Bibliomancy: The morning of Wednesday, June 4, 2008

BY | Posted on | FILED UNDER Categories Bibliomancy, Manhattan

Monday, I was part of a group museum educators that visited a public school in Hempstead. We were invited to be audience to short performances inspired by books, first through fifth graders had read and studied in the school year that’s drawing to an end. Against sets and backdrops created by the students and their parents, the students, often in costume, presented fragments from works by authors such as Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss, and from books like Charlotte’s Web and The Magic Schoolbus. One fifth grade class had chosen poetry—the poetry of Langston Hughes. I enjoyed being reconnected to his poetry, to hear I, too again. Being an immigrant, I wasn’t introduced to his work or that of other American poets, until my thirties. This morning I was stirring, woke up at 5, got up, went to my desk, and took The Collected poems of Langston Hughes off the shelf. I sat down, opened it, and did so, on page 390 and 391—a spread of children’s rhymes.


By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
be President

… was the rhyme my eyes landed on, a rhyme written, at least half a century ago. A rhyme that is being rewritten this year, being transformed by Senator Obama and the America of today, the America of June 4th 2008, the America of the morning after the day Senator Obama clinched the Democratic nomination.

… Tomorrow,
[He]’ll be at the table…

1 thought on “Bibliomancy: The morning of Wednesday, June 4, 2008”

  1. Your Langston Hughes revelry in response to Obama made his candidacy seem even more full of possibility for radical historical transformation. What a biliomanical find!

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