[On April 4, 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. For April 4, 2019, I choose to read/reprint this poem, by the widely acclaimed, politically engaged poet, June Jordan (1936-2002). The Poetry Foundation web site biographical page for June Jordan quotes an interview with the poet:
In an interview with Alternative Radio before her death, Jordan was asked about the role of the poet in society. Jordan replied: “The role of the poet, beginning with my own childhood experience, is to deserve the trust of people who know that what you do is work with words.” She continued: “Always to be as honest as possible and to be as careful about the trust invested in you as you possibly can. Then the task of a poet of color, a black poet, as a people hated and despised, is to rally the spirit of your folks…I have to get myself together and figure out an angle, a perspective, that is an offering, that other folks can use to pick themselves up, to rally and to continue or, even better, to jump higher, to reach more extensively in solidarity with even more varieties of people to accomplish something. I feel that it’s a spirit task.”
Martin Luther King’s enduring gift to his political descendants is his “work with words.” LR]
In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr.
deform the normal rainy