Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Ascent

Into the air like dandelion seed
Or like the spiral of lark into the light
Or fountain into sun. All former sight
From hill or mountain was a mere hint of this.
We gain a new dimension. What had been
Our prison, where we crawled and clung like ants,
We spurn, and vision lying far beneath us.

O naked shape of earth! What green mammelles,
Arteries of gold and silver, turquoise flanks,
Plush jungles now are patterned! As we bank,
The earth tilts; we are level and aloof,
And it spins on and on among the stars.
We poise in air, hang motionless, and see
The planet turns with slow grace of a dancer.


From Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall, edited by Melba Joyce Boyd © 2009 by Dudley Randall. Reprinted with permission of the editor. 


Dudley Randall

Dudley Randall, founder of Broadside Press and author of A Litany of Friends, New and Selected Poems (Lotus Press, 1981), has been called "the father of the black poetry movement of the 1960s."

Date Published: 2009-01-01

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