthralled.
Since then, I've become a fan of good spoken word poetry. There is something special about poetry that is performed (not read) by its creator, where the voice and rhythm, appearance and movement, and words all combine to create the experience. I wish I could have heard you speak.
Reading about you later in my life, I was amazed by all you had overcome and how tirelessly you worked for social reform. Truly you were a woman. I'd love to become half the woman you were.