Progressive Baptist Church's Website

Poetry Corner

Poetry for Special Occasions


Black History Month


MARTIN LUTHER KING
Martin Luther King so loyal and true
We want you to know that we still live you.
Your life was taken on the balcony of a hotel
The bullet struck, you spun and fell.
You always led marches with smiles
Though you and the people walked miles and miles.
Now we are putting flowers on your grave
Because you were so loyal and brave.
The crime your assassin committed was bad
It makes us all feel so very sad.
As far fetched as it did seem
You always had that wonderful dream;
That one day Blacks and Whites would join hands
And there would be worldwide peace across the lands.
I'm saddened you didn't live long enough to see
Your dream become a reality.
Although you have passed,
We thank you for getting us "Free at Last."
Free at Last, Free at Last,
Thank God, Almighty, We are Free at Last.

(poem written by church member Florence Sanders shortly after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

I, TOO
I, too, sing America
I am the darker brother
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong
Tomorrow,
I'll sit at the table
When company comes,
Nobody'll dare
Say to me
"Eat in the kitchen"
then,
Besides
They'll see how beautiful I am,
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.

(Langston Hughes was broke and unable to find employment because of racial discrimination. In a depressed state, he wrote one of his best and most familiar poems: I, Too.)

SIMON THE CYRENNIAN SPEAKS
He never spoke a word to me,
And yet He called my name;
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.
At first I said, "I will not bear
His cross upon my back,
He only seeks to place it there
Because my skin is black."
But He was dying for a dream,
And He was very meek,
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
Men journey far to seek.
It was Himself my pity bought;
I did for Christ alone,
What all of Rome could not have wrought,
With bruise of lash or stone.

(by Countee Cullen)

CAPTAIN OF MY SHIP
I know the captain of the ship I'm sailing on.
I know the destination that I'm heading far.
And I cry that the wind is at my back, and the sun is on my face
So I'll see a better land with God's amazing grace.
I'm taking inventory counting up the cost,
And if I keep mine eyes on Jesus, I won't get lost.
And I cry that captain of my ship will calm the raging sea.
And lead me to a land where I can truly be free.
There's got to be a better place where my heart can be at rest.
Where we ride on the wings of love; all nations will be blest.
There's got to be a better hope when I come to the end of my quest,
And I can lay my head where peaceful waters flow.
My captain says He loves me just the way I am
He'll take me where the lions lay down with the lambs
There's a guard that shines from the lighthouse that guides me along my way
Where I'll see a better land where I'll be free some day.
There's got to be a better place where my heart can be at rest.
Where we ride on the wings of love; all nations will be blest.
There's got to be a better hope when I come to the end of my quest,
And I can lay my head where peaceful waters flow.

(lyrics by Oleta Adams)

NO FEAR
Fear is the designed to stop you in your tracks
It keeps you from moving forward, and it keeps you stepping back.
But the Spirit God has given empowers you with boldness and faith
So in confidence march forward with dignity and grace.
Be encouraged for the worth we overcame,
Giving you this promise you can do the same.
For God has not given us the Spirit of fear
But love and power and strong mind.
With faith and grace we can endure all things
For in Him we stand, no fear, no fear in God.
When fear comes upon you it tends to paralyze
Stealing visions for tomorrow and hopes yet unrealized.
But the Spirit God has given causes you to stand strong and tall;
Be the victor not the victim, conquering problems great or small.
Be encouraged for the rut we overcame,
Giving you the promise you can do the same.
For God has not given us the Spirit of fear
But love and power and strong mind.
With Faith and grace we can endure all things
For in Him we stand, no fear, no fear in God.

(lyrics by Daryl Coley)

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by thy might, led us into the light.
Keep us forever in the path we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, True to our native land.

(lyrics by James Weldon Johnson)





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