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“Frederick’s Choice,” A Poem by Bruce Craven

In Arts & Letters, Creative Writing, Poetry on September 16, 2020 at 6:45 am

Bruce Craven is a member of the Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty in New York City. In addition to directing and teaching in a variety of executive programs, he teaches graduate business students his popular elective Leadership Through Fiction.  His book Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, was published in March 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.  The book is currently being translated into Russian and Turkish. He wrote the novel Fast Sofa (1993) which was published in Japanese and German. He also co-wrote the script for the film adaptation, starring Jennifer Tilly, Jake Busey and Crispin Glover. His collection of poetry, Buena Suerte in Red Glitter will be published in 2019 by Red Dirt Press. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Coachella Valley in California.


“Frederick’s Choice”

From my earliest recollection, I
date the entertainment of a deep
conviction… Douglass’s faith showed him why
he’d beat slavery’s foul embrace to meet
his dream of freedom. This good spirit? God.
…to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.
The young man trained with pain and hate’s rod,
confronted Covey with courage, raised
his fists, didn’t crumple. Sophia’s goodness?
A woman of the kindest heart. She takes
back her gift, stops her lessons, her promise
to help the young boy read. Fred’s hope shaken
as Hugh instructs his wife on slave-owning.
Quit? Fred swaps bread for letters the next morning.


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