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In thinking about poetry, we have to pay homage to those before us. Without them, how can we be? This is the very reason I wrote "Respect". "Respect" was published in my fourth book of poetry, Renaissance of the Psyche, in November 2017. I hope this poem inspires and encourages other poets. 
I have to give respect where respect is due
This poetry thing has never been new
The greats before us paved the way for us
To lyrically flow and make a stand for us
We have to pay homage to the present and past
Because it’s with past that our presence last
See Nikki Giovanni was an active poet
Created different platforms for others to show it
Sonya Sanchez is world renowned
The love of language created beautiful sound
Edgar Allan Poe, the father of detective stories
The Raven was where he got his glory
Maya Angelou said “Still I Rise.”
Phenomenal Woman with her Eyes on the Prize
William Ernest Henley was a delectable soul
Master of his fate and captain of his soul
Amiri Baraka fought for the rights of his own
Poet, playwright, and very well-known
Sam Walter Foss wrote The House by the Side of the Road
Listening to that poem will never get old
Etheridge Knight did Poems from Prison
And this is where his name had risen
Gwendolyn Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize
highly influential and very wise
See these are the greats who we must acknowledge
And this right here is why we pay homage
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Sacrifice is relative.  Anything you give up what robs you of what has meaning in your life is a sacrifice. 
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