Countee Cullen

(30 May 1903 – 9 January 1946 / New York)

Countee Cullen
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Countee Cullen was an American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

Early life

Countee Cullen was possibly born on May 30, although due to conflicting accounts of his early life, a general application of the year of his birth as 1903 is reasonable. He was either born in New York, Baltimore, or Lexington, Kentucky, with his widow being convinced he was born in Lexington. Cullen was possibly abandoned by his mother, and reared by a woman named Mrs. Porter, who was probably his paternal grandmother. Porter brought young Countee to Harlem when he was nine. She died in 1918. No known reliable information exists of his childhood until 1918 when he ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''All day long and all night through,
    One thing only must I do:
    Quench my pride and cool my blood,
    Lest I perish in the flood.''
    Countee Cullen (1903-1946), U.S. poet. Heritage (l. 116-119). . . My Soul's High Song; the Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harl...
  • ''What is last year's snow to me,
    Last year's anything? The tree
    Budding yearly must forget
    How its past arose or set—''
    Countee Cullen (1903-1946), U.S. poet. Heritage (l. 52-55). . . My Soul's High Song; the Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harlem...
  • ''Lord, I fashion dark gods, too,
    Daring even to give You
    Dark despairing features''
    Countee Cullen (1903-1946), U.S. poet. Heritage (l. 107-108). . . My Soul's High Song; the Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harl...
  • What is Africa to me:
    Copper sun or scarlet sea,
    Jungle star or jungle track,
    Strong bronzed men, or regal black
    Women from whose loins I sprang
    When the birds of Ed...
    Countee Cullen (1903-1946), U.S. poet. Heritage (l. 1-6). . . My Soul's High Song; the Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harlem R...
  • ''Not yet has my heart or head
    In the least way realized
    They and I are civilized.''
    Countee Cullen (1903-1946), U.S. poet. Heritage (l. 125-127). . . My Soul's High Song; the Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harl...
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