Image by Poetry Foundation

of DeWitt Williams on his way to the Lincoln Cemetery

Gwendolyn Brooks


of DeWitt Williams on his way to the Lincoln Cemetery

Gwendolyn Brooks


of DeWitt Williams on his way to the Lincoln Cemetery

of DeWitt Williams on his way to the Lincoln Cemetery

He was born in Alabama.
He was bred in Illinois.
He was nothing but a
Plain black boy.

Swing low swing low sweet sweet chariot.
Nothing but a plain black boy.

Drive him past the Pool Hall.
Drive him past the Show.
Blind within his casket,
But maybe he will know.

Down through Forty-seventh Street:
Underneath the L,
And Northwest Corner, Prairie,
That he loved so well.

Don't forget the Dance Halls -
Warwick and Savoy,
Where he picked his women, where
He drank his liquid joy.

Born in Alabama.
Bred in Illinois.
He was nothing but a
Plain black boy.

Swing low swing low sweet sweet chariot.
Nothing but a plain black boy.


"Of DeWitt Williams on his way to the Lincoln Cemetery, from Selected Poems (New Directions, 2002), © Gwendolyn Brooks 2002, used by permission of Brooks Permissions.

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