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Practical Poetry on Slaying Dragons

ISBN-13: 978-0759664838
ISBN-10: 0759664838
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The Underground Railroad
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

May was doing amateur Stand-Up Comedy at the age of 35.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Inspiration For Body Bags

My Mom and I had gone to Washington, D.C. to a poetry convention. What I saw broke my heart. It is a beautiful city with a desperate problem.

People were sleeping under the statues. We went on a trolley ride into the downtown area. I looked down the street and saw homeless people wrapped in plastic because of the rain. They lined the sidewalks for two blocks.

When I was crying Mom asked, "Why are you crying?" I said, "Look around, we are in what is considered the wealthiest country in the world. We are in the richest city and all of these people are sleeping on the streets. This is what you expect to see in Third World countries."

I was also embarrassed because of the people from other countries on the trolley.

I was also ashamed.

Body Bags

A friend of mine said, tour D.C. by night! We did. What an awesome sight, grand building and all. At Lincoln’s feet you feel so small. And the cemetery stones a ghostly white. It was a silent moment, what a cost. The young men and women we have lost! The downtown. What’s that rolled in plastic? Not a safe place to leave new carpet! Wait! It’s a tuft of hair, not carpet! LOOK! Body Bags of people, all lined up. A shoe, an arm, a tuft of hair! Sleeping on the concrete! I cried, "Doesn’t No they’re not dead, walking corpses you see. For they lost hope. They’ve lost their dreams! They may as well be in body bags it seems.

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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