Michael Walker

Gold Star - 49,981 Points (cv48488)

Bonjour. (Translation) . - Poem by Michael Walker

Bonjour, papa!
Je suis ne ici, a-t-il dit,
J'ai regarde grandir Harlem
jusqu'a la diffusion des gens de couleur
de fleuve en fleuve
a travers le mi-point de Manhattan
sortant de la Gare Penn
une dixieme noire d'une nation,
des avions de la Puerto Rico,
et des cales des bateaux, chico,
venus au nord du Cuba de Haiti de la Jamaique,
en autobus marques New York
de Georgia de Floride de Louisiane
a Harlem Brooklyn le Bronx.

- " Good Morning'. Langston Hughes (1902-1967) .
-'Poetry Speaks', p.155. Edited by Elise Paschen and Rebekah Presson Mosby. Narrated by Charles Osgood.

Topic(s) of this poem: country

Form: Free Verse

Poet's Notes about The Poem

The poem is in free verse, although there is some rhyme scheme: ababcd eefffgah.
The speaker, an African American, was born in Harlemand saw it grow until coloured people spread across the middle of Manhattan. They comprise a 'dark tenth of a nation'. The immigrants came by plane from Puerto Rico; and boats from Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica; and from the South in buses to settle in 'Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
The mention of 'holds of boats' could suggest illegal immigration.
America is richer for all this immigration, as John F. Kennedy pointed out in his book, 'A Nation of Immigrants'.
Langston Hughes reads the poem on the CD in a very clear voice, like a professional actor.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Poem Edited: Monday, January 7, 2019

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