Lynn W. Petty

Gold Star - 5,245 Points (3/29/28 / Newport Beach, California)

To Learn, To Know, To Heal, To Grow - Poem by Lynn W. Petty

I'm often asked, 'What caused you to collect
Slave artifacts, and take them on the road,
Displaying them in cases, raw and real? '
My answer is a simple one, 'To heal.'
'To heal? ' they ask. 'What is there to be healed? '
I answer with paternal patience, as
I would a child. Then, I commence my tale.
It was not long ago two ladies stood
Together at a showing on my tour,
An African American and a
Caucasian. One to seek her heritage,
The other to find satisfaction that
Hyperbole was the foundation for
The stories of the hardships slaves endured.
Within my cases lies reality.
The sight of whips and branding irons had chilled
The heart and soul of the Caucasian, tears
Began to fill her eyes and, unabashed, she wept
Aloud in disbelief at what she saw.
'All lies. What I have read and learned are lies.'
The African American embraced
Her, and together, openly as one,
They wept. That moment was perfumed with hope
And strength. It was as if I had been bathed
In silence, with an element of love;
A fluid mist, which overflowed with life
And sweetness, flooding out hostilities.
There was a recognition as to man's
Inhuman acts of cruelty to man.
There was a glow of light and life. I saw
Magnificence within that scene. I saw
Within that tiny aspect 'Truth.' I saw
The dawn of reason shine upon the dust of years.

Topic(s) of this poem: slavery


Poet's Notes about The Poem

We watched two ladies at the review of my son's slavery museum. It was worth all the money in the world to see the revelation of the Caucasian lady when she witnessed the artifacts on display.

Comments about To Learn, To Know, To Heal, To Grow by Lynn W. Petty

  • Bri Edwards (10/18/2017 9:22:00 PM)


    I BELIEVE I read and commented long ago, but I’m not T. Craddock, though he sometimes outdoes me with long-windedness I think! ! !
    I probably also looked up this word last time:

    “hy•per•bo•le
    hīˈpərbəlē/
    noun
    noun: hyperbole; plural noun: hyperboles

    exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
    synonyms: exaggeration, overstatement, magnification, embroidery, embellishment, excess, overkill, rhetoric; informal purple prose, puffery
    the media hyperbole that accompanied their championship series

    The following lines are a bit flowery for my usual tastes, but this time they are some of
    My favorite lines:

    “It was as if I had been bathed
    In silence, with an element of love;
    A fluid mist, which overflowed with life
    And sweetness, flooding out hostilities.”

    But the ‘white’ woman’s surprise and change of heart [at seeing the instruments of cruelty] prompts me to ask. Why do some people believe one thing about a ‘topic’, but then reverse their belief as soon as they hear another thing which contradicts the first thing? ! My mate sometimes does that kind of ‘about face’.

    I heard, believed, and still believe that ‘slaves’ received some very harsh/cruel treatment, including by other ‘black men’ in Africa who took them prisoner (at times) and then sold to Europeans. From there they were packed like sardines in the holds of ships. Perhaps it was the ‘lucky ones’ who did not survive the trip to “America”, “Land of The Free”!

    Then being auctioned off to plantations in ‘The South’ (and maybe to people ‘up North’ as well) . From then they were ‘property’, not humans to some. Families separated, long hours of work, being bred by their owners to produce more slaves, or ‘just for fun’, being whipped, branded, etc. were things I’ve heard about. Knowing human nature, I have not doubted what ‘I heard’.

    I’ve heard that some Native Americans aka Indians owned slaves, of whatever color. It certainly has been said that slavery has occurred in other parts of the world and the slave ‘owners’ have not always been ‘white’, nor have the slaves always been ‘black’. And it continues at times to ‘today’ apparently.

    But I’ve also heard (usually “heard” means “read”) that some slave owners, and managers perhaps, were kind or at least not cruel to their slaves. Sometimes slaves might even be freed by the owners, but I suppose it wasn’t likely.

    Ok, I’m done.

    To MyPoemList, but I bet it is already there.

    Bri ;)


    there may be some duplication here with my comment, due to some problem i'm having pasted my complete comment in a space which already held at least part of my comment. sorry for any confusion.
    ====================================

    complete comment, i HOPE:
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  • Terry Craddock (1/24/2016 2:48:00 PM)


    'The sight of whips and branding irons had chilled
    The heart and soul of the Caucasian, tears
    Began to fill her eyes and, unabashed, she wept
    Aloud in disbelief at what she saw.
    'All lies. What I have read and learned are lies.'
    The African American embraced
    Her, and together, openly as one,
    They wept. That moment was perfumed with hope
    And strength. It was as if I had been bathed
    In silence, with an element of love;
    A fluid mist, which overflowed with life
    And sweetness, flooding out hostilities.'

    the entire poem is powerful, told with pathos, vitally important, with the strength of reconciliation

    'There was a recognition as to man's
    Inhuman acts of cruelty to man.
    There was a glow of light and life. I saw
    Magnificence within that scene. I saw
    Within that tiny aspect 'Truth.' I saw
    The dawn of reason shine upon the dust of years.'

    reason must be learned, wisdom merged into human society 10+++
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 22, 2016

Poem Edited: Friday, January 22, 2016


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