Etheridge Knight

(1931 - 1991 / Mississippi)

Etheridge Knight
Do you like this poet?
104 person liked.
20 person did not like.

Etheridge Knight was an African-American poet who became a notable poet in 1968 with his debut volume, Poems from Prison.


Etheridge Knight was born on April 19, 1931 in Corinth, Mississippi. He was one of seven children in a poor family, and only completed a ninth-grade education. Spending many of his adolescent years working in pool halls, bars, and juke joints, he mastered the art of "telling toasts". Toasts are long narrative poems coming from an oral tradition which are performed from memory and with spirit. This environment honed his poetic experience, however, it also introduced him to drugs. He became addicted to drugs at an early age. ... more »

Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.

Comments about Etheridge Knight

more comments »
  • long boi(2/26/2018 8:41:00 AM)


    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Paul Ganz(5/4/2014 5:42:00 AM)

    I can feel the rhythm of the deep South and the banjo blues of the wonderful lyrics.

    5 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »
Best Poem of Etheridge Knight

A Poem For Myself

I was born in Mississippi;
I walked barefooted thru the mud.
Born black in Mississippi,
Walked barefooted thru the mud.
But, when I reached the age of twelve
I left that place for good.
My daddy chopped cotton
And he drank his liquor straight.
Said my daddy chopped cotton
And he drank his liquor straight.
When I left that Sunday morning
He was leaning on the barnyard gate.
Left my mama standing
With the sun shining in her eyes.
Left her standing in the yard
With the sun shining in her eyes.
And I headed North
As straight as the Wild Goose ...

Read the full of A Poem For Myself Updates

[Report Error]