Toi Derricotte Poems
- A Note On My Son's Face Tonight, I look, thunderstruck at ...
- The Weakness That time my grandmother dragged me through the...
- For Black Women Who Are Afraid A black woman comes up to me ...
- Family Secrets They told my cousin Rowena not to ...
- Elegy For My Husband What was there is no longer there: Not ...
- Market Those huge platters on their heads on which ...
- From A Letter: About Snow I am at a retreat house, and the ...
Toi Derricotte (pronounced DARE-ah-cot ) is an American poet and a professor of writing at University of Pittsburgh.
At Wayne State University she earned a B.A. in 1965 and an M.A. in 1984 at New York University in English literature.
Derricotte was born the daughter of Antonia Baquet, a Creole from Louisiana, and Benjamin Sweeney Webster, a Kentucky native, and later half-sister to Benjamin, Jr. At around ten or eleven years old, she began a secret journal that included, among other things, the disintegration of her parents' marriage and the death of her grandmother on whom she was very emotionally dependent. During her years at Detroit's Girls ... more »
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Quotationsmore quotations »
''Poetry asks people to have values, form opinions, care about some other part of experience besides making money and being successful on the job.''Toi Derricotte (b. 1941), African American poet. As quoted in A Gift That Cannot Be Refused, ch. 8, by Mary Biggs (1990). Written in 1983.
A Note On My Son's Face
Tonight, I look, thunderstruck
at the gold head of my grandchild.
Almost asleep, he buries his feet
between my thighs;
his little straw eyes
close in the near dark.
I smell the warmth of his raw
slightly foul breath, the new death
waiting to rot inside him.
Our breaths equalize our heartbeats;
every muscle of the chest uncoils,
the arm bones loosen in the nest
of nerves. I think of the peace
of walking through the house,
pointing to the name of this, the name of that,
an educator of a new man.
Mother. Grandmother. ...