Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy birthday, Countee Cullen

It is the birthday of poet Countee Cullen (1903), one of the most celebrated poets of the Harlem Renaissance. His name was pronounced "Coun-tay." One of his best known poems is Yet Do I Marvel, the last line of which reads: "Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:/To make a poet black, and bid him sing!" Cullen published several poetry collections, including Color (1925), Harlem Wine (1926), Copper Sun (1927), The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927), and The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Cullen wrote a novel, One Way to Heaven (1932)  and an autobiography of his cat, My Lives and How I Lost Them (1942). Cullen emulated John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and was influenced by William Wordsworth and William Blake.

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