James Weldon Johnson

(1871-1938 / Florida/United States)

Quotations

  • ''It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives its most distinctive character.''
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. Black Manhattan, ch. 11 (1930).
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  • ''O black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?''
    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), U.S. author, poet. "O Black and Unknown Bards," st. 1 (written c. 1907), publ. In Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917). Opening lines.

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Listen, Lord: A Prayer

O Lord, we come this morning
Knee-bowed and body-bent
Before Thy throne of grace.
O Lord--this morning--
Bow our hearts beneath our knees,
And our knees in some lonesome valley.
We come this morning--
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.

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