We have always resented the natural inclination of most white people to demand spirituals the moment it is known that a Negro is about to sing. So often the request has seemed to savor of the feeling that we could do this and this alone.
Your love to me was like an unread book.
I have a rendezvous with life.
The play is done, the crowds depart and see That twisted tortured thing hung from a tree, Swart victim of a newer Calvary.
If I am going to be a poet at all, I am going to be POET and not NEGRO POET.
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.
Why should she think it devil's art
That all my songs should be
Of love and lovers, broken heart,
And wild sweet agony?
There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call 'the breaks.' In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait.
Come and dance the Lover's Dance!
Dead men alone are satiate;
They sleep and dream and have no weight,
To curb their rest, of love or hate.
So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds, And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds.
I have no will to weep or sing,
No least desire to pray or curse;
The loss of love is a terrible thing;
They lie who say that death is worse.
My poetry, I should think, has become the way of my giving out what music is within me.
My mother's life is puritan,
No hint of cavalier,
A pool so calm you're sure it can
Have little depth to fear.
The key to all strange things is in thy heart.... My spirit has come home, that sailed the doubtful seas.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing; To make a poet black, and bid him sing.
For we must be one thing or the other, an asset or a liability, the sinew in your wing to help you soar, or the chain to bind you to earth.
I was reared in the conservative atmosphere of a Methodist parsonage.
More Countee Cullen Quotations (Based on Topics)
Love - Literature - Poets - Life - Hatred - Death & Dying - Books - Sin - Poetry - Home - Emotions - Conservative - Success - Music - Fear - Dancing - Art - Sadness - Nature - View All Countee Cullen Quotations
William Butler Yeats - Walt Whitman - Virgil - Rabindranath Tagore - Khalil Gibran - Homer - Alexander Pope - William Somerville - Robert Burns - Max Jacob