Dudley Randall
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Dudley Randall - The Black Poets

In 1971, Dudley Randall was a visiting professor of Black poetry at the University of Michigan, as well as an accomplished poet, himself while editing The Black Poets.
"I hoped to make The Black Poets the definitive anthology of black poetry...."

I share with you some my favorite poems of Mr. Randall.


my love has left me has gone from me
and I with no keepsake nothing not a glove handkerchief lock of hair picture
only in memory

the first night the magic snowfall
the warm blue-walled room we looking out at the snow
listening to music drinking the same cocktail
she pressing my hand searching my eyes
the first kiss my hands touching her
she close to me answering my lips
waking at morning eyes oening slowly

I approaching her house trembling
kissing her entering the room waking all night writing a poem for her
thinking of her planning her pleasure
remembering her least liking and desire
she cooking for me eating with me
kissing me with little kisses over the face
we telling our lives till morning

more to remember better to forget
she deny me slashing my love
all pain forgotten if only she comes back to me

The Profile on the Pillow

After our fierce loving
in the brief time we found to be together,
you lay in the half light
exhausted, rich,
with your face turned sideways on the pillow,
and I traced the exquisite
line of your profile, dark against the white,
delicate and lovely as a child's.

you will cease to love me, or we may be consumed in the holocaust,
but I keep, against the ice and the fire,
the memory of your profile on the pillow.


Why are our ancestors
always kings and princes
and never the common people?

Was the Old Country a democracy
where every man was a king?
Or did the slave-catchers
steal only the aristocrats
and leave the fieldhands
street cleaners
garbage collectors
dish washers
and maids

My own ancestor
(research reveals)
was a swineherd
who tended the pigs
in the royal Pegstye
and slept in the mud among the hogs.

Yet I'm as proud of him
as of any king or prince
dreamed up in fantasies
of bygone glory.

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