Today my heart is heavy, filled with mixed anxiety, and grief
My beloved alumna sister, Toni Morrison, is now in relief
Read about her, as I entered the halls of Howard University
Where she attended, graduated, and taught as a professor
She had a mission and vision, one of God’s great successors
She changed the landscape of African American literature
As an editor at Random House, she encouraged creators
Angela Davis found inspiration in her words as an author
Embracing her own unique self and cultural poetic voice
Stokely Carmichael also embolden by her, made his choice
Gracing Newsweek’s cover, with great success many prayed
Winning the National Book Critics Award, she was on her way
“Song of Solomon” made many realized she was here to stay
First female author to win the 1993 Noble Prize, she was no play
Now my beloved sister has another journey and has gone away
Such an internationally acclaimed visionary force with her pen
Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2012, back then
She touched many heart and souls, people called her a friend
Her legacy is here to stay for many to embrace and commend
My beloved sister, has completed her journey leaving dividends
In grand style she moved on to another phase in another journey
The sting has been removed from her soul with a smile of peace
The Creator has another place for her and with outstretched arms,
Saying, “Well done great and faithful daughter. You have
Taken little and turned it into many for others—Welcome Home!”
© Joseph S. Spence, Sr., 8/11/19
Authors Comments: Some Awards Received by my Beloved Sister Toni Morrison: National Book Critics Circle Award (1977); American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award (1977); Honorary degree Barnard College (1979); Pulitzer Prize (1988); American Book Award (1988); Robert F. Kennedy Book Award (1987-1988); Anisfield Wolf Book Award in Race Relations (1988); Modern Language Association of American Commonwealth Award of Literature (1989); Nobel Prize in Literature (1993); Commander of the Arts and Letters, Paris (1993); Rhegium Julii Prize for Literature (1994); Condorcet Medal, Paris (1994); The Pearl Busk Award (1994); Jefferson Lecture (1996); National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (1996); National Humanities Medal (2004); Honorary degree, Oxford University (2005); Presidential Medal of Honor 2012; Order des Arts es des Lettres (France); and more.
Some Books Written by Toni Morrison: Sula 1976, 2004, 2014; Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality 1992; The Bluest Eyes 1994, 1999; Playing in the Dark 1993; Collected Novels of Toni Morrison 1994; The Dancing Mind 1996; Beloved 1996, 2014; James Baldwin Collective Essays 1998; Critical Essay of Toni Morrison 1998; Paradise 1999; The Book of Mean People 2002; Toni Morrison 8-Book Set 2002; Motherhood 2003; Song of Solomon 2004, Love 2005; The Bluest Eyes 2007; Toni Morrison Conversion 2008; Moves at Margin 2008; Peeny Butter Fudge 2009; Reading Learning Teaching 2009; A Mercy 2009; Little Cloud and Lady Wind 2010; Toni Morrison Novel Collection 2010; Desdemona 2012; Writing the Moral Imagination 2012; The Cambridge Introduction 2012; Burn This Book 2012; An Ethical Poetics 2013; Home 2013; Jazz 2014; Paradise 2014, 2019; A Mercy 2018; Love, The Origin of Others 2017, 2019; The Tortoise or the Hare 2014; Forty Years of Clearing 2014; Tar Baby 2014; Wasted Talent in Bluest Eyes 2015; The New York Time Magazine 2015; Please, Louis 2016; God Help The Child 2016; Study Guide: Bluest Eyes 2017, 2018; Study Guide for Sula 2017; The Cambridge Companion 2017; Study Guide to Song of Solomon 2017; Study Guide: Recitatif 2017; 365 Uplifting Quotes 2018; Little Dreamer: Visionary Woman Around the World 2018; Study Guide: Beloved: French Edition 2018; What The Source of Self Regard 2019; Study Guide: God Help Toni Morrison 2019; Goodness and the Literary Imagination 2019; Beloved: Book Analysis and Summaries 2019; and others, especially in Spanish editions.
May God continue to bless our Alma Mater, Howard University, and the great talents of knowledge it will generate for future endeavors. Blessings always!
Biographical Sketch of the Prolific Poet Joseph S. Spence, Sr.
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., has authored seven poetry books, and invented the “Epulaeryu Poetry, Linking Pin Sonnet, and Seventh Heaven,” poetic forms. His writings have appeared globally in forums such as: journals, anthologies, magazines, ezines, the U. S. Army, newspapers, et al. He retired from the U.S. Army as an officer, and was given the name “Apollo,” the Greek mythical god of poetry and music, by his military comrades for appreciation of his poems. He has taught at Bryant and Stratton University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, the American Baptist College, Wisconsin, and is a Goodwill Ambassador for Arkansas, USA. He has electrified audience around the world with his inspirational poetic words, and has received many poetry awards including: Noble Star for Literature 12/2018, Living Legend of the 21st Century 5/2019, International Peace Award 7/2019 (India); Literary Gold Badge 5/2109 and Ambassador De Literature 6/2109 (Oman); Gold Medal of Honor 5/2109 (Nigeria), Poetry Ambassador Medal, Independent Poet Laureate, Who’s Who in Poetry, Numerous Editor’s Choice Awards (USA); and Poetry Bard (UK). He is a professional book reviewer who has reviewed and posted over 50-book reviews in various mediums. He has membership in various global scholastic honor societies, served as poet-in-residence for Saint Andrews Scottish Society, and is a member of the Scottish poetry bard, Robert Burns Club, Milwaukee. He is the chief advisor to the founder, Shiju H. Pallithazheth, of the largest worldwide poetry forum, “Motivational Strips,” which is dedicated to uplifting humanity with inspirational poetic words. His poems have been published in the following languages: Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Jamiekan Patwa/Patois, Scottish Gaelic, Nigerian Yoruba, Bengali, Assam, and Hindi. He studied English Literature, Creative Writing, Africology, and Poetry at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, loves historical poems based on his worldwide travels, and resides in Wisconsin, USA.