Jean Toomer

(26 December 1894 – 30 March 1967 / Washington D.C.)

A Certain Man Poem by Jean Toomer


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...

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about this poem (A Certain Man by Jean Toomer )

  • Gold Star - 12,092 Points Kim Barney (1/26/2015 3:49:00 PM)

    Once again I must agree with John Richter (and also with Kentucky Refugee) . No man can serve two masters, as the Bible says. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,511 Points John Richter (1/26/2015 7:01:00 AM)

    Haha! I agree with you Kentucky Refugee... I always find a certain brotherhood - or some commonality with generations past when I find them writing things that are so obvious to our own generation as well. The world is owned by Satan. From the myriad of different reasons men believe God put us on this Earth - the one commonly known belief is that we must choose our master - either that which owns the world - or He who created it. It is somehow comforting for me to know that men who lived long before me toiled with the very same thoughts that I do.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kentucky Refugee (3/6/2008 1:07:00 AM)

    Driving down the road, uncertain of which fork to follow, at a certain point, ambivalence drives you right into the ditch. (Report) Reply

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