Thoughtful Thursday

/Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursday: Poems on Poems and a Bonus Poem

For today's Thoughtful Thursday (yes, we KNOW it's Friday, but in Covid-19 world the days are all running together) we continue to celebrate Poetry Month with a couple of poems about poetry. So meta, right? We start with Elizabeth Alexander's (b.1962) "Ars Poetica #100", in which she encourages her students (who are all of us) to find our poetic [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Teach Your Children Poetry

Since you are primarily in charge of teaching your children these days, why not teach them some poetry?  April is Poetry Month, after all.  In today's Thoughtful Thursday we will look at three poems by African American poets (all women, in fact), which you and your children can enjoy learning about and discussing. If you need some motivation to [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Marilyn Nelson

Today's Thoughtful Thursday features the poems of Marilyn Nelson, whose work we first featured in December 2019 . Marilyn Nelson was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised on several military bases, as her father was in the Air Force. Dr. Nelson, who began writing poetry in elementary school, earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, a masters  [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: A Tribute to David Driskell & Ellis Marsalis

              Yesterday brought news that rocked the world of art and culture.  Two African American giants, one of art and one of music, are gone, fallen to COVID-19:  artist, art historian and curator Dr. David Driskell, and jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis.  In today's Thoughtful Thursday we pay tribute to these great men. Dr. [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Solitude and Solidarity

It's Thoughtful Thursday, and boy could we use some poetry to distract us right about now.  Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, asked its membership to suggest poetry to help us cope and give us courage.  Four of the many poems suggested are featured below. "Alone", by our beloved Maya Angelou (1928-2014), reminds us that we [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Some Poetry Fun for the Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls You Know & Love

How is all this family togetherness working out for ya? It's Thoughtful Thursday, and we figured you and your children might need some comic relief. Here are a few wonderfully wicked poems by Shel Silverstein (who authored The Giving Tree). They were included in Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls, a book of poems about ill-mannered boys and girls, compiled [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Hope and Resilience

Today's Thoughtful Thursday brings poetry of hope, strength, and a mother's love. It's (still) National Women's Month, and these three powerful women poets give us some much needed optimism, inspiration, and mothering "realness" to help us cope in these bewildering times. Poet, teacher, saxophonist and vocalist Joy Harjo (b.1951), a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, offers a hopeful [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Celebrating Toni Morrison & June Jordan

March is Woman's History Month, and in celebration today's Thoughtful Thursday features two powerful poems by two artistic powerhouses: Toni Morrison and June Jordan. Toni Morrison (1931–2019), while best known for her critically acclaimed and prize winning novels, wrote one volume of poetry, Five Poems (Rainmaker Editions, 2002), which features poems alongside illustrations by Kara Walker. The first of these poems, [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Kevin Young

Today's Thoughtful Thursday is dedicated to the award winning poet Kevin Young (b.1970). Kevin, whose work has been featured in many Thoughtful Thursdays, is the poetry editor of the New Yorker and the director of New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Prior to that he was the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and [...]

Thoughtful Thursday: Wise Women Talking

In today's Thoughtful Thursday we will hear from two wise women poets: Anne Spencer and Audre Lorde. Anne Spencer(1882-1975) was a Harlem Renaissance poet and civil rights activist. Though she lived in Lynchburg Virginia her whole life, she maintained close friendships with many Harlem Renaissance writers, including James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B. Du Bois, and her home [...]