Georgia Douglas Johnson
Biography of Georgia Douglas Johnson
Georgia Blanche Douglas Camp Johnson better known as Georgia Douglas Johnson (September 10, 1880 – May 14, 1966) was an American poet and a member of the Harlem Renaissance.
Johnson was born in Atlanta to Laura Douglas and George Camp (her mother's last name is listed in other sources as Jackson). Her mother was of African and Native American descent, and her father was of African-American and English heritage.
Much of Johnson's childhood was spent in Rome, Georgia. She received her education in both Rome and Atlanta, where she excelled in reading, recitations and physical education. She also taught herself to play the violin, which developed into a lifelong love of music.
Johnson graduated from Atlanta University's Normal School in 1896. She taught school in Marietta, Georgia for a time, then returned to Atlanta to work as an assistant principal. Johnson then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to study piano, harmony, and voice. From 1902 to 1903, she attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Georgia Douglas Johnson Poems
I Want to Die While You Love Me
I WANT to die while you love me, While yet you hold me fair, While laughter lies upon my lips
Your world is as big as you make it. I know, for I used to abide In the narrowest nest in a corner, My wings pressing close to my side.
Again we meet—a flashing glance, And then, to scabbard, goes the lance, While thoughts troop on in cavalcade Adown the wide aisles time has made.
Fierce is the conflict—the battle of eyes, Sure and unerring, the wordless replies, Challenges flash from their ambushing caves— Men, by their glances, are masters or slaves.
The Heart of a Woman
The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn, As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on, Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.
A woman with a burning flame Deep covered through the years With ashes. Ah! she hid it deep, And smothered it with tears.
The phantom happiness I sought O'er every crag and moor; I paused at every postern gate, And knocked at every door;
My Little Dreams
I'm folding up my little dreams Within my heart tonight, And praying I may soon forget The torture of their sight.
Her life was dwarfed, and wed to blight, Her very days were shades of night, Her every dream was born entombed, Her soul, a bud,—that never bloomed.
And who shall separate the dust What later we shall be: Whose keen discerning eye will scan And solve the mystery?
And who shall separate the dust
What later we shall be:
Whose keen discerning eye will scan
And solve the mystery?
The high, the low, the rich, the poor,
The black, the white, the red,
And all the chromatique between,
Of whom shall it be said: