Sparkling Esperanza Spalding

I had this draft sitting for a couple of weeks waiting for the words, imaging that I would have to do a hard sell on her beautiful sound. Alas, it seems the Grammy’s show it is not a hard sell at all and that her work speaks or sings for itself. My absolute favorite is the first song “Little Fly” her adaptation of William Blake’s poem #97 the Fly.

She inspires me, the near perfect mingling of techniques, styles, her flair, ability, and confidence, her genuine approach to interviewing and the sweet soul that must underlie it all to make music so refreshing, so new and wholly her own. To me, her sound represents a body of work, what a dissertation should portend or least hint at. I am crafting the equivalent for my research – a tone of writing, a technique of analysis, a brand based in a unique approach to research on everyday objects. I can only trust that what I produce also will be palatable and my market, identifiable. Esperanza is a wonderful role model though our disciplines are different. I wish her continued success, and I hope to see her live, soon!

So, it is without further ado…I present, Esperanza Spalding

(Poem #97The Fly

Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink and sing
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath;
And the want
of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

— William Blake


I’m Stepping Back a la Sonia Sanchez, Claim another day

Step Back by Sonia Sanchez on Talib Kweli’s album – Blacksmith The Movement

Track # 15 (0:39 seconds) Step Back, by renowned Poet Sonia Sanchez and lyricist Talib Kweli.


I say, all you young girls waiting to live

I say,  all you young girls taking your pill,

I say all you sistahs tired of standing still,

I say all you sistahs thinking you won’t, but you will…

Don’t let them kill you with their stare,

Don’t let them closet you with no air,

Don’t let them feed you sex piecemeal,

Don’t let them offer you any ordeal

I say step back sistahs, we rising from the dead,

I say step back  ***, we dancing on our heads,

I say step back man, no more hanging by a thread…

I say step back girl,

Can’t let it all go unsaid.

lyrics by Sonia Sanchez

A Haiku Mind, A Haiku Life

My Feeling Thinking Friends,

Toward growth, spiritual and emotional progress I write today of the poet, Sonia Sanchez. To me, she epitomizes the Beautiful Spirit which feeds her fantastical mind, loving heart and grounded views, that is, she IS the Haiku Mind personified, living a Haiku Life to inspire in us all, the Haiku Mind.

“A Haiku Mind: the way of looking at each other, the way of looking at the beauty in nature and transferring that looking [to the] the beauty in ourselves” (Sonia Sanchez, minute 3:22 —3:32)

She has taken up her mantle of artist, poet, seer, counselor and griot (pronounced: gree-oh) to share with us the way, the path, the methodos for beauty, creative expression, peace, personal productivity and overall health & well-being. It is through Her chosen art form, the Haiku which “…is three lines,  five–seven–five,  seventeen syllables  involved there, it will give us a moment of beauty, a moment of time, a moment of something so excruciatingly beautiful that you just stop for a minute, and it catches your breath, period”.  (Sonia Sanchez, minute 1:32–1:56)

(Here is the video, please do watch this lovely interview)

On April 26, 2010, Ms. Sanchez appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, and she offered us just that, moments in which we can and may pause to catch our breath in pace with her silken phraseology,  lyrical lilt delivered in her precise, crystalline, velvet-tinged voice:

“The beauty of the haiku is that it is NOT simplistic, the beauty of the haiku…is very complex. It reaches all the complexities of our life on this earth. Peace – thats a very complex idea, Peace…We can’t get it as human beings. And so what I am trying to do, is to tell young people, I teach them how to breathe before I teach the Haiku…that one breath, that one breath because the haiku keeps you alive, it keeps you going. If you learn how to breathe the heaiku, you learn how to breathe., and if you learn to breathe, you’re much healthier” (Sonia Sanchez, minute 3:57–4:33)

Check out her new book: A Morning Haiku