It’s Over in the Blink of an Eye

Connie Ragen Green
8 min readJan 25, 2022

Make Every Second Count, Because It’s All Over Very Quickly…

Connie Ragen Green — It’s Over in the Blink of an Eye

As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday, October 17th, 2021 and Black Poetry Day. Each year I make note of this day by reading a poem or two written by my favorite Black poets, sharing my favorite finds with my online community as well as friends and family, and then closing the book on what this day means to me.

We live in a world where people must be put in boxes that recognize them for a variety of reasons: gender, ethnicity, age, religion, political beliefs, and so many more. If we didn’t do that, would some groups be marginalized, or forgotten, or ignored? Perhaps. Life is over in the blink of an eye and I, for one intend to take in as much as I can during my stay on this little planet I call home.

I’ve chosen two Black poets as my favorites this year. They are as different as two people could be, yet similar in so many ways. They are Langston Hughes and Amanda Gorman and to me they represent the power of the written and spoken word and how it has been used throughout the ages to deliver a message to a wider audience than they could have reached in any other way.

Langston Hughes was a favorite poet of my mother. She was also born in Missouri; she in St. Joseph and he in Joplin, just 16 years earlier. These towns are about two hundred miles apart, but their differences would make you think they were on opposite sides of the world. My mother once told me her father had taken the family to see a lynching just outside of town. She didn’t say why, but it had made her vomit in the car on the drive back home. Her father had smiled and told her to remember how she felt if she was ever tempted to treat another human being poorly.

As a poet, novelist, fiction writer, and playwright, Hughes is known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the 1920s through the 1960s. Hughes was an important figure in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance. My favorite of his poems, “I, Too” was written and published in 1926:

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

--

--

Connie Ragen Green

Online marketing strategist, author, speaker, and publisher working with entrepreneurs on six continents. https://ConnieRagenGreen.com