“How Can Black People Write about Flowers at a Time Like This”–a poem for this moment

Thanks, Joel, for calling my attention to Hanif Abdurraqib’s poem “How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This.”

Here are few favorite lines:

… you might tell me something
about the dandelion & how it is not a flower itself
but a plant made up of several small flowers at its crown
& lord knows I have been called by what I look like
more than I have been called by what I actually am

The poem, the poet shares, was inspired by an overheard conversation much like the one I wrote about last week between me and my son: how can we (and, in the case of the poem, how can African Americans) give attention to anything, including the beauty of the world, when there is a crisis before us?

You can listen to the whole poem–just a minute long–here.

And you can find more of Abdurraquib’s work, shown below, here.


Book Cover.jpg




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