Poems from the book Resting on my Laurels,  Poetry

What a Gift You Have Given Me!

Today I had the honor of joining fellow poets laureate Genea Brice and Johanna Ely in speaking about some incredible women poets for the AAUW’s Voices of Change: American Women Poets who have Made a Difference. I spoke about and read one poem each from Alicia Ostriker and Emma Lazarus. The poems I read appear in The Imaginary Lover and Dover Thrift’s The Poems of Emma Lazarus, Volume One. I’d encourage you to buy their books on Amazon as well as Esther Schorr’s excellent biography on Emma.

Thank you to the AAUW for including me, and the Benicia Herald, the Times Herald, Benicia Patch, KUIC, Visit Vallejo, Visit Benicia, and Benicia Literary Arts for helping to spread the word.

As I was researching a poem started coming to me. I performed this alongside “Headline Antidote” at the Benicia Library for the event.

What A Gift You Have Given Me!

Research is a journey,
a wandering through history
in every direction
making connections,
stumbling onto discoveries,
long left to the dustbin of memory,

a respite from all worry
that briefly sets us free
to travel through time,
nourishing our minds
with the biographies
of those souls
who dared
turn dream to reality,

once again breathing life
into their stories,
their voices echoing
like loudspeakers
in the arena

with prophetic messages
yet to be realized
thundering forth
that we might carry them forward
towards a new generation,

for the world we must build
sits upon the foundation
of those dreamers
who broke ground
before us.

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of ten books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and leads the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes.

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