Greetings everyone! Queen here. I’m sitting here, smiling, thankful for the coming of Spring in my part of the world. Usually, I participate in the 30 Days of Poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month.
This year, however, I will pass. Not because I no longer want to do it, but because I’m daring to celebrate and connect in a different manner, to give you a closer look at me through my inspirations.
So, what ingredients make up the poetic part of Queen of Spades?
Part Advocate and Revolutionary
I get inspiration from a lot of different places. It could be a melody I hear on the radio, on YouTube, or iHeartRadio. It could be a beat that refuses to vacate my mind. It could be a classic that calls for a certain spin or twist.
One huge example of this is one of the poems in Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations entitled “Love Song to America”. The chorus part of this piece was derived from the chorus of “America the Beautiful”.
Another poem created via music is the poem “Broken” from the Eclectic collection. The beginning was inspired by “My Love”, a song by one of my favorite artists Jill Scott.
There are many things in the world that I feel are unjust, and it didn’t seem right to write about life without writing about the blatant wrongs.
Nikki Giovanni’s earlier works, particularly Black Feeling, Black talk, Black Judgement, touched my spirit is such a profound way. A lot of the writings in Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations not only talk about my personal philosophy, but the poetry provided after my statements serve to reflect on things that are part of reality, not just mine’s but other people’s. The collection is meant to be a magnifying glass, controversy, a call of not only awareness but of action.
“Sometimes it’s better to get told than taught.”
There is so much to be gained just by sitting down and listening. I’m not discounting anything that I was taught in the classroom. I am so very thankful for having great teachers who were invested in my educational growth and ensuring I had opportunities.
Yet the lessons I hold the closest are happenings in every day life. Times when my grandpa would reflect on a hard day’s work on the lawn and garden. My grandma and I having talks on the porch, about how people were so much different back in her day. The cadence of her storytelling, I honestly feel, were passed on to me. I’m a firm believer in the beauty of connecting on the most basic level. It makes the reading of something compelling and a reader feeling as if you stepped inside his or her home for an extended stay.
Alice Walker, her novels but also her poetry, makes me feel like I have a VIP pass into all the scenes she conveys with her words. One of my favorite poetry collections by her is Good Night, Willie Lee, I’ll See You in the Morning.
There is a bravery when you not only survive experiences but share them with others, in the hopes that someone else’s life is enriched through your pain, through your lessons. Maya Angelou’s autobiographical prowess personifies her role as an educator through her own testimonies. Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie is one of my top poetry book picks.
If I am on this earth for a few years or close to ninety years, I hope that my words in poetry as well as narrative touches lives and provides a feeling that will last, long after I’ve taken my last breath.