Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

A Poem

Let my song burst forth on a major note,
Check the minor lilt in the Negro's throat.

But how can the Negroes play their harps,
With sorrow for intervals, pain for sharps?

With a knife in the wound, and tears on the face
Should the song be quavered in treble or bass?

Though the tempo is kept by the shining stars,
Notation is writ on prejudice bars.

When God gives no sign when we reach the refrain
Have we the courage to start again?

With conflicting fugues and odd times to keep,
It's a wonder we laugh as well as weep.

It is a most marvelous wonderful thing
That in spite of all this, the Negro can sing.

Written by Gladys May Casely-Hayford (1904-1950)


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