God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse
James Weldon Johnson was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and one of the most revered African Americans of all time, whose life demonstrated the full spectrum of struggle and success. In God's Trombones, one of his most celebrated works, inspirational sermons of African American preachers are reimagined as poetry, reverberating with the musicality and splendid...more
They are Biblical in themes and blending with the Black experience in US as slaves they evoke powerful emotions.
These verse-sermons are modeled ...more
See if you can read "Go Down Death - A Funeral Sermon" without getting a ...more
The sermons are lyrical--they live essentially pre-heard , nascent within us. Ancient stories adjusted for local preference. Sometimes I wish I had a spiritual inclination, not often--but certainly sometimes. I was listening to Count Basie, if that helps. The cadence outreaches the eschatology. That could ...more
James Weldon Johnson (1871 -- 1938) is best-known as the author of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the "Negro National Anthem" written in 1900 for Lincoln's birthday. Johnson had extraordinary gifts as a poet. His celebration of the African-American preacher in "God's Trombones", published in 1927, is a masterpiece of American poetry.
Johnson was inspired to write "God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse " after hearing a stirring African-American preacher in Kansas ...more
Your arm's too short to box with God."
I think you should read these poems.
Other than that they give me chills and I want to hear them performed on stage, I don't really have much else to say about the whole situation. Read the poems, is what I'm saying.
I remember hearing "Go Down, Death" from a film from the 1940s that used this poem as inspiration for the movie from this book, so it was interesting to read it.
Yesterday I decided that it was time to read the book. I discovered it was a gift from the deacons of our church to my father as he was enjoying one of ...more
A thought-provoking statement comes from the Forward: “African Americans are the only people in the whole world and history who really practice Christianity.” No one else has ever found in their hearts the gift of forgiveness, the Forward claims. African Americans forgave the slave owners who worked them without payment for 240 years. This ability to forgive made ...more
i've recited "Go Down Death" at the funerals for both of my grandmothers. even now, just reading it casually, i still get emotional just before the end of the poem.
I find it interesting that these are mostly Old Testament tales -- an angry, vengeful God. These preachers and their congregations were so profoundly sinned against; perhaps that made the idea of salvation for the good and hellfire for the evil particularly attractive.