One of the very special privileges that I had while taking classes at Hunter College (1999-2001) was to attend a poetry reading by June Jordan (1936-2002) -- a reading that introduced me to the power of her fearless voice and the importance of her words.
Jordan often uses repetition and the precision of numbers to build strength in her poems; here is a sample -- the opening lines of "The Bombing of Baghdad":
THE BOMBING OF BAGHDAD
began and did not terminate for 42 days
and 42 nights relentless minute after minute
more than 110,000 times
ae bombed Iraq we bombed Baghdad
we bombed Basra/we bombed military
installations we bombed the National Museum
we bombed schools we bombed air raid
shelters we bombed water we bombed
electricity we bombed hospitals we
bombed streets we bombed highways
we bombed everything that moved/we
bombed everything that did no move we
a city of 5.5 million human beings . . .
The complete poem may be found here at poets.org.
At this link are numerous recordings of Jordan reading her poems. Here is a link to an article by Hunter College professor Donna Masini, "Writing and Teaching in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from June Jordan" -- and here is a link to previous mentions of Jordan and her work in this blog.
Post a Comment