Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday today!
* * * * *Happy (belated) New Year! I am jumping back into Poetry Friday today with a nod to SC’s Poet Laureate, Marjory Wentworth. If you haven’t already heard, this week during Governor Nikki Haley’s second inauguration, Ms. Wentworth was not allowed to read the poem she prepared for the occasion. A rep for Governor Haley cited “time constraints” as the reason. Since it is traditional for our Poet Laureate to write and present a poem for each gubernatorial inauguration, this has caused somewhat of an uproar here in South Carolina (and elsewhere).
Wentworth’s poem, “One River, One Boat,” is a beautiful and intelligent tribute to South Carolina’s unique and often tragic history. Acknowledging past mistakes doesn’t forgive them, but can help move us forward along the path toward healing and progress. But not allowing this voice to be heard pushes us backward a step, instead.
So please read Wentworth’s poem today. I am hoping that this omission will ultimately bring the poem to more readers than if it had been read at the inauguration—wouldn’t that be a happy irony? Wentworth has already been invited to read her poem at the SC NAACP chapter's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march this Monday, January 19th!
One River, One Boat by Marjory WentworthI know there’s something better down the road.
-- Elizabeth Alexander
Because our history is a knotwe try to unravel, while others
try to tighten it, we tire easily
and fray the cords that bind us.
The cord is a slow moving river,spiraling across the land
in a succession of S’s,
splintering near the sea.
To read the rest of Ms. Wentworth’s poem, click here. And to read more on this topic, check out these articles:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/01/15/why-was-south-carolinas-poet-laureate-denied-the-opportunity-to-read-at-nikki-haleys-inauguration/Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!