Countee Cullen

(30 May 1903 – 9 January 1946 / New York)

A Brown Girl Dead - Poem by Countee Cullen

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.


Comments about A Brown Girl Dead by Countee Cullen

  • (10/8/2018 10:35:00 PM)


    Amazing and enviable that CC could evoke such intense emotion in the reader via such a short poem (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Stephanie T Castillo (3/4/2018 2:55:00 PM)


    This is the reason I continue to thrive in my poetry, one day I'd like to this great! (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (1/23/2015 11:54:00 PM)


    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. (Report) Reply

  • (1/23/2015 6:26:00 AM)


    Incredibly sad this - but also incredibly touching. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (1/23/2015 3:29:00 AM)


    Through this small but sweet poem the poet has paid rich tributes to a poor girl who died very young. The emotion scene before she is laid to rest is extremely moving. (Report) Reply

  • (11/29/2010 6:30:00 AM)


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

  • Is It Poetry James Mclain (7/4/2009 2:43:00 PM)


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

  • (6/1/2009 6:45:00 PM)


    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... (Report) Reply

  • (7/10/2008 7:39:00 AM)


    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...?
    (Report) Reply

    Kim Barney (1/23/2015 8:27:00 AM)

    That's why I intend to have my own funeral while I am still alive, so I can hear all the good things people say about me!
    Except that if they knew I was there, they would turn it into a roast, and say all the embarrassing things they could think of!

Read all 9 comments »



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Read poems about / on: wedding, dance, mother, dark, death, girl, rose



Poem Submitted: Monday, October 6, 2003



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