I don’t know John Ebersole very well, but he strikes me as an intelligent, highly-creative, intense kind of guy. On Tuesday, he posted on Facebook that he wanted original “political poems of the now.” You see, John’s the poetry editor of The Philadelphia Review of Books and for most of this week, he’s been accepting political poems on the spot and publishing them immediately on Philly Books and Culture, PRB’s blog. In three days, more than 100 people have submitted poems about the Baltimore riots, school shootings, race relations, gay rights, economic inequity, Nepal, and so much more.
Such times we live in. Such talent. These poems are so worth a few minutes of your time to read. I’m truly honored to have my words – about hearing Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak in Baltimore about justice during another april that seems a lifetime ago – among more than 100 passionate voices.
Here’s “Baltimore, April 2010” on the Philadelphia Review of Books blog, and also below. My thanks, John, for the opportunity and for providing this forum.
baltimore, april 2010
you have a noble profession
you have a calling, you have a vocation
archbishop tutu is saying these words to
and three thousand fundraisers
on this april night
we must inspire others to change the world and
we must be inspired to be the change in the world and
we are silent in our seats and
we are awestruck and rapt and
we feel the presence of god and
now he is paraphasing king
we must learn to live together as
brothers and sisters
or perish together forever.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in Baltimore, MD. April 2010.