Poem: “Where You Are Planted” by Poet Evie Shockley

0 Posted by - March 4, 2018 - LATEST POSTS, Poems

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, poet Evie Shockley earned a BA at Northwestern University, a JD at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in English literature at Duke University. The author of several collections of poetry, including a half-red sea (2006) and the new black (2011), Shockley is also the author of the critical volume Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Her poetry and essays have been featured in several anthologies, including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009), and Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (2010).

Shockley’s honors include the Holmes National Poetry Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem, the Millay Colony for the Arts, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. C

where you are planted

By Evie Shockley
he’s as high as a georgia pine, my father’d say, half laughing. southern trees
as measure, metaphor. highways lined with kudzu-covered southern trees.
fuchsia, lavender, white, light pink, purple : crape myrtle bouquets burst
open on sturdy branches of skin-smooth bark : my favorite southern trees.
one hundred degrees in the shade : we settle into still pools of humidity, moss-
dark, beneath live oaks. southern heat makes us grateful for southern trees.
the maples in our front yard flew in spring on helicopter wings. in fall, we
splashed in colored leaves, but never sought sap from these southern trees.
frankly, my dear, that’s a magnolia, i tell her, fingering the deep green, nearly
plastic leaves, amazed how little a northern girl knows about southern trees.
i’ve never forgotten the charred bitter fruit of holiday’s poplars, nor will i :
it’s part of what makes me evie :  i grew up in the shadow of southern trees
sources:
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/55669/where-you-are-planted

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