Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Poem of the Month: A Tribute to Barack Obama

I have been watching the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States today. I have never watched one before. Beyond the pomp and circumstance I feel such a wonderful energy emanating from Barack and Michelle Obama. What a glorious vibe they project, one of a solid and abiding love. Not only is their love for each other a joy to behold, but also their love for their children. There is just an openness of emotion from them, that I have rarely witnessed before in a politician and his family. I congratulate the American people and in honour of this day, such a monumental one in terms of civil rights in the U.S. I would like to share this poem by
Alice Walker.
Alice Walker is a feminist writer who is probably most famous for her novel The Color Purple. She endorsed Barack Obama and is active in the fight for equality in the U.S and around the world. This poem was written in the height of the Civil Rights movement when she was in love with her future husband Mel Leventhal a Jewish civil rights lawyer. This poem captures a moment for interracial couples, and for the movement itself. I am glad that this is changing in the world, and I feel that Obama's presidency is a catalyst for more change on this planet. As a last note before the poem, I want to say that I will not watch another inauguration until a woman stands before the people to take her oath. I believe it will happen in my life time and I will be very proud when it does.

While Love is Unfashionable
by Alice Walker

While love is unfashionable
let us live
Seeing the world
a complex ball
in small hands.
Love our blackest garment.
Let us be poor
in all but truth and courage
handed down
by the old

Let us be intimate with
ancestral ghosts
and music
of the undead.

While love is dangerous
let us walk bareheaded
beside the Great River.
Let us gather blossoms
under fire.

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