Poetry in Motion


Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress-Toward (Among them Nora and Henry III)

Gwendolyn Brooks

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
"Even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night."
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

"Speech to the Young" by Gwendolyn Brooks, from BLACKS (Chicago, IL: Third World Press, 1991). Copyright © 1991 by Gwendolyn Brooks Blakely. Reprinted with the permission of the author.