Friday, September 30, 2011

Poetry Friday

I am teaching an article this morning on the reluctance to talk about racism and the cultural transmission of racism through the lack of exposure to racial minorities. It reminded me of a poem I read by Countee Cullen when I was in high school. But I couldn't find that one. So I am posting this one instead.

To Certain Critics

By Countee Cullen
Then call me traitor if you must,   
Shout treason 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 no 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 shepherd heart then thrill   
To only the darker lamb?

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