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Best Famous Countee Cullen Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Countee Cullen poems. This is a select list of the best famous Countee Cullen poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Countee Cullen poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Countee Cullen poems.

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by Countee Cullen | |

From the Dark Tower

 We shall not always plant while others reap
The golden increment of bursting fruit,
Not always countenance, abject and mute,
That lesser men should hold their brothers cheap;
Not everlastingly while others sleep
Shall we beguile their limbs with mellow flute,
Not always bend to some more subtle brute;
We were not made to eternally weep.
The night whose sable breast relieves the stark, White stars is no less lovely being dark, And there are buds that cannot bloom at all In light, but crumple, piteous, and fall; So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds, And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds.


by Countee Cullen | |

A Brown Girl Dead

 With two white roses on her breasts, 
White candles at head and feet, 
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests; 
Lord Death has found her sweet.
Her mother pawned her wedding ring To lay her out in white; She'd be so proud she'd dance and sing to see herself tonight.


by Countee Cullen | |

For A Lady I Know

 She even thinks that up in heaven
Her class lies late and snores

While poor black cherubs rise at seven
To do celestial chores.


by Countee Cullen | |

For A Poet

 I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth,
And laid them away in a box of gold;
Where long will cling the lips of the moth,
I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth;
I hide no hate; I am not even wroth
Who found the earth's breath so keen and cold;
I have wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth,
And laid them away in a box of gold.


by Countee Cullen | |

Fruit of the Flower

 My father is a quiet man
With sober, steady ways;
For simile, a folded fan;
His nights are like his days.
My mother's life is puritan, No hint of cavalier, A pool so calm you're sure it can Have little depth to fear.
And yet my father's eyes can boast How full his life has been; There haunts them yet the languid ghost Of some still sacred sin.
And though my mother chants of God, And of the mystic river, I've seen a bit of checkered sod Set all her flesh aquiver.
Why should he deem it pure mischance A son of his is fain To do a naked tribal dance Each time he hears the rain? Why should she think it devil's art That all my songs should be Of love and lovers, broken heart, And wild sweet agony? Who plants a seed begets a bud, Extract of that same root; Why marvel at the hectic blood That flushes this wild fruit?


by Countee Cullen | |

The Loss of Love

 All through an empty place I go,
And find her not in any room;
The candles and the lamps I light
Go down before a wind of gloom.
Thick-spraddled lies the dust about, A fit, sad place to write her name Or draw her face the way she looked That legendary night she came.
The old house crumbles bit by bit; Each day I hear the ominous thud That says another rent is there For winds to pierce and storms to flood.
My orchards groan and sag with fruit; Where, Indian-wise, the bees go round; I let it rot upon the bough; I eat what falls upon the ground.
The heavy cows go laboring In agony with clotted teats; My hands are slack; my blood is cold; I marvel that my heart still beats.
I have no will to weep or sing, No least desire to pray or curse; The loss of love is a terrible thing; They lie who say that death is worse.


by Countee Cullen | |

The Wise

 Dead men are wisest, for they know
How far the roots of flowers go,
How long a seed must rot to grow.
Dead men alone bear frost and rain On throbless heart and heatless brain, And feel no stir of joy or pain.
Dead men alone are satiate; They sleep and dream and have no weight, To curb their rest, of love or hate.
Strange, men should flee their company, Or think me strange who long to be Wrapped in their cool immunity.


by Countee Cullen | |

To Certain Critics

 Then call me traitor if you must, 
Shout reason and default! 
Say I betray a sacred trust 
Aching beyond this vault.
I'll bear your censure as your praise, For never shall the clan Confine my singing to its ways Beyond the ways of man.
No racial option narrows grief, Pain is not patriot, And sorrow plaits her dismal leaf For all as lief as not.
With blind sheep groping every hill, Searching an oriflamme, How shall the shpherd heart then thrill To only the darker lamb?


by Countee Cullen | |

Incident

 Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee;
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small, And he was no whit bigger, And so I smiled, but he poked out His tongue, and called me, "Nigger.
" I saw the whole of Balimore From May until December; Of all the things that happened there That's all that I remember.


by Countee Cullen | |

Saturdays Child

 Some are teethed on a silver spoon,
With the stars strung for a rattle;
I cut my teeth as the black racoon--
For implements of battle.
Some are swaddled in silk and down, And heralded by a star; They swathed my limbs in a sackcloth gown On a night that was black as tar.
For some, godfather and goddame The opulent fairies be; Dame Poverty gave me my name, And Pain godfathered me.
For I was born on Saturday-- "Bad time for planting a seed," Was all my father had to say, And, "One mouth more to feed.
" Death cut the strings that gave me life, And handed me to Sorrow, The only kind of middle wife My folks could beg or borrow.


by Countee Cullen | |

Simon the Cyrenian Speaks

 He never spoke a word to me,
And yet He called my name;
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.
At first I said, "I will not bear His cross upon my back; He only seeks to place it there Because my skin is black.
" But He was dying for a dream, And He was very meek, And in His eyes there shone a gleam Men journey far to seek.
It was Himself my pity bought; I did for Christ alone What all of Rome could not have wrought With bruise of lash or stone.


by Countee Cullen | |

Yet Do I Marvel

 I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune To catechism by a mind too strewn With petty cares to slightly understand What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing!