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Best Famous Arna Bontemps Poems

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

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Written by Arna Bontemps | Create an image from this poem

Southern Mansion

 Poplars are standing there still as death
And ghosts of dead men
Meet their ladies walking
Two by two beneath the shade
And standing on the marble steps.
There is a sound of music echoing Through the open door And in the field there is Another sound tinkling in the cotton: Chains of bondmen dragging on the ground.
The years go back with an iron clank, A hand is on the gate, A dry leaf trembles on the wall.
Ghosts are walking.
They have broken roses down And poplars stand there still as death.

Written by Arna Bontemps | Create an image from this poem

A Black Man Talks of Reaping

 I have sown beside all waters in my day.
I planted deep, within my heart the fear that wind or fowl would take the grain away.
I planted safe against this stark, lean year.
I scattered seed enough to plant the land in rows from Canada to Mexico but for my reaping only what the hand can hold at once is all that I can show.
Yet what I sowed and what the orchard yields my brother's sons are gathering stalk and root; small wonder then my children glean in fields they have not sown, and feed on bitter fruit.
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The Day-Breakers

 We are not come to wage a strife
With swords upon this hill,
It is not wise to waste the life
Against a stubborn will.
Yet would we die as some have done.
Beating a way for the rising sun.
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God Give to Men

 God give the yellow man
an easy breeze at blossom time.
Grant his eager, slanting eyes to cover every land and dream of afterwhile.
Give blue-eyed men their swivel chairs to whirl in tall buildings.
Allow them many ships at sea, and on land, soldiers and policemen.
For black man, God, no need to bother more but only fill afresh his meed of laughter, his cup of tears.
God suffer little men the taste of soul's desire.
Written by Arna Bontemps | Create an image from this poem


 After the cloud embankments,
the lamentation of wind
and the starry descent into time,
we came to the flashing waters and shaded our eyes
from the glare.
Alone with the shore and the harbor, the stems of the cocoanut trees, the fronds of silence and hushed music, we cried for the new revelation and waited for miracles to rise.
Where elements touch and merge, where shadows swoon like outcasts on the sand and the tried moment waits, its courage gone-- there were we in latitudes where storms are born.

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Length of Moon

 Then the golden hour 
Will tick its last 
And the flame will go down in the flower.
A briefer length of moon Will mark the sea-line and the yellow dune.
Then we may think of this, yet There will be something forgotten And something we should forget.
It will be like all things we know: .
A stone will fail; a rose is sure to go.
It will be quiet then and we may stay Long at the picket gate But there will be less to say.
Written by Arna Bontemps | Create an image from this poem

Nocturne of the Wharves

 All night they whine upon their ropes and boom
against the dock with helpless prows:
these little ships that are too worn for sailing
front the wharf but do not rest at all.
Tugging at the dim gray wharf they think no doubt of China and of bright Bombay, and they remember islands of the East, Formosa and the mountains of Japan.
They think of cities ruined by the sea and they are restless, sleeping at the wharf.
Tugging at the dim gray wharf they think no less of Africa.
An east wind blows and salt spray sweeps the unattended decks.
Shouts of dead men break upon the night.
The captain calls his crew and they respond-- the little ships are dreaming--land is near.
But mist comes up to dim the copper coast, mist dissembles images of the trees.
The captain and his men alike are lost and their shouts go down in the rising sound of waves.
Ah little ships, I know your weariness! I know the sea-green shadows of your dream.
For I have loved the cities of the sea, and desolations of the old days I have loved: I was a wanderer like you and I have broken down before the wind.