Poet Mari Evans understood the power of listening, silence


Did you know?  Mari Evans (July 16, 1919– March 10, 2017) was an poet, writer, and dramatist associated with the Black Arts Movement. Evans received grants and awards including a lifetime achievement award from the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.”
“In her essay “How We Speak,” published in Clarity as Concept, Mari Evans wrote, “Listening is a special art. It is a fine art developed by practice. One hears the unexpressed as clearly as if it had been verbalized. One hears silence screaming in clarion tones. Ninety decibels. Hears tears, unshed, falling. Hears hunger gnawing at the back of spines; hears aching feet pushed past that one more step. Hears the repressed hurt of incest, hears the anguish of spousal abuse. Hears it all. Clearly, listening is a fine art. It can translate an obscure text into reality that walks, weeps and carries its own odor. Listening can decode a stranger’s eye and hear autobiography. Listening can watch a listless babe and understand the absence of future, the improbability, in fact, of possibility. Listening, more often than not, is a crushing experience.”
Read more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mari-evans

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