Jean Toomer

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

A Certain Man - Poem by Jean Toomer

A certain man wishes to be a prince
Of this earth; he also wants to be
A saint and master of the being-world.
Conscience cannot exist in the first:
The second cannot exist without conscience.
Therefore he, who has enough conscience
To be disturbed but not enough to be
Compelled, can neither reject the one
Nor follow the other...


Comments about A Certain Man by Jean Toomer

  • (11/16/2018 1:40:00 PM)

    yee verry gooood pome (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Diana Curry Fischer (6/5/2015 1:15:00 AM)

    Great poem, thanks for the share! (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Kim Barney (1/26/2015 3:49:00 PM)

    Once again I must agree with John Richter (and also with Kentucky Refugee) . No man can serve two masters, as the Bible says. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • (1/26/2015 7:01:00 AM)

    Haha! I agree with you Kentucky Refugee... I always find a certain brotherhood - or some commonality with generations past when I find them writing things that are so obvious to our own generation as well. The world is owned by Satan. From the myriad of different reasons men believe God put us on this Earth - the one commonly known belief is that we must choose our master - either that which owns the world - or He who created it. It is somehow comforting for me to know that men who lived long before me toiled with the very same thoughts that I do.... (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • (3/6/2008 1:07:00 AM)

    Driving down the road, uncertain of which fork to follow, at a certain point, ambivalence drives you right into the ditch. (Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: world



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]