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Poetically Yours - Ep. 16 - Rockford Poet Celebrates Literature


Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours features northern Illinois poets. This week's poem is by Carandus Brown.

Brown is a devoted Christian with hopes to encourage people to find Jesus for themselves. 

Brown said he grew up in a single-parent household and a troubled environment. He also shared that he struggled with reading and writing. He was involved with gangs and dishonest activities early on in life. Brown said he continued to make bad choices as a youth but then he met Terry Tague. Tague worked for a group called “Youth for Christ” and became Brown’s mentor. As a spiritual leader, he spoke positive attributes into Brown’s life and encouraged him to get to know Jesus Christ.

Brown began to build a relationship with God and changed his life to fit more godly principles. After the birth of his first child, he decided to go back to school. He said he loved reading and writing short forms of poetry. This allowed him to discover new ways to focus his emotions and anger. His views of the world and questions of religion became his focal points for writing, helping him to build literacy skills. In October 1999, he received his GED certificate with high marks. He began working with at-risk teenagers as a way to give back.

In 2008, Brown decided to continue his education at Judson University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in December 2012 and master’s in May 2018. Over the years he earned multiple honorable mention awards for his perspective in writing. In February of 2016, he became a minister of the gospel, under the guidance of Pastor Steven R. Cossey of Total Faith Community Church in Rockford. He continues to write uplifting and inspirational poems as the Holy Spirit reveals life’s stories. He hopes to write music at some point with his cousin Dwight Clark, who is an aspiring writer.

Brown is married with six daughters and a son. Today he's sharing his poem "The World Can Be a Book."

We can be like the greatest book ever read
The greatest story ever told
A multitude of volumes, where diversity is led
Many different cultures
Many different chapters
In life, time cannot be held but, in a book, time is on hold
Plenty of minutes in a day
Plenty of letters on a page
A different person met, a different persona of characters
We can be as many great genres to behold and engage
A family in life, a family of words
Linked to bring together or to tell a tale
Drama and tragic plots, life’s negative events that are blurred
A plot of inspiration full of details and motivation
Creating joy in giving new life
Set in the midst of a furious devastation
A new scheme to pick apart or derail
We can be a world writing a new beginning
The greatest author’s assembling the tools to deliver a masterpiece
Connecting with hope, faith, and love in a novel never ending
We can be the reader to open the cover and seek what lies beneath
The world can be a book if reading it is your option

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.