January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968
Celebrating A Birth: Remembering A Life
As it is written,
Direct link to the poem commemorating
"They said to one another, 'Behold, here cometh the dreamer Let us slay him, And we shall see
what will become of his dreams" --Genesis 37: 19-20 ...Inscription on the plaque
at Lorraine Hotel, Memphis, TN, site of King's assassination. (The plaque is pictured above.)
Dr. King's Alma Mater, Morehouse University of Atlanta, GA,
Inherits Civil Rights Leader's Papers Collection
Click this link for story now.
Do you know how Martin Luther King, Jr., is related to
the Fair Housing Act of 1968?
"Coretta Scott King: Quiet Strength"
(April 27, 1927-January 31, 2006)
More work by the author of the poem "Remembering A Life"
can be found by visiting
The song playing on this page is "Let the River Run" by Carly Simon.
Coincidentally, Carly used to be married to James Taylor whose song
"Shed a Little Light" plays second. The third and
final song is "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield.
This page was updated January 9, 2012
Thank you for your visit.
|When Lilacs Last in the
Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman Leaves of Grass. 1900.
O western orb, sailing the heaven!
Now I know what you must have meant, as a month since we walk’d,
As we walk’d up and down in the dark blue so mystic,
As we walkd in silence the transparent shadowy night,
As I saw you had something to tell, as you bent to me night after night,
As you droop’d from the sky low down, as if to my side, (while the other stars all look’d on;)
As we wander’d together the solemn night, (for something, I know not what, kept me from sleep;)
As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west, ere you went, how full you were of woe;
As I stood on the rising ground in the breeze, in the cold transparent night,
As I watch’d where you pass’d and was lost in the netherward black of the night,
As my soul, in its trouble, dissatisfied, sank, as where you, sad orb,
Concluded, dropt in the night, and was gone.
Sing on, there in the swamp!
O singer bashful and tender! I hear your notes—I hear your call;
I hear—I come presently—I understand you;
But a moment I linger—for the lustrous star has detain’d me;
The star, my departing comrade, holds and detains me.
Lo! body and soul! this land!
Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships;
The varied and ample land—the South and the North in the light—Ohio’s shores, and flashing Missouri,
And ever the far-spreading prairies, cover’d with grass and corn.
Lo! the most excellent sun, so calm and haughty;
The violet and purple morn, with just-felt breezes;
The gentle, soft-born, measureless light;
The miracle, spreading, bathing all—the fulfill’d noon;
The coming eve, delicious—the welcome night, and the stars,
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.
Sing on! sing on, you gray-brown bird!
Sing from the swamps, the recesses—pour your chant from the bushes;
Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines.
Sing on, dearest brother—warble your reedy song;
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.
O liquid, and free, and tender!
O wild and loose to my soul! O wondrous singer!
You only I hear......yet the star holds me, (but will soon depart;)
Yet the lilac, with mastering odor, holds me.
Now while I sat in the day, and look’d forth,
In the close of the day, with its light, and the fields of spring, and the farmer preparing his crops,
In the large unconscious scenery of my land, with its lakes and forests,
In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds, and the storms;)
Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women,
The many-moving sea-tides,—and I saw the ships how they sail’d,
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor,
And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages;
And the streets, how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent—lo! then and there,
Falling upon them all, and among them all, enveloping me with the rest,
Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail;
And I knew Death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death.
Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
And I in the middle, as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions,
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night, that talks not,
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness,
To the solemn shadowy cedars, and ghostly pines so still.
And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me;
The gray-brown bird I know, receiv’d us comrades three;
And he sang what seem’d the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.
From deep secluded recesses,
From the fragrant cedars, and the ghostly pines so still,
Came the carol of the bird.
And the charm of the carol rapt me,
As I held, as if by their hands, my comrades in the night;
And the voice of my spirit tallied the song of the bird.
from Nordette Adams
Another Poem for Martin Luther King Day, Simple with Rhyme
"Coretta Scott King: Quiet Strength", a poem
MLK Weekend Podcast 2006
"The Bridge and the Monument: A Tale of Two Legacies" (an article)
"Celebrating the Drum Major for Justice and Peace"
By Nordette Adams
"Remembering A Life" Read at King Celebration
"Behind the Color Blind," a poem
"Hurricanes of Roosting Birds"
a poem for New Orleans after Katrina
A special thank you and blessing to commenters.
Recommended Reading for Black History Month:
"Harlem (Dream Deferred)" by Langston Hughes
"Downloading Dad: Searching for Black History"
"Black History Month: Living American History through My Family Tree"
"How Parents and Teachers Should Teach Children About Slavery"
"Association for the Study of African-American Life and History"
Remembering the Remarkable
Advocates for Justice and Equality: The Southern Poverty Law Center