Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life.
― Robert Hayden
Born as Asa Bundy Sheffey, Robert Hayden is one of the renowned African American poets of American Literature. With a traumatic childhood and poor sightedness, Hayden found refuge in English Literature, predisposed with fiction and poetry. Hayden read extensively and researched on African American history. He was guided by W.H. Auden, a poet and professor at Michigan University with different poetic styles and techniques. Some of his poems were also inspired by Baha’i faith and belief. Robert Hayden’s renowned compositions include Heart Shape in the Dust, Ballad Remembrance, Those Winter Sundays, The Middle Passage, among others; which won him several honors like the first African American Poet Laureate. Most of his compositions address the issues of war, slavery, independence and other socio political themes. The man who resented racial discrimination and thus proclaimed himself an American poet instead of African American poet, died on 25th February 1980.
The old woman across the way
is whipping the boy again
and shouting to the neighborhood
her goodness and his wrongs.
Wildly he crashes through elephant ears,
pleads in dusty zinnias,
while she in spite of crippling fat
pursues and corners him.
She strikes and strikes the shrilly circling
boy till the stick breaks
in her hand. …Read more »