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Kiarra Smith St. Louis / United States, Female, 31
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    • POET: Marilyn Nelson (7/13/2007 9:01:00 PM)

      I have occasionally been trying to get in contact with Marilyn Nelson just to tell her how much her books mean to me. I have only read three of her books which are for children. They are: 'A Wreath for Emmett Till' (I memorized that book) , 'Carver: A Life in Poems' and 'Fortune's Bones'. I know I have only lived on this earth 17 years and make rational decisions, but one thing I stand true on is the genius of Marilyn Nelson. The amount of research she does when writing and the illuminating power that radiates from each page gives me chills. Her books soar above many of today's children's books. They are so beyond well written, I would not be surprised if they become classics and part of the US reading curriculum. I love how Ms. Nelson preserves our Black heritage through prose and poetry and how she gives new twists to sonnet variations. This woman is my literary herione and that speaks for itself.

    • POEM: Churchgoing by Marilyn Nelson (7/13/2007 8:51:00 PM)

      This poem hit a place in my heart that no other poem about church has done before. I love the images that come such as playing children and members yawning. Ms. Nelson creatively transforms the piece and connects it with days of enslavement, where the church was much more than a place to pray to Blacks. The questioning of having to believe a religion (Christianity) forced upon us as a race, yet still maintaining the belief in one God through it all in the poem is simply beautiful. I connect this poem with myself because many times these thoughts have rushed through my head while in church and I have experienced this atmosphere. The use of Petrarchan rhyme scheme 'a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a-c-d-e-c-d-e' repeats Nelson's genius in her splendid figurative language and how adept she is in educating AND captivating the reader.

    • POEM: Churchgoing by Marilyn Nelson (7/7/2007 10:50:00 PM)

      In this poem, I felt how long the two had loved because the piece skims through all of the years the two spent together. There is a hopefulness in the line 'Oh love, where is tomorrow? ' which only leaves room for more happiness. Some people may come across this poem and see heartbreak, but I feel it is the opposite. Good job.

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