The Poems

Maria Hamilton Abegunde

Maria Hamilton Abegunde, Ph.D.

Link to full bio. 

Maria Hamilton Abegunde, Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. She wrote and recorded four poems inspired by imaginings of Lizzie's life, her dreams, and potential futures.

In collaboration with Raymond Wise, Ph.D., her poems were then put to music. Please enjoy Dr. Abegunde's readings of each poem, followed by the option to view the musical recording of each piece. 

Whispering into the Light

The Night is Me

One Day a Woman Will Come

The Voice of God

All poems © 2022 Maria Hamilton Abegunde  

Whispering into Light (Movement 1)      

The stars don’t know I look at them. They don’t see me. Though, I cannot be sure. I stand here, face up. Every night. I am light like they are. What’s on the other side of their brilliance?   If I close my eyes long enough, can I be there and not here? Could I stay? Or would someone call me back, to be so kind, to the children? To be so prompt with the dinner? To be so … me. I want to be so me, whatever that means. I’m going to whisper to them. The stars. Surely whispering into light will carry a message to the other side of time.    Listen     Watch 

The Night is Me (Movement 2)  

The night is like me. Dark and full of promises. She hides secrets that delight only her. She patiently waits for morning. Be still, I tell myself. Let night turn into day slowly. Wait for her fullness to lift off the world. Wait for your ears to hear the waking breaths of the children. How many are waiting for our arrivals?   Listen     Watch

One Day a Woman Will Come (Movement 3) 

The window reveals all.  One day, a woman will come and stand here. She will know what no one else knows: I could see everything and everyone. She will see what I imagine and cannot. That my life is so important to someone else besides me.     Listen     Watch

The Voice of God (Movement 4)

Black holes and star dust. The Milky Way. Messages from ancients. What if they remember my true home? Do they see me? Smaller than they appear in the sky?  They are mirrors. I am star light. Some midnights, I can hear them twinkle. They keep me up at night, streaming through the curtains. I think if I am silent I can hear the voice of God and it sounds like me dreaming.   Listen     Watch

The Poems