A belated offering to Memnon

I had wanted to compose this yesterday, which was Memnon’s hero-feast, and I failed to do so. I still wanted to do it this morning, and so I did write the poem and post it now, late but sincere.

To the hero Memnon
Noblest of warriors, son of the dawn,
fathered by the withered old man
who cannot die, Memnon the Ethiopian,
I salute you. Son of the dawn,
dark-skinned and beautiful,
show us your face: In every
hooded young boy
walking down the street,
in every black man
shot without questions,
in every fine actor
confined to thug roles,
in every angry poet
overlooked, sneered at,
in every poor black man
suffering at the hands of doctors,
in every black hero
forgotten by history,
Memnon, most beautiful,
son of the dawn, noblest
of warriors, show us your face,
and when we ask you, give us
your hand, aid us in the fight.

And while I was writing this, I realized I knew of a living person, a public figure, who perfectly fit my mental image of the hero:


John Boyega, whom I had not heard of before his starring as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but whom I will not soon forget. He can act, *and* he can rock a fedora.


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Writer, musician, polytheist, and friend of birds. I like science fiction, fantasy, and superheroes a lot.

One thought on “A belated offering to Memnon”

  1. Yes! A good likenessā€¦

    Interestingly, I have 3 Black students at present (2 in one class, 1 in another, none in the third), which may not seem like much–it isn’t!–but for the last 2 quarters, I’ve had none, which is a travesty. But, one is a young guy born in Ethiopia! And he’s one of my best students in that class, so hurrah for that!


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