Poet's Pick April 24
Angelina Weld Grimké: "El Beso"
Selected by Randall Horton
National Poetry Month 2018

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Randall Horton's Poetry Month Pick, April 24, 2018

"El Beso"
by Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958)

Twilight—and you
Quiet—the stars;
Snare of the shine of your teeth,
Your provocative laughter,
The gloom of your hair;
Lure of you, eye and lip;
Yearning, yearning,
Languor, surrender;
Your mouth,
And madness, madness,
Tremulous, breathless, flaming,
The space of a sigh;
Then awakening—remembrance,
Pain, regret—your sobbing;
And again, quiet—the stars,
Twilight—and you.


* Randall Horton Comments:
Angelina Weld Grimké is an often overlooked writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Her poem El Beso which predates the Harlem Renaissance, displays exquisite command of structure and line integrity as the poem escorts the reader through a range of emotions in verse ahead of its time. Grimké abandons rhyme and depends on the surprise and play of language for a structure that gives the reader not only a poem, but an experience.

About Randall Horton:
Randall Horton is the author of three collections of poetry and Hook: A Memoir (Augury Books, 2015). He is associate professor of English at the University of New Haven.

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