Ota Benga at Edenkraal (Friday Night Poetry Corner #118)

Yusef Komunyakaa
Yusef Komunyakaa


Good evening everyone!  Welcome to another edition of Friday Night Poetry Corner.  In honoring of Black History Month I will be featuring African-American and people of African descent poems.  I really hope everyone enjoy this collection of great poems.  Thanks again for following the corner so many years :-).  It is greatly appreciated!


Now, the first poet feature is Yusef Komunyakaa.  Here is a brief description of this gentleman..


Poet Yusef Komunyakaa first received wide recognition following the 1984 publication of Copacetic, a collection of poems built from colloquial speech which demonstrated his incorporation of jazz influences.


Alright, alright, I can’t take the wait.  It is time to read some good poetry.  Also click on the link at the end of the poem to see more of his works.  He also have spoken word joints that you can listen to at your leisure.  Now, here we…



Ota Benga at Edenkraal

Maybe it was hog-killing time
when he arrived in Lynchburg,
Virginia, several lifetimes behind him,

the old smell of the monkey house
at the New York Zoological Gardens
receding, a broken memory left.

Not sure of the paths & turns
taken, woozy in a swarm of hues,
he stood in Anne Spencer’s garden

surrounding the clapboard house,
but when she spoke he came back
to himself. The poet had juba

in her voice, & never called him
Artiba, Bengal, Autobank, or
Otto Bingo. Her beds of tiger

lilies, sweet peas, & snapdragons
disarmed him. Her fine drawl



More of his work, visit page..

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