A Brown Girl Dead Poem by Countee Cullen

A Brown Girl Dead

Rating: 3.7

With two white roses on her breasts,
White candles at head and feet,
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;
Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring
To lay her out in white;
She'd be so proud she'd dance and sing
to see herself tonight.

A Brown Girl Dead
Milena Kubicka 10 July 2008

Why some of us care more of the dead than of the living? Flowers at the funeral? Yes. A new dress? Yes. But we often forget to offer a living preson his/her anniversary gift or flower, not to mention the no-occasion ones. Isn't that so, that we tend to appreciate people only when it's too late...?

25 7 Reply
Andrea Ribeiro 29 November 2010

It is really sad how black women could be so mistreated along the world history...

18 9 Reply
Pranab K Chakraborty 23 January 2015

It is more than beauty the sense of my dancing facing me alone. Only death could offer us such opportunity. Poet has oriented the beauty with unique sophistication simply with the objects two flowers and candle. Can't I felt while reading the dead is naked with every skin and flesh. It's classic art of representation, perhaps.

14 11 Reply
Kainwo Moses 01 June 2009

Many indeed wait for the occasion of death to express their love. This is so true of my Africa. Cullen has done a great job here but I wonder how many will see this poem...

17 6 Reply
James Mclain 04 July 2009

it is an excellent tribute to she whom walks in flames and hides a soul of white..iip

15 6 Reply

3) the poet does not speak of the husband and father of the dead girl, indicating that both would have conveniently abandoned them, for greener pastures… The poignant state is painted in most abject hues

1 0 Reply

The poet most effectively points to the extreme poverty of the family by stating that her mother had to her wedding ring do find money for the funeral. He does not speak of her husband (though speaks about the wedding ring) or father..

1 0 Reply

A most poignant write. Effective expression. Strongly worded, and aesthetically presented. Imagery accentuates the beauty. Nice to this one as the modern poem of the day.

1 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 05 January 2022

A thought provoking rendition.

1 0 Reply
bri edwards 04 January 2022

And such 'memorials' add to the income of florists, funeral homes, monument-makers etc., thus 'improving' the welfare of some others. bri ;)

1 0 Reply
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Countee Cullen

Countee Cullen

New York
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