White Things

Good Essays
White Things
Anne Spencer Deonna Hayes
English 1302

Hayes 2
Anne Spencer writes of love, friendship, self-actualization, and the injustices of oppression that block it. Some of her poetry is directly inspired by personal relationships, but much forms a controlled, metaphorical, and seldom overtly angry statement of the value of those who have been oppressed (Johnston). Spencer never wrote a book of poems, and her poems were published in the anthologies of African Americans (Johnston). Many of Spencer’s poems employ biblical and mythical themes in combinations with images of her beloved garden; others address the oppression of women (Green 640). Beauty in the midst of death and decay and desire for immorality are another theme that runs throughout her work (Green 640). “Despite this strong statement of racial identity, Spencer went on to say that she reacted ‘to life more as a human being than as a Negro being,’ and she usually avoided writing the kind of protest poetry popular during the Harlem Renaissance,” says Dean. But she deals with the difficulties faced by the black community in the poem “White Things”.
White Things
Most things are colorful things-the sky, earth, and sea. Black men are most men; but the white are free!
White things are rare things; so rare, so rare
They stole from out a silvered world-somewhere.
Finding earth-plains fair plains, save greenly grassed,
They strewed white feathers of cowardice, as they passed; The golden stars with lances fine The hills all red and darkened pine,
They blanched with their wand of power;
And turned the blood in a ruby rose
To a poor white poppy-flower.
They pyred a race of black, black men,
And burned them to ashes white; then,
Laughing, a young one claimed a skull.
For the skull of a black is white, not dull, But a glistening awful thing; Made, it seems, for this ghoul to swing
In the face of God with all his might,
And swear by the hell that sired him: “Man-maker, make



Cited: Dean, Sharon G. "Anne Spencer." Gale Cengage Learning. Ed. Peter Quartermain, 1987. Web. 13 Sept. 2009.. Disheroon-Green, Suzanne. Voices of the American South. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005. Johnston, Sara A. "Poetry Criticism." Gale. American Women Writers, 2000. Web. 12 Sept. 2009..

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Thing Fall Apart Chinua Achebe Discuss how the coming of the White men makes Umuofia “fall apart”. Make reference to the religious, economic, political and social impact of the British culture on the traditions of the clan. As the novel opens, we get to know Umuofia, one of Igbo’s nine villages, as an organized but somehow different civilization. Chinua Achebe portrays life in this village as rough and harsh, conveying to the readers that only brave men would succeed in it. As said before…

    • 1210 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    White Man’s Burden and Things Fall Apart is a poem and a book that are about the same general topic. They are both about problems in Europe. The white man and women are making it difficult for the Igbo tribe to live where they want to. So the white man and women are taking over the Igbos home land and how the Igbos culture is. This is called Imperialism. Imperialism is when one country takes over another. In Things Fall Apart the missionaries wanted to take over the Igbos culture by making them…

    • 466 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Thing and Marginal Things

    • 784 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Often times society deems marginal behavior to be unbeneficial, but Frazier states "..marginal behavior can be the most important kind."(58 Frazier) because every purpose-filled activity starts off as a margin. Nonetheless, it is crucial for marginal things to exist as they provide many benefits and play an important role in the world we live in today. Living in a society where we are constantly being told what to do , marginal activities are necessary because they can allow oneself to discover what…

    • 784 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Things

    • 996 Words
    • 4 Pages

    chores, praying, sleeping, praying. It showed how heavy life in there could be, I could actually feel myself going insane in the theatre and repeatedly telling my seat-mate “I wouldn’t last a week in there.” Because, really, will you last inside the white walls of that monastery without having anything else to stare at and without questioning anything or knowing anything of the outside world? Lourdes is warmly welcomed by the monastery’s Mother Superior, Sister Ruth, along with her right-hand, Sister…

    • 996 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    These Things

    • 10147 Words
    • 41 Pages

    FrontCover-SP11:Layout 1 3/31/11 4:02 PM Page 1 ILO-001-TOC-SP11:Layout 1 11/3/11 7:25 PM Page 1 on-line digest Vol. 90, No. 1 • Spring 2011 IVY LEAF MAGAZINE: OFFICIAL ORGAN OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INC. special features 5 Carolyn House Stewart 2011 National Founders’ Day: Reflections & Remembrance of Timeless Service EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Deborah L. Dangerfield EXECUTIVE EDITOR Connie Lynne Cochran EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ivy Leaf (ISSN 0021-3276) is published quarterly…

    • 10147 Words
    • 41 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    thing

    • 1632 Words
    • 7 Pages

    U64003 FILM HISTORY SHORTLIST OF TOPICS FOR IN-CLASS TEST 2 (scheduled in week 12) 1. Choose one Hollywood major studio and write a brief account of its history (e.g. typical products, strategies, organization, people, films, crises, etc.) from the “classical era” of the studio system to the advent of conglomeration. MGM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer - part of Loew’s enterprise. Loew’s owned a movie studio, a network of international distribution and a theatre chain (centred in NY). By 1924 he…

    • 1632 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    No Thing

    • 13784 Words
    • 56 Pages

    Official SAT Practice Test 2012-13 ® Taking the Practice Test The practice test will help you most if you take it under conditions as close as possible to those of the actual test. • Set aside 3 hours and 20 minutes of uninterrupted time That way you can complete the entire test in one sitting. Note: The total testing time is 3 hours and 45 minutes, but you save 25 minutes because the unscored section* from this practice test was omitted. Sit at a desk or table cleared of any other papers or…

    • 13784 Words
    • 56 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Things

    • 3623 Words
    • 15 Pages

    being the “life of the party” | A | Always talks to strangers, about anything | A | Talks to all- all the time | A | Strangers don’t scare Tara | All A’s | 2. Are you more(a) realistic than speculative (b) speculative than realistic | A | I like things to be realistic and achievable | B | Optimistic | A | All about realistic | A | realistic | Half and Half | 3. Is it worse to(a) have your "head in the clouds" (b) be "in a rut | B | Being in a “rut” would be the worst. | B | Would rather dream…

    • 3623 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Things

    • 2661 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Name:_____________________ Date:________ Aim: Use example/explanation context clues to determine the meaning of an unknown word. Context Clues: Example Sentences 1. Constellations, such as The Little Dipper and The Big Dipper, can be seen in the night sky. Using the example clue, the word constellations in this sentence means clouds moons group of stars lights 2. Nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, help our bodies grow. Using the example clue, the word nutritious in this…

    • 2661 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    white fang

    • 2373 Words
    • 10 Pages

    “In the Novel “White Fang”, author Jack London establishes how environment influences character and even physical appearance. How far is this true regarding the varying treatments of White Fang by Beauty Smith and Grey Beaver?” London establishes how environment influences character and even physical appearance on each and every occasion when White Fang’s surrounding circumstances are altered, whether White Fang is in the city of Los Angeles or at an Indian village in a remote part of the forest…

    • 2373 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays