The Sermon on the Warpland

By Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 Gwendolyn Brooks

“The fact that we are black
is our ultimate reality.”
—Ron Karenga


And several strengths from drowsiness campaigned
but spoke in Single Sermon on the warpland.

And went about the warpland saying No.
“My people, black and black, revile the River.
Say that the River turns, and turn the River.

Say that our Something in doublepod contains
sees for the coming hell and health together.
Prepare to meet
(sisters, brothers) the brash and terrible weather;
the pains;
the bruising; the collapse of bestials, idols.
But then oh then!—the stuffing of the hulls!
the seasoning of the perilously sweet!
the health! The heralding of the clear obscure!

Build now your Church, my brothers, sisters. Build
never with brick or Corten nor with granite.
Build with lithe love. With love like lion-eyes.
with love like morningrise.
with love like black, our black—
luminously indiscreet;
complete; continuous.”

Gwendolyn Brooks, "Sermon on the Warpland" from Blacks. Copyright © 1994
 by Gwendolyn Brooks.  Reprinted by permission of Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Source: Blacks (Third World Press, 1994)

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Poet Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000

Subjects Religion, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

 Gwendolyn  Brooks

Biography

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks's works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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