Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership


See and share Beautiful Nature Photos and amazing photos of interesting places




Best Famous Jean Toomer Poems

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

Search for the best famous Jean Toomer poems, articles about Jean Toomer poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Jean Toomer poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by Jean Toomer |

Georgia Dusk

 The sky, lazily disdaining to pursue
 The setting sun, too indolent to hold
 A lengthened tournament for flashing gold,
Passively darkens for night's barbecue, 

A feast of moon and men and barking hounds,
 An orgy for some genius of the South
 With blood-hot eyes and cane-lipped scented mouth,
Surprised in making folk-songs from soul sounds.
The sawmill blows its whistle, buzz-saws stop, And silence breaks the bud of knoll and hill, Soft settling pollen where plowed lands fulfill Their early promise of a bumper crop.
Smoke from the pyramidal sawdust pile Curls up, blue ghosts of trees, tarrying low Where only chips and stumps are left to show The solid proof of former domicile.
Meanwhile, the men, with vestiges of pomp, Race memories of king and caravan, High-priests, an ostrich, and a juju-man, Go singing through the footpaths of the swamp.
Their voices rise .
.
the pine trees are guitars, Strumming, pine-needles fall like sheets of rain .
.
Their voices rise .
.
the chorus of the cane Is caroling a vesper to the stars .
.
O singers, resinous and soft your songs Above the sarcred whisper of the pines, Give virgin lips to cornfield concubines, Bring dreams of Christ to dusky cane-lipped throngs.


by Jean Toomer |

Song of the Son

 Pour O pour that parting soul in song
O pour it in the sawdust glow of night
Into the velvet pine-smoke air tonight,
And let the valley carry it along.
And let the valley carry it along.
O land and soil, red soil and sweet-gum tree, So scant of grass, so proligate of pines, Now hust before an epoch's sun declines Thy son, in time, I have returned to thee, Thy son, I have in time returned to thee.
In time, for though the sun is setting on A song-lit race of slaves, it has not set; Though late, O soil, it is not too late yet To catch thy plaintive soul, leaving, soon gone, Leaving, to catch thy plaintive soul soon gone.
O Negro slaves, dark purple ripened plums, Squeezed, and bursting in the pine-wood air, Passing, before they stripped the old tree bare One plum was saved for me, one seed becomes an everlasting song, a singing tree, Caroling softly souls of slavery, What they were, and what they are to me, Caroling softly souls of slavery.


by Jean Toomer |

Reapers

 Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes.
I see them place the hones In their hip-pockets as a thing that's done, And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds, And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds, His belly close to ground.
I see the blade, Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.


by Jean Toomer |

The Lost Dancer

 Spatial depths of being survive
The birth to death recurrences
Of feet dancing on earth of sand;
Vibrations of the dance survive
The sand; the sand, elect, survives
The dancer.
He can find no source Of magic adequate to bind The sand upon his feet, his feet Upon his dance, his dance upon The diamond body of his being.


by Jean Toomer |

Harvest Song

 I am a reaper whose muscles set at sundown.
All my oats are cradled.
But I am too chilled, and too fatigued to bind them.
And I hunger.
I crack a grain between my teeth.
I do not taste it.
I have been in the fields all day.
My throat is dry.
I hunger.
My eyes are caked with dust of oatfields at harvest-time.
I am a blind man who stares across the hills, seeking stack'd fields of other harvesters.
It would be good to see them .
.
crook'd, split, and iron-ring'd handles of the scythes.
It would be good to see them, dust-caked and blind.
I hunger.
(Dusk is a strange fear'd sheath their blades are dull'd in.
) My throat is dry.
And should I call, a cracked grain like the oats.
.
.
eoho-- I fear to call.
What should they hear me, and offer me their grain, oats, or wheat, or corn? I have been in the fields all day.
I fear I could not taste it.
I fear knowledge of my hunger.
My ears are caked with dust of oatfields at harvest-time.
I am a deaf man who strains to hear the calls of other harvesters whose throats are also dry.
It would be good to hear their songs .
.
reapers of the sweet-stalk'd cane, cutters of the corn.
.
.
even though their throats cracked and the strangeness of their voices deafened me.
I hunger.
My throat is dry.
Now that the sun has set and I am chilled, I fear to call.
(Eoho, my brothers!) I am a reaper.
(Eoho!) All my oats are cradled.
But I am too fatigued to bind them.
And I hunger.
I crack a grain.
It has no taste to it.
My throat is dry.
.
.
O my brothers, I beat my palms, still soft, against the stubble of my harvesting.
(You beat your soft palms, too.
) My pain is sweet.
Sweeter than the oats or wheat or corn.
It will not bring me knowledge of my hunger.


by Jean Toomer |

Her Lips Are Copper Wire

 whisper of yellow globes
gleaming on lamp-posts that sway
like bootleg licker drinkers in the fog

and let your breath be moist against me
like bright beads on yellow globes

telephone the power-house
that the main wires are insulate

(her words play softly up and down
dewy corridors of billboards)

then with your tongue remove the tape
and press your lips to mine
till they are incandescent


by Jean Toomer |

A Certain Man

 A certain man wishes to be a prince
Of this earth; he also wants to be
A saint and master of the being-world.
Conscience cannot exist in the first: The second cannot exist without conscience.
Therefore he, who has enough conscience To be disturbed but not enough to be Compelled, can neither reject the one Nor follow the other.
.
.


by Jean Toomer |

People

 To those fixed on white,
White is white,
To those fixed on black,
It is the same,
And red is red,
Yellow, yellow-
Surely there are such sights
In the many colored world,
Or in the mind.
The strange thing is that These people never see themselves Or you, or me.
Are they not in their minds? Are we not in the world? This is a curious blindness For those that are color blind.
What queer beliefs That men who believe in sights Disbelieve in seers.
O people, if you but used Your other eyes You would see beings.


by Jean Toomer |

November Cotton Flower

 Boll-weevil's coming, and the winter's cold,
Made cotton-stalks look rusty, seasons old,
And cotton, scarce as any southern snow,
Was vanishing; the branch, so pinched and slow,
Failed in its function as the autumn rake;
Drouth fighting soil had caused the soil to take
All water from the streams; dead birds were found
In wells a hundred feet below the ground--
Such was the season when the flower bloomed.
Old folks were startled, and it soon assumed Significance.
Superstition saw Something it had never seen before: Brown eyes that loved without a trace of fear, Beauty so sudden for that time of year.


by Jean Toomer |

Tell Me

 Tell me, dear beauty of the dusk,
When purple ribbons bind the hill,
Do dreams your secret wish fulfill,
Do prayers, like kernels from the husk
Come from your lips? Tell me if when
The mountains loom at night, giant shades
Of softer shadow, swift like blades
Of grass seeds come to flower.
Then Tell me if the night winds bend Them towards me, if the Shenandoah As it ripples past your shore, Catches the soul of what you send.