15+ Best Alice Walker Poems You Must Read Now

Alice Walker is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. Her poetry style is usually in a long piece of text, with a few large stanzas made up of very short lines. The poetic devices that she uses most often in her poetry are metaphors, imagery and idioms.

If you’re searching for the best poems of all time that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Phillis Wheatley poems, the best Anne Bradstreet poems, and amazing Robert Browning poems.

Alice Walker’s Most Famous Poems

Working Class Hero

Let other leaders
Retire
To play golf
& write
Memoirs
About bombing
Villages
They’ve never seen.

Growing old
Presents a peril
They may not
Expect.

It is to lose
One’s soul
In trivia
& irrelevance
The nerve
Endings
Blunted
By the constant
Pressure
Of moral
Indifference.

Growing old
A curse:
Not even
Generally speaking
Able
To relate
To whoever
Shares

Your house. Not the mansion
You inhabit
On the
Lovely stolen hill
Above the sea
Or the interior one:
The darkened
Desolate
Shack.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters;
Curing blindness
&
Building houses
For
The Poor;

Making friends of those
Who believe
They must fight.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters
Holding hands
With someone
You love
&
Riding bicycles
Leisurely
Where the ground
Is well known
& perfectly
Flat.

You want to find
And keep to the path
Laid down
Inside you
Such a long time
Ago.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters:
Serene. Eyes
Twinkling
To be accused
Of
Not getting
It right.

Upfront, upright.
Speaking what to you is true.

A person rich in Mothers.
Beloved.

And:
Honoring what is black
In you.

You Want To Grow Old Like The Carters

Let other leaders
Retire
To play golf
& write
Memoirs
About bombing
Villages
They’ve never seen.

Growing old
Presents a peril
They may not
Expect.

It is to lose
One’s soul
In trivia
& irrelevance
The nerve
Endings
Blunted
By the constant
Pressure
Of moral
Indifference.

Growing old
A curse:
Not even
Generally speaking
Able
To relate
To whoever
Shares

Your house. Not the mansion
You inhabit
On the
Lovely stolen hill
Above the sea
Or the interior one:
The darkened
Desolate
Shack.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters;
Curing blindness
&
Building houses
For
The Poor;

Making friends of those
Who believe
They must fight.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters
Holding hands
With someone
You love
&
Riding bicycles
Leisurely
Where the ground
Is well known
& perfectly
Flat.

You want to find
And keep to the path
Laid down
Inside you
Such a long time
Ago.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters:
Serene. Eyes
Twinkling
To be accused
Of
Not getting
It right.

Upfront, upright.
Speaking what to you is true.

A person rich in Mothers.
Beloved.

And:
Honoring what is black
In you.

The Tree Of Life Has Fallen

The tree of life
has fallen on my small house.
I thought it was so much bigger!
But it is not.
There in the distance I see the mountains
still.
The view of vast water stretching before me
is superb.
My boat is grand and I still command the captain
of it; not having learned myself to sail.
But I am adrift
without my tree of life
that has fallen heavy
without grace or pity
on this small place.
For the departing dictator, in perpetuity.

Turning Madness Into Flowers #1

If my sorrow were deeper
I’d be, along with you, under
the ocean’s floor;
but today I learn that the oil
that pools beneath the ocean floor
is essence
residue
remains
of all our
relations
all
our ancestors who have died and turned to oil
without our witness
eons ago.
We’ve always belonged to them.
Speaking for you, hanging, weeping, over the water’s edge
as well as for myself.
It is our grief
heavy, relentless,
trudging
us, however resistant,
to the decaying and rotten
bottom of things:
our grief bringing
us home.

Word Reaches Us

Word reaches us

that you are sleeping, sleeping.

Dismayed

we have turned to the sea.

We encounter among others

walking there

a sense of what we have lost:

the broad expanse of humanity’s

sensitivity to the oneness of itself.

Gabrielle,

while you sleep, resting your nimble

brain, we think of walking with you

in the valley

of the shadow of death; holding

you up.

We hope you can feel our grief;

our sorrow vast

like the ocean that draws us.

We know in this moment you teach us many things:

how all across the world

there is no one who deserves this fate.

We know we must bleach and sterilize our

tongues,

brighten with understanding

all our dark thoughts.

Sister, whom I never met

except in this pain that has so

wounded you

thank you for reminding us

through your suffering

and your suspenseful sleep

that we must change.

Knowing You Might Some Day Come

Knowing you might some day come
and how unprepared I’ve always
been
like Mr. Sloppy
in Charles Dickens’
our Mutual Friend
I made a list:
not meat, vegetables, beer and pudding
but number l, warmth.
number 2, warmth.
number 3, warmth.
number 4, a good snuggler.
number 5, someone who sings
while he/she works.
number 6, a dancer.
number 7, someone who grows & is
intrigued by
the mind. And
by the spirit too.
Number 7, someone who is loved
by animals; and loves
them back without
a thought.
number 8, someone who smells
delicious.
number 9, someone whose anger
lasts no longer than mine.
number 10, someone who
stands beside me. behind me. If necessary
in front of me.
number 11, someone who
is a passable cook.
number 12, Someone who laughs
a lot, thinks I have a fine
sense
of humor
& has friends.
number 13, someone who can be
original in dress:
stylish
warlock –In silver, lapis
& black – to my witch.

What It Feels Like

As if I’ve swallowed
A watermelon
And
Sidestepping
My digestive tract
It has lodged
In my heart.
There it lies
Green
& whole
with a luscious
red
heart of its own
daring me
to cut.

To Change The World Enough

To change the world enough
you must cease to be afraid
of the poor.
We experience your fear as the least pardonable of
humiliations; in the past
it has sent us scurrying off
daunted and ashamed
into the shadows.
Now,
the world ending
the only one all of us have known
we seek the same
fresh light
you do:
the same high place
and ample table.
The poor always believe
there is room enough
for all of us;
the very rich never seem to have heard
of this.
In us there is wisdom of how to share
loaves and fishes
however few;
we do this everyday.
Learn from us,
we ask you.
We enter now
the dreaded location
of Earth’s reckoning;
no longer far
off
or hidden in books
that claim to disclose
revelations;
it is here.
We must walk together without fear.
There is no path without us

When You Thought Me Poor

When you thought me poor,
my poverty was shaming.
When blackness was unwelcome
we found it best
that I stay home.

When by the miracle
of fierce dreaming and hard work
Life fulfilled our every want
you found me crassly
well off;
not trimly,
inconspicuously wealthy
like your rich friends.

Still black too,
now
I owned too much and too many
of everything.

Woe is me: I became a
success! Blackness, who
knows how?
Became suddenly
in!

What to do?
Now that Fate appears
(for the moment anyhow)
to have dismissed
abject failure
in any case?
Now that moonlight and night
have blessed me.

Now that the sun
unaffected by criticism
of any sort,
implacably beams
the kiss filled magic that creates
the dark and radiant wonder
of my face.

Before I Leave The Stage

Before I leave the stage
I will sing the only song
I was meant truly to sing.

It is the song
of I AM.
Yes: I am Me
&
You.
WE ARE.

I love Us with every drop
of our blood
every atom of our cells
our waving particles
-undaunted flags of our Being-
neither here nor there.

Don’t Be Like Those Who Ask For Everything

Don’t be like those who ask for everything:
praise, a blurb, a free ride in my rented
limousine. They ask for everything but never offer
anything in return.
Be like those who can see that my feet ache
from across a crowded room
that a foot rub
if I’m agreeable
never mind the staring
is the best way to smile
& say hello
to me

Our Martyr

When the people
have won a victory
whether small
or large
do you ever wonder
at that moment
where the martyrs
might be?
They who sacrificed
themselves
to bring to life
something unknown
though nonetheless more precious
than their blood.
I like to think of them
hovering over us
wherever we have gathered
to weep and to rejoice;
smiling and laughing,
actually slapping each other’s palms
in glee.
Their blood has dried
and become rose petals.
What you feel brushing your cheek
is not only your tears
but these.
Martyrs never regret
what they have done
having done it.
Amazing too
they never frown.
It is all so mysterious
the way they remain
above us
beside us
within us;
how they beam
a human sunrise
and are so proud.

From: Poems To My Girls

How can Humanity
look the deer
in
the face?

How can Mommy,
having erected
my fence?

When You See Water

When you see water in a stream
you say: oh, this is stream
water;
When you see water in the river
you say: oh, this is water
of the river;
When you see ocean
water
you say: This is the ocean’s
water!
But actually water is always
only itself
and does not belong
to any of these containers
though it creates them.
And so it is with you.

Torture

When they torture your mother
plant a tree
When they torture your father
plant a tree
When they torture your brother
and your sister
plant a tree
When they assassinate
your leaders
and lovers
plant a tree
Whey they torture you
too bad
to talk
plant a tree.
When they begin to torture
the trees
and cut down the forest
they have made
start another.

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