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CELEBRATING CREATIVE EXPRESSION AT BAYLOR SINCE 1966

Periaktoi Media Post

Volume 53
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

Gersh Green
Gersh Green

Gersh Green recites at Baylor's Poetry Out Loud competition, performed in chapel on February 21, 2016.

The Song of the Smoke
by W. E. B. Du Bois

I am the Smoke King

I am black!

I am swinging in the sky,

I am wringing worlds awry;

I am the thought of the throbbing mills,

I am the soul of the soul-toil kills,

Wraith of the ripple of trading rills;

Up I’m curling from the sod,

I am whirling home to God;

I am the Smoke King

I am black.

I am the Smoke King,

I am black!

I am wreathing broken hearts,

I am sheathing love’s light darts;

Inspiration of iron times

Wedding the toil of toiling climes,

Shedding the blood of bloodless crimes—

Lurid lowering ’mid the blue,

Torrid towering toward the true,

I am the Smoke King,

I am black.

I am the Smoke King,

I am black!

I am darkening with song,

I am hearkening to wrong!

I will be black as blackness can—

The blacker the mantle, the mightier the man!

For blackness was ancient ere whiteness began.

I am daubing God in night,

I am swabbing Hell in white:

I am the Smoke King

I am black.

I am the Smoke King

I am black!

I am cursing ruddy morn,

I am hearsing hearts unborn:

Souls unto me are as stars in a night,

I whiten my black men—I blacken my white!

What’s the hue of a hide to a man in his might?

Hail! great, gritty, grimy hands—

Sweet Christ, pity toiling lands!

I am the Smoke King

I am black.

From poetryfoundation.com

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