Investigating Identity: “Act of Twisting” and “Marginalized”

At our last Creative Writing Forum, senior communication and culture major Savonnah Rowe read two poems that address the often paradoxical nature of exploring one’s own racial, cultural, and religious background. Read her selections, “Act of Twisting” and “Marginalized” below.


 Act of Twisting

Savonnah Rowe

Applying her skill and imagination
Her smooth but rough hands
Diligently and peacefully developed
Coils. 
Spritzing stubborn curls with water,
And distorting and shaping
My thick threaded black strands,
She groomed my mane,
Coated it with grease, and combed out any kinks
That might restrict her art.
This was our solitude.
A ritual I yearned for and loved,
Until I loathed her art
And despised her technique,
Which further attached me
To my pigmentation.

Marginalized

Savonnah Rowe

The man
Who rocked mama
To sleep while she cried
Sweet lullabies
In silence as she bit her lip-
Her muscles tense and obscured
Is the same man
Who whipped her son’s
Foreign tongue
Transitioning his taste buds
From spirituals to Christianity-
So that he could have the sweet taste
Of purification
His emasculated body free from sin.
Now his marginalized silenced prayer
Can be heard from the same gods
Who wrote that he was inferior
But your son listens
To the preacher
Who himself is ignorant
Of the stained glass that surrounds his church
With images of your village’s people
Being ravaged, raped, and hung,
Because the Latin that has colonized his tongue
Is the Latin of the same man
That silenced his people’s revolutions
Making them stagnant.

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