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Built Environment The Poetry of Strife and Life

The following is a selection of the writing “Poor Folks Have Dreams” by Etta Norwood

“The memories and everything that builds a memory is of value to hang on to.  Cast away any care of tomorrow and enjoy the moment, the voice, the day.” (Etta, 77)

There was always room at the table
in the home of the poor when I was growing up.
Poor folks always had room for another dog,
another mouth, another empty tummy that needed to be fed.

But poor folks have no room –
No room for the rich folks who take,
no room for the selfish folks who eat in the presence
of those who are hungry
Hungry for Love, peace, joy –
Hungry for a sense that it’s going to be alright tomorrow.
No room for children who won’t share toys,
adults who won’t share their last dollar.
No room for worry about politicians not elected with our money,
a promised housing development project,
another storm that may or may not come.

No, what has importance is what’s going in the soup.
Do you have corn and a little basil?
A smile, good laugh, and we have enough for today.
And plenty more for whoever needs.

“Poor folks have character if nothing else, character and dreams.”

The author describes life while living in poverty through poetry.  The article has three poems that are relevant to living in poverty while growing up the city.  The writing content describes interactions with others who are living in poverty and people who are well to do.  The contrast of emotional conflict juggling personalities to hid the truth.  The truth about poverty might expose your class.

A Built environment to shield the truth, the secret life of poverty.  The article is a personal accounting of childhood life in poverty in an African home and community.  The article talks about the mental pressures of being poor and interacting with society.  The article touches on the alternate lifestyle poverty influences like hoarding and recycling everything.  Everything has a value sometimes, some way.

The author describes dreams of the poor as if they had a life. What poor people wish for are simple needs and pleasures because the standard of living is limited, and so are aspirations.

Another point the article touched on was “It will be a better tomorrow” scenario that drives the community and fuels the dream “It will be a better day in heaven”.  That is the universal daily motivational theme; life is better somewhere else… Dreams deferred.

Work Cited

Norwood, Etta “Poor Folks Have Dreams”, Seeding The Process Of Multicultural Education, Minnesota Inclusive Program, 1998, pg. 77