Alice Walker: Born February 9 1944 , Putnam County ga . Her birth name is Alice Malsenior Walker. Her most famous piece of poetry is the Color Purple, published in 1982. The motion picture The Color Purple, directed by Steven Speilsburg won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Alice later made her mark when she was involved in the civil rights movement and later stood for women's rights in oppressive countries. The proposal for helping young girls in Africa from not being able to have women hood , reflects her passion for women’s liberation.


Poem: Be Nobody’s Darling
Be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.
But be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

In Walker’s first line of ,”Be Nobody’s Darling”, she states be an outcast. With the title of the poem alone one can depict a possible theme ,which would be the self. As Walker says” be an outcast”, the idea of solitude also comes to mind. Solitude,Isolation, Independence would all mean Self. Walker uses juxtaposition and
imagery to express her bold stance. As people living in this world we would question of such loneness, but Walker says so be it with her sardonic yet sincere tone. Walker says,” let them look askance at you and you askance reply”, followed by the words be an outcast. Walker goes on to say be pleased with who you are or uncool. As hard as it seems, or as you could say it is easily said than done, you could most definitely take [her] word . Alice Walker was bullied and isolated for a while in her early years, embarrassed with who she was. For
she became partially blinded in one eye due to her playing cow boys and Indians,and was scarred by a BB gun. Walker was forced to be uncomfortable with who she was and through her writing and being who she is, the outcast . She took the contradictions of her own life and wrapped them around hers self. Through imagery we would envision our trials and tribulations clothing us , making us who we are. Be nobody’s Darling ,insists to tell the reader to not feed into others skeptical opinions and be who you are. Alice Walker uses a paradox when she says,” Qualified to live, Among your dead”. Walker also uses the possible theme of contradiction. For if
everyone was an outcast , we would never be alone. The world would be a group of outcasts being who we are with out a care of anyone’s criticism. This idea would make the world unified , which is what’s missing in it. The dead Walker speaks of, are reference those people who are doubtful of you.

be nonbodys darling.jpg

Blessed are the Poor in spirit


Did you ever understand this?
If my spirit was poor, how could I enter heaven?
Was I depressed?
Understanding editing,
I see how a comma, removed or inserted
with careful plan,
can change everything.
I was reminded of this
when a poor young man
in Tunisia
desperate to live
and humiliated for trying
set himself ablaze;
I felt uncomfortably warm
as if scalded by his shame.
I do not have to sell vegetables from a cart as he did
or live in narrow rooms too small for spacious thought;
and, at this late date,
I do not worry that someone will
remove every single opportunity
for me to thrive.
Still, I am connected to, inseparable from,
this young man.
Blessed are the poor, in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus. (Commas restored) .
Jesus was as usual talking about solidarity: about how we join with others
and, in spirit, feel the world, and suffering, the same as them.
This is the kingdom of owning the other as self, the self as other;
that transforms grief into
peace and delight.I, and you, might enter the heaven
of right here
through this door.
In this spirit, knowing we are blessed,
we might remain poor
“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”, is portrayed through the experience Alice Walker has witnessed and enlightened her. She starts with an rhetorical question , asking of the understanding of how an poor spirit can enter into heaven, that would later be revealed unto her. Walker goes on to describe her experience as she traveled to Tunisia , and witnessed a man setting himself ablaze( line 13). She felt warm and connected to the man and could not understand why. As people , with multifarious ways of life , we are much alike than we think. We all have the same needs and wants , but rather we are object to receiving or giving is what separates us. What also connects people are our “spirit, feel[ing] the world, and suffering, the same as [each other] (line27). There is a since of humbleness that Walker portrays using symbolism. She uses the likeness of Jesus Christ, for he spoke of joining with others. For he is a prime example of carrying the burdens, sufferings of his brothers and sisters as his own. This principle Walker describe is “ solidarity”. ( line26). Humbling the fact that we are one. Walker humbled the fact that she do not have to become a vendor on the side of the street , selling fruits and vegetables off of a cart. Neither does she have to live in a narrow room, but was still connected to the young man. The kingdom we inherit turns the suffering into “peace and delight”(line30).

