Today, April 4th marks the day we remember the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It inspired many to write about this freedom fighter. There is still a need to change things in this world we live in. Respect isn’t free for everyone to enjoy. Therefore it’s a good moment to remember Martin Luther King Jr.
This article isn’t just limited to poems about King. No, this is all about freedom, respect and equality. This is all because King was all about this. According to him, things were in need of change. Some things did change over the years. Not just in the United States of America. All over the world, people felt the power of freedom. However, there is a downside. Freedom isn’t a great good to enjoy for everyone. Therefore it’s so important to remember King and his legacy. As for the poems: we hope they will inspire you!
To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me—
That is my dream!
To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.
— Langston Hughes
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
— Maya Angelou
Bury me in a free land
Make me a grave where’er you will,
In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;
Make it among earth’s humblest graves,
But not in a land where men are slaves.
I could not rest if around my grave
I heard the steps of a trembling slave;
His shadow above my silent tomb
Would make it a place of fearful gloom.
I could not rest if I heard the tread
Of a coffle gang to the shambles led,
And the mother’s shriek of wild despair
Rise like a curse on the trembling air.
I could not sleep if I saw the lash
Drinking her blood at each fearful gash,
And I saw her babes torn from her breast,
Like trembling doves from their parent nest.
I’d shudder and start if I heard the bay
Of bloodhounds seizing their human prey,
And I heard the captive plead in vain
As they bound afresh his galling chain.
If I saw young girls from their mother’s arms
Bartered and sold for their youthful charms,
My eye would flash with a mournful flame,
My death-paled cheek grow red with shame.
I would sleep, dear friends, where bloated might
Can rob no man of his dearest right;
My rest shall be calm in any grave
Where none can call his brother a slave.
I ask no monument, proud and high,
To arrest the gaze of the passers-by;
All that my yearning spirit craves,
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.
— Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Interested to read more free words, the check out this link.
Remember the poem we published a few days ago? The one encouraging you to write for us? We could have done the same on this day. Write a poem about civil rights, emancipation, freedom or Martin Luther King Jr. We didn’t. One of our editors did. Check out his poem “King.” This poem is written in his native language (Dutch). The last part of this poem is written in English.
There was this King!
There was this land
There was this thing
There was nothing to understand
There was this silencing
And there was this King, Martin Luther King!
There is this dream
There is this aspiration
There is this scheme
There is this admiration
And there is this King
There is this remembrance
There is this understanding
There is this acceptance
There is this commanding
And there is this legacy of this King
There is this power
There are these words
There is this tower
and one day, it will fall downwards
The legacy of power
The legacy of this King
Not just one thing:
Freedom, equality and respect
Words that connect
This was Martin Luther King
There was no greater monarch
who left this beautiful mark
Words not only so inspiring
They were amazing
Silenced by one shot
Yet, his legacy we did not forget
Words are stronger than a gunshot
They won’t be stopped, there is no reset
There is only the regret
Of a world that should change
A world we need to rearrange
Rights are civil
and violence is never admirable
It’s never an answer.