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

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Fruit of the Flower

My father is a quiet man
With sober, steady ways;
For simile, a folded fan;
His nights are like his days.
My mother's life is puritan,
No hint of cavalier,
A pool so calm you're sure it can
Have little depth to fear.

And yet my father's eyes can boast
How full his life has been;
There haunts them yet the languid ghost
Of some still sacred sin.

And though my mother chants of God,
And of the mystic river,
I've seen a bit of checkered sod
Set all her flesh aquiver.

Why should he deem it pure mischance
A son of his is fain
To do a naked tribal dance
Each time he hears the rain?

Why should she think it devil's art
That all my songs should be
Of love and lovers, broken heart,
And wild sweet agony?

Who plants a seed begets a bud,
Extract of that same root;
Why marvel at the hectic blood
That flushes this wild fruit?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: simile, father, mother, dance, river, son, rain, fear, flower, god, life, time, heart, song

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Comments about this poem (She Of The Dancing Feet Sings by Countee Cullen )

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  • Captain Cur (7/3/2012 4:58:00 AM)

    Parents only want us to follow in their shoes' footprints,
    not the naked ones. Loved this poem.

    9 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • delilah contrapunctal (11/7/2007 9:11:00 PM)

    How I love this man's work........beautiful..
    a friend of mine had the good fortune to be one of his pupils..........
    .in some poetical 'hereafter', perhaps they've met once again..........................

Read all 2 comments »

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