Image courtesy of the Black Bird Press News & Review blog.
Where is your fire? I say where is your fire?
Can’t you smell it coming out of our past?
The fire of living. . . . . . Not dying
The fire of loving. . . . . Not killing
The fire of Blackness. . . Not gangster shadows.
~ Sonia Sanchez, "Catch The Fire" (1997)
Sonia Sanchez is a phenomenal writer, poet, playwright, storyteller, educator and activist. Sanchez, one of the most influential poets of the Black Arts Movement, has written nearly 20 books of poetry and prose. Her poetry is rich with imagery, history, culture, and emotion. Her words have the ability to incite the mind, warm your heart, and touch your soul. And she makes it look so easy.
Sanchez doesn't take the past struggles or the current plight of our people lightly. In her poem "Catch The Fire" (written for Bill Cosby), she honors our ancestors and encourages our youth to find themselves, love themselves, go after their dreams, and live up to the promise and passion of their "fire."
Sonia Sanchez originally published "Catch The Fire" in Wounded in the House of a Friend (1997). "Catch The Fire" was also featured in (and inspired the title of) Derrick I. M. Gilbert's Catch The Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry (1998).
For more information about Sonia Sanchez, please go to: www.soniasanchez.net.