POEM OF THE WEEK: Banned Books Week

In honor of National Banned Book Week, consider pairing the below poems with either of these articles:freadom_thelostogle_com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-hopkins/banned-books-anticensorship-manifesto_b_744219.html

http://newsela.com/articles/book-banned/id/1242/

Manifesto” by Ellen Hopkins (author of Crank)

To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.

You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption

by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.

You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white, and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.

You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

“THOSE WHO BAN BOOKS”
by Maya Angelou
An original poem written exclusively for RHI Magazine

They were scared of sexes and hexes
and multi-colored sheets.
And men and women doing even
consensual things.
They banned a same-sex marriage room
and Judy Blume
Charles Dickens Chicken-Lickin and
Why the Caged Bird Sings

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