poetry quarterly

10th anniversary


Verna Taylor



Langston's voice is an oboe voice
as jazzy as a clarinet song

deep as a river
ancient as a heart
ancient as an African heart

Langston's voice is a harpist's hymn
as haunting as a tribal choir

endless as a desert
strong as a drum
strong as a griot's drum

to the sorrow-ships
heaving on the seas
Langston's voice was an oboe voice

as jazzy as a clarinet song
deep as the river
and ancient as his African heart...


Verna Taylor received an MA in Linguistics from the University at Buffalo. She won Poet of the Year Award in Montreal, Quebec and her play, Oasis, was produced by DramaLab in a workshop performance in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has taught at SUNY/Buffalo, McGill University, The University of Maryland, and also in Saudi Arabia, Korea and Malaysia. She is a re-emerging poet who currently lives, writes and teaches near College Park, MD.


Published in Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 2011.