A Street in Bronzeville • Annie Allen • The Bean Eaters • In the Mecca • Riot • “We Real Cool”
“Gwendolyn Brooks is our beginning, in-between, and period. Her work represents a full view of her people, not always accommodating or elegant, but always abundant with love and necessary tomorrows.”
—Haki R. Madhubuti
“And how Miss Brooks did this thing called language. How she made us all look down the corridors of our birth. How she wore the rhythm of her name wide on green rivers of change. How she fashioned poems for us all from this bamboo wilderness called America. How she moved from city to city, restringing her words so we could live and breathe and smile and breathe and love and breathe her. This Gwensister called life.”
The Bean EatersGwendolyn Brooks
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes
And putting things away.
And remembering . . .
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room
that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and
cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.