We’ll start here, with “Southern Song” from Walker’s first poetry collection, For My People. Read and discuss! I’ll weigh in next week.

corn field

Southern Song

I want my body bathed again by southern suns, my soul
     reclaimed again from southern land. I want to rest
     again in southern fields, in grass and hay and clover
     bloom; to lay my hand again upon the clay baked by a
     southern sun, to touch the rain-soaked earth and smell
     the smell of soil.

I want my rest unbroken in the fields of southern earth;
     freedom to watch the corn wave silver in the sun and
     mark the splashing of a brook, a pond with ducks and
     frogs and count the clouds.

I want no mobs to wrench me from my southern rest; no
     forms to take me in the night and burn my shack and
     make for me a nightmare full of oil and flame.

I want my careless song to strike no minor key; no fiend to
     stand between my body’s southern song–the fusion of
     the South, my body’s song and me.

Margaret Walker, For My People
from This is My Century: New and Collected Poems, U of Georgia P, 1989