An Artist’s Life

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics:  Black History Month  (posted by Anmol)
“As many of you must know, February is commemorated as Black History Month. So, today, we will be celebrating some amazing African American poets, in particular, and seeking inspiration from them.

I am prompting you all to write a verse, short or long, free verse or form, taking inspiration from these poets and their poems. You can pick a line or a theme and find your own voice, or you can elaborate and expand on the issues addressed in these powerfully evocative verses.”

                                             BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Freedom will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want my freedom
Just as you.

He takes the cheapest
rooms to let, long as light
breaks through. Brushes,
oil paints, canvas,
and other tools are essential
to his art. Laboring at any
job to afford his true work–
creating art. Years of
perfecting his use of color
and illumination, leaves
him destitute. After death,
his paintings sell for amounts
of money he never could

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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6 Responses to An Artist’s Life

  1. lynn__ says:

    Van Gogh? Often those with mental illness are stigmatized by society too.


  2. So many artists never see the wealth their art will bring after they die..


  3. It’s a pity how we treat the artists while celebrating and generating capital out of their art.
    I like how you have caricatured the life of an artist in a compact and empathetic form.


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