Tag Archives: English poetry

Is the dream deferred?

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

This question is being pondered by many today as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King‘s I have a dream speech on August 25, 1963. We have seen changes that many of our young people cannot even imagine and learn about from pictures and history books. But we still have a way to go so that the society that was envisioned by our founders continues to evolve. Dr. King’s dream is not contained in one speech. It is supposed to be a way of life. Look around carefully at our big cities and you will see the inequality he spoke of 50 years ago. We still have a way to go.

I heard someone refer to Don Quixote in the context of today’s commemoration. Today the windmills are not the giants Cervantes’ Quixote tried to fight. They represent the outrageous greed of some folks. They represent the lack of understanding that our natural environment needs to be conserved. They represent the decline of our education system and the lack of respect for educators of our nation. They represent the violence many young children have to deal with. Our windmills are a huge undertaking. They are still a large part of a dream unfulfilled. Is the dream deferred?

So today as I listened to the I Have a Dream speech I thought about Dr. King’s purpose, and his example. I thought about others whose dreams promoted hope and anguish almost simultaneously but in that incongruous mix of emotions also incited and motivated people to do the right things. It moved people to be generous and caring. It encouraged people to not give up hope.

In my poem I try to keep the dream alive but understanding that the change starts with me and it can only continue if we work together.


Thank you Dr. King. I will keep your dream alive.


Is the Dream Deferred?

To dream the impossible dream

We all have been there in our lives

In company of the great minds

Of the past and the present

The now

Hope is alive, but still needs

Heroes willing to fight

The unbeatable foe


To dream

Because we all have dreams

We must unite and dream together

To reach the goals of our ancestors

Whoever they may have been

From wherever they may have come

It will be our task

to fight the windmills of today

to see each other as one soul

to teach love and peace

to get rid of senseless hatreds


to dream our American dream together

to reach out to each other

to keep our eyes on the prize

this is my dream.

                                                                                          by Melba Christie (c) 2013


My Quixote By Melba Christie (c) 2006 – Painted to commemorate 500th birthday of Cervantes.

My Quixote


How to write a poem when you are so angry that you would rather not

There should be a rule that says that no one under any circumstances should be allowed to write a poem when angry. Poems should be created when the poet is under the influence of joy and bliss. Anger will taint a poem forever. A poem is not where anger should dwell and be allowed to swell. But poets are human and err like everyone else. Why not give them a venue to vent and manage their resentments and or annoyances. Do not we need as a society to ignite the idea that anger can be channeled through writing about what infuriates us instead of caging the rage like a wild animal?

I propose that we allow poets to craft their poems of fury using a certain format. So here it is:
Poems of wrath must not use profanity. They must not slander anyone. However, if the dander is so intense that it is necessary to madden the crowd about the issue and hang the culprit responsible for the accumulation of said antagonism, then by all means the poet may show his rage. However, it is advised that this type of poem not be published to avoid any issues of liable or possible law suits.

Poems of anger should provide the reader with at least four powerful images. It must include at minimum two hyperboles. The poet will ensure that nothing rhymes. Slang will be accepted. The poem should not be any longer than twenty-one lines.

Depending on the level of anxiety or frustration the poet possesses during the writing of the first draft of the poem, it may be necessary to deflate some of the exasperation by taking three deep breaths each time a very dark image captures the imagination. Pilates are also a good way to calm down and get rid of stress.

Poems of sheer ire must be filled with onomatopoeias to illustrate the explosive nature of the fury. However, avoid repetitions and redundancies. I will tell you right now that you will not get any sympathy from me.

By all means use as many similes as you please. Make sure that the meter is just right. Rile up but keep the flow. Use symbolism sparingly. Now if during your pre-write, free write or brainstorming session you realize that whatever it was that made you angry is not such a big deal after all, then write a poem to the contraire. And if my suggestions aggravated you more, then please do not write a poem about me. I was just trying to help.