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El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) - Poem By Robert Hayden - Read Classic Poetry Online

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El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

Poem By: Robert Hayden   |   Views: 1848   |   Word Count: 83   |   View PDF   |   Print View

  


O masks and metamorphoses of Ahab, Native Son

I

The icy evil that struck his father down
and ravished his mother into madness
trapped him in violence of a punished self
struggling to break free.

As Home Boy, as Dee-troit Red,
he fled his name, became the quarry of
his own obsessed pursuit.

He conked his hair and Lindy-hopped,
zoot-suited jiver, swinging those chicks
in the hot rose and reefer glow.

His injured childhood bullied him.
He skirmished in the Upas trees
and cannibal flowers of the American Dream--

but could not hurt the enemy
powered against him there.
 

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About the Author Robert Hayden (1913 - 1980), born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit, Michigan, was raised in a slum called Paradise Valley. Hayden's parents separated soon after his birth and he became the foster child of Sue Ellen Westerfield... Read Robert Hayden's Full Biography  
 
 
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