1 Comment
Oct 16, 2023Liked by Brian Sankarsingh

Loved the poem and the introduction to it. In addition to connecting to Neil’s article, this also felt like a fitting extension to your recent Martin Luther King Jr./DEI article. As each sentiment flowed into the next one in this poem, everything seemed to come together perfectly.

Taking in your poetry these past few weeks got me thinking about a poem I recited at an event more than 30 years ago. I’ve never been able to find it online, but while searching for it, I discovered it’s based on a character from Julius Caesar (I know nothing about the play and thus missed the obvious reference.) I can only recall the first few lines, and probably not accurately:

Wait! I am Cinna the poet, I never meddled in politics

Then tear him for his bad verses the mob cried

It was then he learned there’s no such thing as ‘only literature’

Every word confines you…

Those lines seem take on more weight and have more meaning to me now in light of your statement “It’s about simplifying the message for the common man.”

I’m also reminded of a Countee Cullen poem I read ages ago. Beyond my brain, it hit my heart and my gut instantaneously. Point being, your claim of “taking those messages and making them into more digestible fodder” is a wonderfully accurate description, given how poetry can penetrate with such lucidity and potency—and the poetic response you've crafted is an excellent example of this.

Expand full comment