“This is Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong,” the voice resounds, “talking to all the kids from all over the world at Christmastime.” With that, the trumpeter and singer tucks into a lyrical, buoyant reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” He hews to the words but makes them his own in a voice that glitters with joy. When the 69-year-old describes Santa’s “little round belly /that shook when he laughed like a bowl of jelly,” he breaks into a wheezy giggle that sounds like a truck rumbling to life at a green light.
Tag Archives: Poetry
The Multiple Truths in the Works of the Enslaved Poet Phillis Wheatley
I do not remember how old I was when my grandmother showed me Phillis Wheatley’s poetry. Ten, maybe 11? Young enough that my hands were open to everything she put in them—a crochet needle and thick hot pink yarn, a sewing needle, a gingham apron. Young enough that I obeyed, old enough to roll my eyes in secret when I didn’t want to listen. Continue reading The Multiple Truths in the Works of the Enslaved Poet Phillis Wheatley
In His Speeches, MLK Carefully Evoked the Poetry of Langston Hughes
For years, Martin Luther King Jr. and poet Langston Hughes maintained a friendship, exchanging letters and favors and even traveling to Nigeria together in 1960. Continue reading In His Speeches, MLK Carefully Evoked the Poetry of Langston Hughes