COMPLETE [Fortnightly Poem] The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper - dl

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aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 8th, 2020, 4:14 pm

The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper (1731 - 1800).

All audio files can be found on our catalog page: https://librivox.org/the-negros-complaint-by-william-cowper/
Cowper, an English poet, wrote a poem called "The Negro's Complaint" (1788) which rapidly became very famous, and was often quoted by Martin Luther King Jr. during the 20th century civil rights movement. ( Wikipedia)
Each fortnight a poem is chosen to be recorded by as many LibriVox volunteers as possible!
This Fortnightly Poem has been suggested by Soupy (Craig)
This fortnight's poem can be found here.

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Begin your reading with the abbreviated LibriVox disclaimer:
No more than 0.5 to 1 second of silence at the beginning of the recording!
The Negro's Complaint by William Cowper, read for LibriVox.org by [your name].
[Add, if you wish, date, your location, and/or your personal url.]
Then read the poem:
FORCED from home and all its pleasures
Afric's coast I left forlorn ;
To increase a stranger's treasures,
O'er the raging billows borne,
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold ;
But, though slave they have enrolled me
Minds are never to be sold.

Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task ?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit Nature's claim ;
Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.

Why did all creating Nature
Make the plant for which we toil ?
Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters, iron-hearted,
Lolling at your jovial boards ;
Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets your cane affords.

Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there one who reigns on high ?
Has he bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne the sky ?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws
Are the means that duty urges
Agents of his will to use ?

Hark ! he answers wild tornadoes,
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks ;
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrant's habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer no.

By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain ;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main ;
By our suffering since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart;
All, sustained by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart :

Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours !


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(And remember, anyone can suggest a poem for a certain week and/or coordinate an upcoming fortnightly poem! If you'd like to suggest a poem or coordinate a future Fortnightly Poetry project, please visit this thread.)
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

grs2905
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Post by grs2905 » February 9th, 2020, 11:20 am


aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 9th, 2020, 1:46 pm

Thank you Graham. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

silverquill
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Post by silverquill » February 13th, 2020, 12:20 am

Another reason to love Cowper!
Wonderful, terrible insights. Not all were blind.

https://librivox.org/uploads/aradlaw/complaint_cowper_lcw_128kb.mp3 2:50

aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 13th, 2020, 7:49 am

Thank you Larry. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

brucek
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Post by brucek » February 13th, 2020, 8:05 am


aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 13th, 2020, 9:36 am

Thank you Bruce. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

adrianstephens
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Post by adrianstephens » February 14th, 2020, 5:05 am

My Librivox-related YouTube series starts here: Part 0: Introduction. https://youtu.be/pMHYycgA5VU
...
Part 15: Case Study (Poem) https://youtu.be/41sr_VC1Qxo
Part 16: Case Study 2 (Dramatic Reading) https://youtu.be/GBIAd469vnM

aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 14th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Thank you Adrian. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

verycherrey
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Post by verycherrey » February 14th, 2020, 9:39 pm

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.

-Albert Einstein

aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 15th, 2020, 8:02 am

Thank you Mickey. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

Newgatenovelist
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Post by Newgatenovelist » February 18th, 2020, 4:29 am

I'm already looking forward to next week's! Mine is 3.20:
https://librivox.org/uploads/aradlaw/complaint_cowper_el_128kb.mp3
Erin

aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 18th, 2020, 6:35 pm

Thank you Erin. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

fshort
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Post by fshort » February 20th, 2020, 12:17 pm

Florence Short
… Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...
Janis Joplin -
Lyrics

aradlaw
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Post by aradlaw » February 20th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Thank you Florence. :thumbs:
David Lawrence

* Weekly & Fortnightly Poetry - Check out the Short Works forum for the latest projects!

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