This is the story of Fortune's Bones. Fortune was a Slave in Connecticut, his master was Dr. Porter. When Fortune died Dr. Porter used his bones for further study. The bones stayed in the Porter family for a few generations. Eventually they ended up in a small museum in Waterbury CT.
Nelson educates with her poems and moves you with her words. Beauty and knowledge is a wonderful combination. Whenever I read Nelson I start with the author's note. She takes the time to explain certain aspects of poem.
From the last paragraph of the author's note -
"A requiem, by definition, is sad the person it honors has died. But manumission - the freeing of a slave - is a joyous event. By calling this The Manumission Requiem, I'm setting grief side by side with joy."
Nelson believes the high point of her requiem is Not My Bones. I agree. The first paragraph
I was not this body,
I was not these bones
This skeleton was just my
Elementary molecules converged for a breath
than danced on beyond my individual death
And I am not my body,
I am not my body.
Listen to Nelson read the preface . I've listened to it twice. Fortune's Bones was published in 2004 and was a Coretta Scott King Honor.
I've linked this post to Poetry Friday, this week the round up can be found at Some Novel Ideas
Every Friday children's bloggers can contribute a poetry related link to a poetry round up. Anyone is free to participate at anytime. This is my first time.