Sunday, October 16, 2011

Countee Cullen

Yet Do I Marvel
I was a little confused reading this at first.  I’m still not super for sure what’s being written about.   The writer is saying that they don’t doubt that God is good, but if He’s so good then why is a mole blind, why must his Son die, why is Sisphus destined to such an awful fate.  If God is so good then why do these things still occur.  We are have too petty of minds to look at the brain that God has that has such an awful hand.  So why does God make bad things happen if He’s so good?

Looking at their heritage what is Africa to them?  They have been three centuries removed from the land that their father loved.  They lie there all day listening to the different sounds of birds, herds and trampling in the grass.  When thumbs are pressed against the ears, they can still hear the beat of drums.  Africa is the book that one thumbs through until they fall asleep(people often forget of them), people forget about the bats that circle through the night, the cats that stalk their fleshy prey that feeds by the river bank, the snakes that shed but once a year.  There they lie not finding peace from the pounding feet, up and down and treading out a jungle track.  Lying never safely from the rain as it comes at night and during the day.  Next he turns away from the heathen gods and goes to christianity.  His conversion being high priced, but now being taught humility through christianity.  Sometimes feeling as though if God/Jesus was black he would feel more comfortable, like they were born a kindred spirit.  At his sometimes impatience and dark moments he asks for forgiveness.  In the end I feel like he is saying that everyone is civilized but he hasn't realized it.

Talking about his heritage is interesting from the different descriptions of everything experienced in Africa.  The end is what is interesting to me and what I wonder about.  Is he saying that he hasn't realized that everyone is civilized just in different ways?  Talking about Africa he seems like his nose is up to the way of life there because they sleep in the rain and there's the continual beat and nothing really modern.  I feel like he's saying we're all civilized but being civilized is different depending where you go. Just feelings and guesses :)


  1. Yet Do I Marvel

    I think he just doubts God in most ways and just doesn't like Him. He sees God as thinking He's better than everyone else and that He can do whatever he wants. Cullen finds it curious that God made him a black poet and asks him to write for the rest of the world.
    He compares himself to all of the others in the poem that are basically being tortured for the rest of their time, he says that being a black poet is torture. No one will listen to him because he's black and no one cares, it's a struggle for him to even get his work noticed because he's black.
    He's showing that during this time America has made it nearly impossible for black's to succeed. There are many laws putting restrictions on them. This time they're finally allowed to live with each other and have somewhat of "freedom" in that they can live with who they want and to a degree do what they want.

  2. Heritage

    Well wasn't I a little off? HAHA.
    He seems to be in the middle of both cultures, Africa and America, not being accepted by other. He feel alienated because no one truly accepts him but he also doesn't want to accept either one completely. I still feel like he's looking down some on Africa, but that might not be true.

    Knowing that he's also a gay author throws me a little. He feels even more alienated because he's truly alienated by every culture at this time. No one will accept that he's black, that he's a poet and that he's gay. In America you had to fit in a little box, neat and tidy and not stray from the box. So when you stray you're alienated from the main society.

    All of these things are supposed to make you civilized. If you don't fit and don't agree so are you civilized? Belonging to a group is essential for being civilized. His heart and head do not agree, neither realizing that he is civilized just not to what main society says.