Martin And The Mountaintop An Illustrated Tribute To Martin Luther King, Jr
by Richard D. Gordon
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Pub Date 01 Jan 2013 | Archive Date 02 Dec 2023
MARTIN AND THE MOUNTAINTOP, the poem, was written in response to feelings about the human qualities of Martin Luther King, Jr. I had wondered what emotions the “man” Martin must have gone through when people he loved died in the cause. We know he valiantly struggled forward after every act of hate and violence; but I wondered if, in his quiet (or not so quiet) moments with God, sometimes asked if the struggle was worth the lives of loved ones… especially those of innocent children.
In fact, this poem is dedicated to Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Carol Robertson, and Denise McNair; the four victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing on September15, 1963
The book addresses the question: How did the “man” Martin, find a way to go deeper into the cause, and to continue the climb? His dream of Brotherhood, and his vision of the promised land, suggest a unique link with God. These are the elements tapped for the poem MARTIN AND THE MOUNTAINTOP.
My love for James Weldon Johnson’s poetry, especially “The Creation” and “Let My People Go,” influenced the style of this effort. The rhythms and imagery of his style lends itself well to the relationship between Martin Luther King and his God.
About the illustrations.
My wife, Carol, when I asked her to illustrate the poem for me.. looked into my excited sketches and suggested that I do them myself. I protested, reminding her that… “I can’t draw…” She just smiled and said, “Give it a try.” These illustrations are the result of that trying. Thank you, Carol.
Amazon Customer Reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Poetry... a beautiful book...
Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2013
This book is Pure Poetry... It is inspired by the last speech of Martin Luther King, Jr...
The words are beautiful, the illustrations are beautiful, and the story the poem tells is beautiful...
After I read it, I looked up the speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and I copy and paste the end of his last speech...
The speech was delivered on April 3, 1968 in Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee... The next day, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated:
"And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now.
We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.
And I don't mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will.
And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land.
I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!!"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin and the Mountaintop is a Gift!
Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2013
I am thrilled that Martin and the Mountaintop is now in an e-book format. I have such fond memories of this wonderful book! It will go down in history as a classic! This wonderful book reads like a song and a sermon. It is packed with heart and anyone would fall in love with Mr. Gordon's poetry. The illustrations are simple yet powerful. This book appeals to all ages but children would especially enjoy this book. Even adults would be tempted to read this book out loud. I purchased the book for my 19 month old granddaughter. She will be fascinated by the illustrations and its perfect for Black History Month. It looks great on my laptop and tablet. I am going to let my friends know,(many of whom have coveted my only hardback copy), that Martin and the Mountaintop is again available. This isn't just a book it's an experience.
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and Inspirational
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2013
This beautiful and touching poem about Martin Luther King, Jr. stirred my spirit. The author, sharing his thoughts about how Martin struggled to climb and conquer the mountain of injustice and hate, makes the reader feel Martin's frustration, pain, and triumph. This poem reminds us that we will all have mountains to climb, but that perseverance and faith in God can provide us with the "sure-footing" we need to make it to the top.
Average rating from 1 member
This truly remarkable poem serves as a heartfelt tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., drawing inspiration from the prolific words of his final speech. Its eloquent prose is deeply touching and the enchanting illustrations enhanced the essence of the poem's lyrics. The presence of God, interwoven throughout King's life, shines brilliantly within these verses.
I wholeheartedly recommend it!!