Day 29: "The Tradition" by Jericho Brown-Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 2020
I admit that I have read only about 15 of the poems in the collection and skimmed some of the rest. Even in skimming there is marvelousness. The Tradition focuses on race--how black and brown men AND women are por
portrayed, forced to live, have such pressure to prove they are better, or at least average, and there is so much want for love in these poems.
The mother(s) want love even as they beat their children. They want to add color to their yards--seemingly simple "normal" things that one can overlook easily. At least, I can.
I try to put on the suit of a black man and imagine myself as him--but obviously I am an imposter. However, these poems allow me to slide into persona and see perspective. I did not understand nuances before. in "Foreday in the Morning" a great deal of the poem deals with the stereotype of "laziness."
Past every bus stop in America to see all those black folk
Waiting to go to work for whatever they want. A house? A boy
To keep the lawn cut? Some color in the yard? My God, leave
things green (14).
"Simple" needs and wants that are as complex as each individual. Amazing depth and layers upon layers of meaning, some I know that I have not realized yet.