I found Countee Cullen's poem "From The Dark Tower" to be very interesting. The title itself gave me the impression that the speaker is some type of night watchman who was possibly watching over a field but could have just as well have been a planter who uses the planting and nature terminology to metaphorically relate to life issues. I think the first lines:
We shall not always plant while others reap
The golden increment of bursting fruit,
would be an example of such. It seems as though the speaker is standing up for a particular group of people who have been mistreated and/or taken advantage of in some kind of way. Whether it was socially, economically, or politically. Taking the time frame that this piece was written in into consideration, I can only think that this selected group must have been Black people. The stanza that solidified this thought that this poem was in reference so Black people for me was:
The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,
White stars is no less lovely being dark,
While this line could simply be about the beauty of the plain midnight sky or it could be about the beauty of Black people. The tone of this poem seems to be one of resentment and fury. Although the speaker doesn't use harsh words, it seems like he is fed up with a situation and is telling the audience to realize that something is wrong as well. Through my reading of this poem, I conclude that its intended audience was Black people who accepted things the way they were. I'm not really sure as to what the situation of this poem is, but I think the author's feelings toward it could be that he wants the audience to see things for the way that they were, reject them, and stand up for themselves.
From my first glance at the title of Georgia Douglas Johnsons' poem "Old Black Men" I can see them right now, sitting on a porch talking about the old days with a hint of regret for the dreams they did not pursue when they were younger. I can see them now...
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