Gwendolyn Brooks: Poet Laureate of Illinois and Pulitzer Prize Winner


Born today: Gwendolyn Brooks,
Who  wrote of the ghetto  that  she grew up  in.
Much better than learned and scholarly books,
She conveyed the humanity under black skin.


Sadie and Maud By Gwendolyn  Brooks

Maud went to college.
Sadie stayed at home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine-tooth comb.
She didn’t leave a tangle in.
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chits
In all the land.
Sadie bore two babies
Under her maiden name.
Maud and Ma and Papa
Nearly died of shame.
When Sadie said her last so-long
Her girls struck out from home.
(Sadie had left as heritage
Her fine-tooth comb.)
Maud, who went to college,
Is a thin brown mouse.
She is living all alone
In this old house.





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  • Is there something that rhymes with "shot?" Maybe "pot." That would seem to be the modernization of a combination of "Love Child/Billie Jean" and "The Big Bang Theory" reflected above.

    At least Maud could now get a job with Google.

  • In reply to jack:

    I prefer Coke.

  • In reply to jack:

    As far as Google, Maud might have been downsized.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Probably would have obtained an job elsewhere, then. I assume that Sadie had a comb, but not a job, and certainly not a husband. Probably would have had to move from Robert Taylor Homes or Cabrini Green, too.

  • I won this award back when I was in 8th grade. Brooks called my house and asked to speak to me. I didn't believe it was her at first. But I am still honored after all of these years.

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    Thanks for the comment, Evan. I wish I had met her when I was teaching. It would have been a thrill for me.

  • It was a thrill for me as a young man.

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