Ode for Donny Hathaway

By Wanda Coleman 1946–2013 Wanda Coleman
and then there are the one-hit zombies
cursed to an eternity of Monday nights

who runs our music does not make it
controls manufacture and marketing of rhythm
schemes on and fixes the charts. it’s polyphonic
from the dark of the chitlin to solid gold dawn
doublecrossed over

a love come down

after the plunge
sloshing around in limbo

that too sweet gospel splash

Wanda Coleman, “Ode for Donny Hathaway” from Hand Dance. Copyright © 1992 by Wanda Coleman. Reprinted by permission of Wanda Coleman.

Source: Hand Dance (Black Sparrow Press, 1992)

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Poet Wanda Coleman 1946–2013

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

 Wanda  Coleman


Poet and writer Wanda Coleman was a blatantly humanist artist who won much critical acclaim for her unusually prescient and often innovative work, but who struggled to make a living from her craft. In discussing “my life in poetry,” More magazine, April 2005, Camille Paglia said of Coleman: “She’s not as central as she should be. Her language jumps off the page.” With twelve books of collected writings published by the small . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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