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"For Honey," ca. 1982

Knight often wrote poems to his family members or used them as subjects of his writing. “For Honey” is a poem Etheridge Knight wrote for his sister, Lois “Honey” Knight, after she passed away. This poem demonstrates his love and the influence of his sisters in his life and provides a vehicle for his grieving. 

Knight notes that he does not find comfort in the beliefs of family members and yet he uses potent religious symbols to express the intensity of his grief about Honey’s passing. Knight also likens his sadness and heartache to the feelings of mother and child in the famous case of Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley.


In making these associations, Knight connects with his family and his readers on a deep emotional level.The intensity in which he feels the grief of the loss of his sister highlights the love he had for his family, how much he valued his relationship with his siblings, and how well he understands grief as a universal human emotion.

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