Can I poet with you – Ntozake Shange 2


I had originally hoped to post a poem a day during Poetry Month (April) which has officially ended although there’s a big celebration of poetry, Mass Poetry Festival in Salem from May 1-3, featuring such poets as Rita Dove, Nick Flynn and Marge Piercy.

Work obligations interfered with life desires and so that didn’t happen. However, I had to share this poem as an official sign-off.  Never got around to publicizing some of my own poetry or some poems from local poets I admire.  Poetry will make continuing appearances on this blog from time to time.

Get it &  feel good by Ntozake Shange is an anthem.  Just those words: “get it and feel good” have exercised a positive power in my life when I call on them. Ms. Shange was talking attributes of men/potential romantic partners but the words have much more power than that and can applied to a lot of situations.  I hope this poem inspires you similarly.

get it & feel good by Ntozake Shange
“you cd just take what
he’s got for you Ntozake images
i mean what’s available
cd add up in the long run
if it’s music/ take it
say he’s got good
dishwashing techniques
he cd be a marvelous
masseur/ take it
whatever good there is to
get/ get it & feel good

say there’s an electrical
wiring fanatic/ he cd
come in handy some day
suppose they know how to tend plants
if you want somebody
with guts/ you cd go to a rodeo
a prize fight/ or a gang war might be up your alley
there’s somebody out there
with something you want/
not alla it/ but a lil
bit from here & there can
add up in the long run

whatever good there is to get
get it & feel good
this one’s got kisses
that one can lay
linoleum
this one likes wine
that one fries butter fish
real good
this one is a anarcho-musicologist
this one wants pushkin to rise again
& that one has had it with the past tense/
whatever good there is to get/
get it & feel good
this one cd make music
roll around the small of
yr back & that one jumps
up & down in the gardens
it cd be yrs
there really is enuf to get
by with in this world but
you have to know what yr looking
for/ whatever good there is to get
get it & feel good
you have to know what
they will give up easily
what’s available is not always
all thats possible
but there’s so much fluctuation
in the market these days
you have to be
particular

whatever good there is to get
get it & feel good
whatever good there is to get
get it & feel good/ get it & feel good
snatch it & feel good
grab it & feel good
steal it & feel good
borrow it & feel good
reach it & reel good

you cd
oh yeah
& feel good ”

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Read more about about playwright, poet, novelist, and activists  Ntozake Shange: books, performances here.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.


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2 thoughts on “Can I poet with you – Ntozake Shange

  • India Smith

    Thank you for sharing this. I am going to the library THIS AFTERNOON to find more of her poems. But this one must be unique.

    • Candelaria Silva Post author

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment. You’ll enjoy Ms. Shange’s poetry.
      Her Broadway smash, For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf sprang from her poetry.