Check it: Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Yusef Komunyakaa at Wes tonight!

Tonight, in our very own Memorial Chapel,  Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and The English Department 2011 Millett Writing Fellow Yusef Komunyakaa will give a reading.

Date: Wednesday, April 13th
Time: 8 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel

Click to read his renowned poem, “My Father’s Love Letters”

My Father’s Love Letters by Yusef Komunyakaa

On Fridays he’d open a can of Jax
After coming home from the mill,
& ask me to write a letter to my mother
Who sent postcards of desert flowers
Taller than men. He would beg,
Promising to never beat her
Again. Somehow I was happy
She had gone, & sometimes wanted
To slip in a reminder, how Mary Lou
Williams’ “Polka Dots & Moonbeams”
Never made the swelling go down.
His carpenter’s apron always bulged
With old nails, a claw hammer
Looped at his side & extension cords
Coiled around his feet.
Words rolled from under the pressure
Of my ballpoint: Love,
Baby, Honey, Please.
We sat in the quiet brutality
Of voltage meters & pipe threaders,
Lost between sentences . . .
The gleam of a five-pound wedge
On the concrete floor
Pulled a sunset
Through the doorway of his toolshed.
I wondered if she laughed
& held them over a gas burner.
My father could only sign
His name, but he’d look at blueprints
& say how many bricks
Formed each wall. This man,
Who stole roses & hyacinth
For his yard, would stand there
With eyes closed & fists balled,
Laboring over a simple word, almost
Redeemed by what he tried to say.

1 comment for “Check it: Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Yusef Komunyakaa at Wes tonight!

  1. Johnny
    May 17, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Amazing! Love this post a lot.Enjoy read it a lot!
    God bless you. Amen.

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