young soul

by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

First, feel, then feel, then
read, or read, then feel, then
fall, or stand, where you
already are. Think
of your self, and the other
selves . . . think
of your parents, your mothers
and sisters, your bentslick
father, then feel, or
fall, on your knees
if nothing else will move you,
                                            then read
                                            and look deeply
                                            into all matters
                                            come close to you
                                            city boys—
                                            country men
                                            Make some muscle
                                            in your head, but
                                            use the muscle
                                            in yr heart

“Young Soul” appeared in Black Magic, a collection of poems composed between 1961 and 1967.


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