I was getting rid of some boxes that’s been just sitting in a corner of my apartment.  And I came across a book that I thought I had misplaced.  It’s the Collected Poems of Robert Hayden.  Flipping through the collection I came across a favorite, Snow.  The reason I think I’ve always enjoyed this piece is that it uses so little to express so much.

Snow by Robert Hayden

Smooths and burdens,
endangers, hardens.

Erases, revises.

Vistas of lunar solitude.
Builds, embellishes a mood.


Here’s my attempt at using as few words as possible to express my feelings on my hair:


Nappy nappy
springs split-ends
soft wild dusky velvet.

Bold black beauty
spry leaping panther
rich as the Nile
subtle as wisdom

Nappy nappy
springs split-ends
soft wild dusky velvet

5 thoughts on “Hair

  1. That is cool, the poem has a kind of bouncing energy. Compression is a big part of how poetry works, I think.

    Yes it does. That’s what makes it powerful: Compression and the right words and placement of those words. Thanks :-).


  2. i love your hair poem — awesome feel and flow. that second stanza is great — it describes the wonder and beauty that nappy hair is.

    i should really try compression. i’m such a bad poet. i go on and on.

    Thanks Lissa, and you are a terrific poet.


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