Sweet Solitude

New and Selected Poems

By Leonard A. Slade Jr.

Subjects: Poetry, African American Studies
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438433448, 148 pages, January 2011
Hardcover : 9781438433455, 148 pages, August 2010

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Table of contents

I. From Another Black Voice:

A Different Drummer (1988)

The Black Man Speaks of Rivers, Part 2: A Tribute to Langston Hughes


The Black Madonna

The Anniversary

The Country Preacher’s Folk Prayer

God’s Gender

The Mansion

By the Side of the Road


Elegy for Therman B. O’Daniel

II. From The Beauty of Blackness (1989)
The Beauty of Blackness


Sleepless Now


When I Heard from the Tax Man

A Child’s Play

A Black Man’s Song


To an Apostle of Peace

III. From I Fly Like a Bird (1992)

Black Woman

His Professor



And Want No More

Garden Party

What Are You, Life?


We Mourn a Sweet Soul

IV. From The Whipping Song (1993)
The Whipping Song

Peace Will Come

For My Forefathers

The Street Man

Love Should Grow, Not Wither


A Plea for Peace

Before the Death of Dad

Winds of Change

V. From For the Love of Freedom (2000)
For the Love of Freedom

The Black Hair

Why Are You Laughing?

The Saint

A Song for the Black Woman

VI. From Vintage (1995)

There Will Be Blacks in Heaven


VII. From Pure Light (1996)
Pure Light

Calling All Black Men


Your Life Is Over for You If


In Praise of Shoeshines

So Happy

Innocence in Black and White

Budget Cuts

I Fly Away

How Great You Are

VIII. From Neglecting the Flowers (1997)
Black and Beautiful

Rapping My Way Home from an English Conference at Hunter College on March 22, 1997

Reverend Hotair

Neglecting the Flowers

Like Douglass

Bury Yourself Now

On the Death of Mothers



To Mephistopheles

Come, Prince of Peace

Good Manners


IX. From Lilacs in Spring (1998)
I Came, I Saw, I Dreamed

The Country Club in the Academy

Lilacs in Spring

Song for a Beautiful Lady

Boss Hogg

Thank You, Abe!

X. From Elisabeth and Other Poems (1999)

The Good Queen Bess

Mother Africa

Working on the Farm in 1947

Marry This Poem


Embden Pond

Robert Lewis (Our Samoyed)

XI. From Jazz After Dinner (2007)
Jazz After Dinner

And When I Die

I Am a Black Man

Black Philosophy

Morning After Morning


XII. New Poems (2008)



What I Need Is

I Want to Live While You Love Me

Highway to Love

I Do Love You



Claudia, Back Home

Elegy for Emmanuel




The Vision of America

The Geese

God’s Glory

The Thought

I Shall Pray

About the Author

New and selected poems on love, faith, and the African American experience.


Drawing deeply from the well of the African American experience, Leonard Slade's poetry addresses a wide variety of subjects and themes, from beauty, family, and nature to racism, religion, and politics. Running throughout, however, are the importance of love, faith, and the human need to be connected to others. Included in Sweet Solitude are new poems, previously uncollected in book form, as well as selections from the author's twelve volumes of previously published poetry. These are poems of celebration and endurance for all readers.