For this Poetry Friday in February, I wanted to compose a special poem in honor of Black History Month. I wrote a cento in the voice of Harriet Tubman. I used only the titles of books written by African American authors or books about the African American experience…with one exception—Come with Me, a book of poems that was written by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Cento for Harriet Tubman
by Elaine Magliaro
My Brown Angels,
Listen to The Distant Talking Drum.
Hear it Spin a Soft Black Song
Under the Quilt of Night.
I’m Only Passing Through,
Goin’ Someplace Special…
To The Other Side
Where there’s A Sweet Smell of Roses
And Freedom Like Sunlight.
I’ve Seen the Promised Land—
A place for All the Colors of the Race.
Now Is Your Time
To be Freedom Walkers.
Follow me on The Road North
To Liberty Street.
Come with Me
To The Other Side
Where we will Make a Joyful Sound.
We will Lift Every Voice and Sing…
Sing to the Sun.
Sing Free at Last!
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson
Brown Angels by Walter Dean Myers
The Distant Talking Drum by Isaac Olaleye
Spin a Soft Black Song by Nikki Giovanni
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
Only Passing Through by Anne Rockwell
Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia C. Mckissack
The Other Side by Angela Johnson
A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
Freedom Like Sunlight by J. Patrick Lewis
I’ve Seen the Promised Land by Walter Dean Myers
All the Colors of the Race by Arnold Adoff
Now Is Your Time! by Walter Dean Myers
Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
The Road North by Bettye Stroud
Liberty Street by Candice F. Ransom
Come with Me by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Make a Joyful Sound: Poems for Children by African-American Poets edited by Deborah Slier
Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
Sing to the Sun by Ashley Bryan
Free at Last! By Doreen Rappaport
At Blue Rose Girls, I have a list poem entitled Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska.
Kelly has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Big A, little a.