Going Out To the Garden
Going out to the garden
this morning
to plant seeds
for my winter greens
-the strong, fiery mustard
& the milder
broadleaf turnip-
I saw a gecko
like the rest of us
has been
from the heat.
Geckos like heat
I know this
but the heat
these last few days
has been excessive
for us
& for them.
A spray of water
from the house
touched its skin:
I thought it would
run away.
There are crevices
to hide in:
the garden wall
is made of stones.
But no
not only
did the gecko
not run away
it appeared
to raise
its eyes
& head
looking for more.
I gave it.
Squirt after
of cooling
from the green
garden hose.
Is it the end
of the world?
It seemed to ask.

This bliss,
is it Paradise?
I bathed it
until we were both
washed clean
of the troubles
of this world
at least for this moment:
this moment of pleasure
of gecko
as I with so much happiness
played Goddess
to Gecko.

In Alice Walker’s ,” Going Out to the Garden “, she reveals her encounters on a typical day the ended in peace and tranquility. Walker went out to her garden , as any gardener would do to water plants . In this case she was watering her turnip greens. She soon spotted a gecko, lying on greens in exhaustion. As it was described to be “excessively hot”( line 18), on that particular day . The heat of the day as well as life was overwhelming. Understanding and feeling the warmth upon herself Walker , sprays the little creature with water. She knew that geckos loved the heat , and expected it to run but surprisingly it did not . Alice Walker portrays symbolism throughout this specific work. The excessive heat of that day would be understood as the troubles of life. The water from the green water hose would extinguish that heat, refreshing the body. This particular experience Walker speaks of is recognition of the cleansing if our bodies . We all need a refreshing from the heat of life. This symbolism , or imagery is usually reference to , but in the action of rain. That moment Walker refers to as was of “ pleasure” ( line 48). We are not subject to forgetting our but to enjoy the cleansing moments of peace.

The Ways of Water

With your unknown
to me
Odd magic
You camerose.png
To me:
Your truck
As if sending
To the

You came
So gracefully
Behind you &
To work
As if nothing
Brought you

I did not see Life was
About to change, as it does,
When odd magic appears:
There was
No music

About relationships, our freedom
From same,
Which we
So defended;
About water, faucet
The gifts
Of growing older;
You set to work
& I, standing above you
As you lay on
Your back
Your feet:
Well cared for
In ocean blue
Made of tough

We said, we agreed
That's what we
How about going out
Together as buddies
For a night of music
& dance? My first
That song
Had a place
Your world.

Two years later
The leak
In my kitchen
As well as
The leak
I never mentioned
In my spirit.

Early and late
We savor
The music
That comes
Your horn
The Golden Phoenix
That travels
With us

Your sound
Your love of Miles & Bird
& Wynton
Friends of strangers
The globe.

In Poor
The grass
Has died
& the ponies
& oxen
& the people
Have nothing
To bath in
Or to drink
Yet are soothed
By your cool
& liquid
Music, which
You pour over them
So freely,
I want to tell them:
Yes, he is also
A water man.

Yes, he also knows
The ways
Of water.

But they know this.

Walker's poem ," The Ways of Water", is portrayed as romantic. From the beginning , Walker takes the most simple and important steps of recognizing a person for who they are. Through imagery one would refer the simple sound of a ,"truck ;backfiring"(lines 6-7), and illuminated with the imagery as romantic as a rocket flying to the stars. The effect of Walker's diction is the realism. Not the future. No expectations each adjective and demonstrative noun she used , took you to a place of being right there. The careful and considerate notice of a look , the observation and appreciation of a moment shared in meeting a person was incomparable. This could be referred to as Walker uses words such as, "buddies, agree".( lines 51-61). The activity such as going out to dance, she realized what a friend she had. With the realization of meaning of music in this world. They were soothed and cooled by liquid music . To take in every moment, every second, every word, every action and gesture of another was politely and positively portrayed in each line. There were no disappointments no misunderstandings , just pure interest joy in another person's presence. One could visualize close friends enjoying each other's time. Symbolism is also portrayed as she described her friend's possible occupation of a water man but his knowledge of the ways of water.