was born on June 7th, 1917, at Topeka, Kansas, but has lived in Chicago practically all her life.
Her writing won her an American Academy of Letters Award, Guggenheim Fellowships, and the distinction of being a 'famous first,' namely, the recipient, in 1949, of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was given the Prize for her volume ANNIE ALLEN ( Harper & Bros.). The honour of this distinction had never before been given to a non-white American. In private life she is Mrs. Henry Blakely and has a son and a daughter. These poems from her latest volume, THE BEAN EATERS, are reprinted by permission of Harper & Bros., New York, 1960.
THE EGG BOILER
Being you, you cut your poetry from wood.
The boiling of an egg is heavy art.
You come upon it as an artist should,
With rich-eyed passion, and with straining heart.
We fools, we cut our poems out of air,
Night colour, wind soprano, and such stuff.
And sometimes weightlessness is much to bear.
You mock it, though, you name it Not Enough.
The egg, spooned gently to the avid pan,
And left the strict three minutes, or the four,
Is your Enough and art for any man.
We fools give courteous ear--then cut some more,
Shaping a gorgeous Nothingness from cloud.
You watch us, eat your egg, and laugh aloud.WE REAL COOL
The Pool Players
Seven at the Golden Shovel
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We