Previous: Raych Jackson reads "Church Girl Learns to Pray Again"
Next: Tabia Yapp reads "Magical Negro #217: Diana Ross Finishing a Rib in Alabama, 1990s"



View count:5,236
Last sync:2023-03-09 09:30
Taylor Behnke reads the Gwendolyn Brooks poem "my dreams, my works must wait til after hell".

Taylor Behnke:

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica
My name is Taylor Behnke and this poem is "my dreams, my works must wait til after hell" by Gwendolyn Brooks.  The reason I like this poem, when I was a freshman in high school, we learned about the hero's journey in English class and kind of like, the simplified version of that is, it's a journey where your protagonist journeys into hell and returns changed and so when I read this poem, I was like, oh, this is a hero's journey, except there's a part of it that is expressing not wanting to be changed too much.  I think that's something that I relate to when I struggle is that I don't want that to change my ability to dream or to hope.

I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry.  I am incomplete.  
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light.  I keep eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.