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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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