East of New Haven

By Carolyn M. Rodgers 1941–2010
you see so many
                 graveyards around
             these little towns—
                out in the open
                    spaces & places.

                          i guess big cities
                    have not enough space for the
                             let alone the dead.

there is so much
water here
and back home in
chicago we would call
them rocks, lying all on the ground(s)
lots of rocks around/but
you would call them
stones here.
see how much smoother
the world is.

the farther east we
    the more frequent
are the stops at rich small
quaint towns and the more frequent
are the admonitions to “watch one’s
ticket on the rack above the seat
or to be very sure to take it with
you if you leave your seat!”
                      the very wealthy,

as i ride the train
watching the many white students
eating out of brown paper
sacks, saving their now
money so that they can
be the very wealthy later
on, also.

Carolyn  M. Rodgers, "East of New Haven" from The Heart as Ever Green. Copyright © 1978 by Carolyn  M. Rodgers. Used by permission of Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: The Heart As Ever Green (Doubleday, 1978)

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Poet Carolyn M. Rodgers 1941–2010

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Travels & Journeys, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class, Race & Ethnicity

 Carolyn M. Rodgers


Carolyn M. Rodgers grew up on Chicago’s South Side. She attended Roosevelt University and the University of Chicago, and received her MA in English from the University of Chicago. Early in her career she was associated with the Black Arts Movement, attending writing workshops led by Gwendolyn Brooks and through the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). Her collections of poetry include Paper Soul (1968); Songs of a . . .

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Poems by Carolyn M. Rodgers

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Travels & Journeys, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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