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Preacher, Don't Send Me -- Maya Angelou

Guest poem sent in by Mukul Hinge
(Poem #1435) Preacher, Don't Send Me
 Preacher, don't send me
 when I die
 to some big ghetto
 in the sky
 where rats eat cats
 of the leopard type
 and Sunday brunch
 is grits and tripe.

 I've known those rats
 I've seen them kill
 and grits I've had
 would make a hill,
 or maybe a mountain,
 so what I need
 from you on Sunday
 is a different creed.

 Preacher, please don't
 promise me
 streets of gold
 and milk for free.
 I stopped all milk
 at four years old
 and once I'm dead
 I won't need gold.

 I'd call a place
 pure paradise
 where families are loyal
 and strangers are nice,
 where the music is jazz
 and the season is fall.
 Promise me that
 or nothing at all.
-- Maya Angelou
Just thought I'd submit a poem by Maya Angelou that I really like because its
extremely soulful (especially the last verse. I think it reflects the trauma
that she faced in her childhood and adolescence...

More information about Ms Angelou can be found on

Mukul Hinge

[Martin adds]

This poem has a beautiful, swinging rhythm that despite its apparent
simplicity has to have been carefully crafted. I loved it until the last
verse, which was disappointingly trite (though it ties in with the 'nothing'
references running through a few recent poems).


44 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

tartan people said...

This poem is terrible. It's quite possibly the worst poem I've ever
read. People have survived worse traumas than 'eating grits,' without
feeling the need to impose such poor poetry on humanity. give me a break.

ravi bollina said...

Hello Martin,
Coincidence! Well Maya angelou is coming to Penn State to give a public
talk. It is timely that I read this poem. I was wondering if you guys
could suggest some good books of hers.

Ravi Bollina

Anonymous said...

dear tartan,
seriously you need to get over yourself. maya angelou has been through more than you ever have so if she wants to mention eating grits as a negative in her poem than so be it. seriously, take a chill pill.

i am in love with this poem. It conveys such insightfulness that it is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

This poem is not about grits and tripe, rather, it is about the everyday hardships that some people in this world face every single day! The fact that as a reader you can simply glance at the surface without searching for the inspiration that wrote this poem is an insult to every poet that ever lived. Maya Angelou has been through more hardships in her lifetime than many people will ever experience. This poem is not a complaint about grits! It is a prayer for a place where it is safe and happy. Not a ghetto where you have to fear for life, or a place where there is nothing at all to support life or a family. All the speaker wants in life after everything that she has experienced is a safe place to call home where she can feel safe and secure.

~This poem should be an inspiration to the dreams of happiness in everyone. This is not at all about complaining about eating grits.

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cheap viagra online said...

what an interesting poem. I would like to see rats eating cats, I know it is a metaphor, but I guess that would be interesting... and a kind weird.

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One of the best poems ever .

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