Inspired by Imagination by Phyllis Wheatley. I wrote this for a class. It connect the struggles of people of color of the past to people of color today. I modeled it after Wheatley's poem in form. It's written in stanzas of heroic verse in iambic pentameter with some irregularties for discomfort.
"Her poetry is music in my eyes.
I can feel the emotions in her voice.
I can feel her and can identify.
Given the option, I’d still be me by choice.
Our opportunities are limited.
We wear iron bands.
Ours is authority. Hers? The Winter.
Imagination is strong on demand.
As we are afraid to walk in the night,
She fears all she can do is write.
All I see is human road-
block. to the advancement.
of. colored. people.
In her writing, I see identity.
As if she wrote this for me, for my ears.
I know my mental capabilities.
As does she, our only challenge is access.
Listen, she writes her rhymes in perfection.
The words flow off her paper to the sky
And I catch them. Visualize Augustan.
Her mind speaks volumes, and she makes me fly.
She tells me, “Use your head!” And then I said,
“Yes.” She tells me, “Free yourself with your hands.
Their ears may not function, that’s evident.
But you are perfect. Like my words. Now stand.
Stand up, tell me I was always correct
To write the way I do, though I am not.
Tell me that like his, my words are perfect.
Tell me poetry like that don’t save no spots.”
And so I said, “My sisters and brothers,
Free yourselves with perfect Augustan rhyme.
Let your words be known to all the others.
The Intellects’ incomparable rise.
You are more than just different shades of brown.
Do not let your personal Winters win.
Find time to leave them. Put all your fears down.
Make sure you are comfortable in your skin.”
Who she is don’t devalue content.
‘Cause she’s not white or free like you or me.
Her status don’t weaken her argument.
And if that’s allowed, her words may be free.
She may be enslaved, her words are not.
Though she is lesser, she proves she is great.
When she is free, and people like me stop
Getting shot for existing, our words take shape
As voices of young people reaching out
To communities with the same deal
We can believe our world is equal now
But by doing so, we avoid what’s real
Our voices are lost within the white noise
If we are not free, how can our minds be?
Our minds may travel, but stay stagnant in choice
If we cannot free ourselves, what is the point?
Anyone can write like you, Alex Pope.
Check this: anyone can think like you, too.
Anyone can examine rhymes through ‘scopes.
What you’re doing right here, this ain’t new.
If you used your head, like she said, you’d see.
My words have the ability to fly.
My words are power, they are my ID.
Helping me see more than the naked eye.
There is no more power in yours than mine.
You may rise up as an intellectual.
But I can still think, and I can still write.
And you cannot touch what’s in my mental.
And here, she continues to speak to me,
“Picture a world where you may walk freely
Own yourself. The ice has melted away.
Winter no longer hinders the soul.”
See our worlds may differ, you may not hear
My hands are my voice, perfect images.
And you thought you could feel what both hearts fear
And push down a hundred year lineage.
I write the way I do in spite of you.
I feel like my words are stronger that way.
I am the way I am in spite of you.
I feel like my mind is stronger that way.
Yet, I’ll write with irregularities.
My words, my mind, though they are powerful
Cannot melt the thick snow of Winter’s scenes.
Unlike my words, I am not perfect. I am not free."