Before we get started, be sure to visit Jane at Raincity Librarian to read the next line of this year's Progressive Poem!
Today I'm continuing my Harlem Renaissance poetry project with Aaron Douglas who was often called the “official artist of the Harlem Renaissance," or the “Father of Black American Art.”
Aaron Douglas illustrated many books during the 1920's, and I learned in the book HARLEM STOMP! by Laban Carrick Hill that his work came to embody all that the Harlem Renaissance stood for – the culturally rich aspects of African-American life and heritage. So for the first week of this project, I will be writing after his work.
"This Poem is A Dream" after Aspiration by Aaron Douglas
Today's piece is called Building More Stately Mansions. You can read more about the painting here. I knew right away I wanted to write something about/for builders, so I started looking for other builder poems. Here's what I found:
"The Builders" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Bridge Builder" by Will Allen Dromgoole
"They, the Builders of the Nation" sung by the Mormon Tabernacle
|stone picnic table at Palisades Park -|
someone had to build it!
And here is where I landed:
For the Builders
- after "Building More Stately Mansions" by Aaron Douglas
For your arched back,
your sandpaper mouth
and battered feet.
For every stone
For years, for hours –
we thank you.
For again and again.
For forging beauty,
For your relentless
- Irene Latham