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By Ezekiel Mphahlele

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How can you be deaf to the "whisper warning shout" riding "down the terrible night"? How can you be insensible of "the dread of the knife and the rope/the Terror of the hissing faggot," of "the sheriff's face huge and high among the trees/riding the vengeful night"? How can I the reader be left unmoved by the poignant tone Voices in the Whirlwind: Poetry and Conflict 33 of the poem "My Brother John"? Brother John ridiculed his sister's poems of grief and fear. He could never find his name; he played meek and mild.

6); "He wakes, unwinds, elaborately: a cat/Tawny, reluctant, royal" (p. 6 of "Satin-Legs Smith"); "shake hands with paupers" (p. 13); "He dances down the hotel steps that keep/Remnants of last night's high life and distress" (p. , of Smith's girl) (p. 17); "Kick the law into their teeth" (p. 19); "Her bacon burned. She/Hastened to hide it in the step-oncan" (p. 75); " 'What I want,' the older baby said,j'is 'lasses on my jam: Whereupon the younger baby/Picked up the molasses pitcher and threw/The molasses in his brothers' faces" (p.

You know that his protagonist is also the Negro race. A strong elegiac note comes in often. " The staircase is the rotten, squalid path and dwelling place of the Negro people. It turns and pants with the life that inhabits it. " The protagonist's twin brother-any other black young man-is on the run, and comes 28. The following quotations have been taken from Samuel Allen, Ivory Tusks and Other Poems (Millbrook, New York: Poets Press, 1968). This book was printed in a limited edition without page numbers.

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