Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Countee Cullen Yet Do I Marvel

As part of this course, it was required that the poem by Countee Cullen be examined. The name of this piece is poetry, is titled "Yet Do I Marvel". I believe that this piece of poetry, can be summarized as being about Cullen's expereince at being an African-American . In the poem, he appears to marvel over the fact; that he was destined to become an black poet. He seems to note in an almost sarcastic tone, that he "doubts not God is good, well-meaning, and kind". This can almost symbolize that God does not make mistakes, and yet Cullen questions why He allows some of His peoples to be "colored" and therefore afflicted with much suffering and racism on earth. This can be demonstrated by the verse "why flesh that mirrors Him must someday die". This can show, that God made people look different, for reasons unbestknown to Cullen.

One specific question that I had about the poet's writing, was "Did he mean to write in an saracstic, or curious tone"?. The poem starts off, with Cullen questioning God's intentions for why people are they way they are.
While reading this poem, I could not help but think of Hughes' "Theme for English B". The reason that this came to mind, was due to the fact that both poems had similiar elements. The two poets, seemed to be expressing curiosity over how different or alike they are to whites. Another connection that I had, was to the reading of the poem "Incident". This work of writing reminded me of this piece, due to the fact that both poems had parallels of contemplation and curiosity. In Cullen's poem "Incident", he reflects on being an boy of eight.
He is taking an trip to Baltimore, Maryland. His heart and mind is giddy and filled with wonder. However, all of that is about to change for the young Cullen. This is when he encounters an young white boy, about his age. He tries to befriend the boy, but instead the boy rejects his friendship. This is due to the fact, that Cullen is black. The white child sticks his tongue out at Cullen, and calls him an "racial slur". Cullen reflects how out of the several months that he spent in Maryland, that that is the only memory that he has of Maryland.

Lastly, I felt as though this was an more easier poem to read and understand. The poem seemed to explain how Cullen contemplated over the fact that he was born to be an black poet, and the racism that blacks had to endure during this period of time. I feel as though poems by writers like Cullen, give an truthful insight into the minds and hearts of African Americans, particularly African American males.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to make, several comments concerning this poem. One, is that this poem represents an "caprice", or an certain mood or attitude. Also, this poem seems to represent an sense of how Africans had been looked down on, through time.