A Spade is Just a Spade Poem by Walter Everette Hawkins
Walter Everette Hawkins is one of the great poets, period. He also happened to be of African American descent. The following poem by Mr. Hawkins is particularly interesting in form and topic. It’s hard to know how to describe or interpret it, considering the time in which it was written. See what you think.
A Spade is Just a Spade
As I talk with learned people,
I have heard a strange remark,
Quite beyond my comprehension,
And I’m stumbling in the dark.
They advise: Don’t be too modest,
Whatsoever thing is said,
Give to every thing its color,
Always call a spade a spade.
Now I am not versed in Logic,
Nor these high-flown classic things,
And am not adept in solving
Flighty aphoristic flings;
So this proverb seems to baffle
All the efforts I have made,–
Now what else is there to call it,
When a spade is just a spade?
Some history on the saying “to call a spade a spade” can be found at:
Is It Racist To ‘Call A Spade A Spade’?
Celebrate poet Walter Everette Hawkins and other Black poets in this phenomenal collection:
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (LOA 333): A Library of America Anthology (The Library of America)