Jean Toomer

(26 December 1894 – 30 March 1967 / Washington D.C.)

For M.W.


There is no transcience of twilight in
The beauty of your soft dusk-dimpled face,
No flicker of a slender flame in space,
In crucibles, fragility crystalline.
There is no fragrance of the jessamine
About you, no pathos of some old place
At dusk, that crumbles like moth-eater lace
Beneath the touch. Nor has there ever been.

Your love is like the folk-song's flaming rise
In cane-lipped southern people, like their soul
Which burst its bondage in a bold travail;
Your voice is like them singing, soft and wise,
Your face, sweetly efflgent of the whole,
Inviolate of ways that would feile.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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