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Incident

Rating: 3.5
Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, 'Nigger.'

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.
COMMENTS
PoemDude 15 January 2021
The tone of the poem changes when the slur is used.
4 0 Reply
Mr.Cullen 13 January 2021
yo this aged well. quite pogger if i do say so myself
1 3 Reply
BigJeff 12 December 2020
My sweet grandmother (white) recited that poem to me shortly before she passed away. She learned it as a child in school. She knew what love was and only hated hate.
1 0 Reply
GRAMMER NAZI999 15 November 2020
Not only do I feel dumber for trying to verbalize what you try to type, but I'm slowly losing the will to live. I do not want to live in a world where people like you are given the opportunity to work or have a say in anyone's future, let alone reproduce.
2 6 Reply
Joeseph 26 October 2020
You are completely racist! This is an article about how African Americans are abused and you make a joke about it? NOT FUNNY!
0 8 Reply
McWhopper 01 November 2020
It's not a joke, this was meant to express that the writer's vacation was ruined and that he was deeply impacted
1 0 Reply
Cam Davis 22 April 2020
Ok but who gave siri the n word pass?
9 5 Reply
Yonathan shanko 29 March 2020
" Incident" is a short poem that packs a huge punch. Its speaker is an African-American man who looks back on a pivotal moment of his life in which he encounters racism.... Cullen was deeply involved in African-American culture and politics, and he was pals with the leading black intellectuals of the age.
7 1 Reply
Michael Walker 31 August 2019
The poet had a most disappointing encounter with racism. Yet that is all he remembers of Baltimore. Terrific poem.
7 8 Reply
Rosie 06 February 2021
I think the poem is spot-on. If you are kind to someone, they'll likely remember it, perhaps for years. If you are to someone they'll remember it until the day they die.
0 0 Reply
Bree Z.Love 19 August 2019
Thanks for the sharing of this poem. It was straight to the point and deliberate ??
7 0 Reply
I am an artist and I am going to exhibit at the Countee Cullen Library in Harlem with a show entitled " Dreams in a Silken Cloth" which comes from a Cullen's epitaph. Part of the programming will be a reading of Countee Cullen's poems. Readers invited for May 15 & May 29,2019 from 5: 30-6: 45 pm If you are interested in participating, you can reach me at mocerinony@gmail.com
6 0 Reply

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