Friday, December 30, 2011
Sonia Sanchez Poet Laureate of Philadelphia
The female EMCEE, Eve, once rapped ''Philly, Philly, that's where I am from." Eve was representing for the city that for decades has been the center of African American organic artistry. Michael Nutter, the mayor of the city of brotherly love, showed and bestowed some literary love for the mahogany muse of all muses, the incomparable Sonia Sanchez. How accomplished is Sonia Sanchez? Maya Angelou described Sonia Sanchez as "a lion in literature's forest. When she writes, she soars, and when she sleeps other creatures walk gingerly." Excuse me, I had to give two snaps for that metaphor. Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than eighteen poetry books, a poet professor, and the architect of the house of African American Studies. The voice, the prose, the words that walk on pages, the stunning libations spoken for African American ancestral poets, and the fierce dedication to under represented voices, is the first Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. Her poetry and spoken words are comparable with the chocolate city that produced some of the greatest songwriters and the Philadelphia sound. The poetry community in Philly is second to none. In Sonia Sanchez's recent poetic offering, Morning Haiku, the first Poet Laureate of Philadelphia blesses the reader in for Philadelphia Murals: Philadelphia roots/ lightening these walls with fireflies/flowers stretched in prayer on a cornerstone wall/brownskinned children dancing with butterflies/ these children's faces humiliate the stars/ Philadelphia painted with blue hallelujahs/ winter a warrior's face i hear our bones singing/in the alley a galaxy of dreams/common ground is we, forever breathing this earth/hands in the green light saluting peace/ even in the rain/ these murals pause with rainbows. Sonia Sanchez has painted Philadelphia with her muse meditations as only this lioness can and the mayor-he recognizes that her golden pen will write and recite his city beautiful.