Countee Cullen

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

The Wise


Dead men are wisest, for they know
How far the roots of flowers go,
How long a seed must rot to grow.

Dead men alone bear frost and rain
On throbless heart and heatless brain,
And feel no stir of joy or pain.

Dead men alone are satiate;
They sleep and dream and have no weight,
To curb their rest, of love or hate.

Strange, men should flee their company,
Or think me strange who long to be
Wrapped in their cool immunity.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
13 person liked.
3 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: hate, alone, rain, sleep, dream, joy, pain, heart, love, flower

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Wise by Countee Cullen )

  • Bronze Star - 2,082 Points Luis Estable (3/2/2015 2:21:00 AM)

    This poem starts with what it seems a contradition, or perhaps a statement again common sense, but as one reads on, one does see the poet`s point of view. It is wise to read this try at good poetry several times. One reading may not be enough.

    I like this verse much.

    Way to go, poet!

    Luis Estable (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,774 Points Ramesh Rai (3/2/2014 1:16:00 AM)

    For the dead person I have nothing to comment except to pray -
    'May his/her soul rest in peace'. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,849 Points Kevin Patrick (3/2/2013 5:27:00 PM)

    The one thing we dread, is the one thing that is inevitable, accept it, and you know peace. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 314 Points Hardik Vaidya (3/2/2013 10:11:00 AM)

    This poem has more wisdom condensed in it than the Mahabharata. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 4,840 Points Savita Tyagi (3/2/2013 9:27:00 AM)

    Seems to me poet doesn't believe that one can learn the art of bearing pain and pleasure or life's dualities while alive as to think that only dead can understand this and be wise. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marcus Long (4/14/2009 10:16:00 AM)

    Countee Cullen is envious of the dead. Cullen dealt with pain of losing love ones at an early age. Dead man are the wisest because the dead is immune to human emotions that Cullen felt. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  10. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]