For a long time, I've pondered this thing that we do called writing. I've looked at my words sometimes as if they belonged to a stranger. But each time I teach GWENDOLYN BROOKS, each time I revisit her poems, her words, they climb up on my knees and sit in tight contentment. They speak to me of form and color, patterns and dawns. They talk of myths; they tell me where the flesh lives; where a troop of young heroes and sheroes lean back in chairs, "beautiful. Impudent. Ready for life." Where the young "live not for battles won. Live not...

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