The Collected Poems of Jean Toomer

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UNC Press Books, 1988 - Poetry - 111 pages
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This volume is the only collected edition of poems by Jean Toomer, the enigmatic American writer, Gurdjieffian guru, and Quaker convert who is perhaps best known for his 1923 lyrical narrative Cane. The fifty-five poems here_most of them previously
 

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The collected poems of Jean Toomer

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With his first published work, the lyrical narrative Cane (1923), Toomer joined the first rank of Afro-American writers. But the creative output that followed went largely unrecognized during his ... Read full review

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Contents

FIVE VIGNETTES
3
STORM ENDING
4
AND PASS
5
HER LIPS ARE COPPER WIRE
6
I SEE HER LOVELY THERE
7
EVENING SONG
8
FACE
9
AIR
10
MERL
42
WHITE ARROW
43
UNSUSPECTING
44
THE GODS ARE HERE
45
AT SEA
46
UPWARD IS THIS ACTUALITY
47
AS THE EAGLE SOARS
48
BE WITH ME
49

EARTH
11
FIRE
12
WATER
13
POEM IN C
14
SOUND POEM I
15
SOUND POEM II
16
SKYLINE
17
GUM
18
DELIVERED AT THE KNIGHTING OF LORD DURGLING
19
BANKING COAL
20
THE ANCESTRAL CONSCIOUSNESS PERIOD 19211923
21
REAPERS
23
NOVEMBER COTTON FLOWER
24
COTTON SONG
25
SONG OF THE SON
26
GEORGIA DUSK
27
NULLO
28
CONVERSION
29
PORTRAIT IN GEORGIA
30
BEEHIVE
31
PRAYER
32
HARVEST SONG
33
TELL ME
35
THE OBJECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PERIOD 19241939
37
THE LOST DANCER
39
HONEY OF BEING
40
ANGELIC EVE
41
THE BLUE MERIDIAN
50
PEERS
76
LIVING EARTH
77
WORDS FOR A HYMN TO THE SUN
78
MEN
79
PEOPLE
80
IMPRINT FOR RIO GRANDE
81
I SIT IN MY ROOM
83
ROLLING ROLLING
84
IT IS EVERYWHERE
85
THE CHRISTIAN EXISTENTIAL PERIOD 19401955
89
VAGUE OPENING
91
DESIRE
92
NOT FOR ME
93
THE CHASE
94
CLOUD
95
MOTION AND REST
96
OUR GROWING DAY
97
MENDED
98
PRAYER I
99
ONE WITHIN
100
THE PROMISE
101
THEY ARE NOT MISSED
102
TO GURDJIEFF DYING
103
SEE THE HEART
104
A PUBLICATION HISTORY OF THE POETRY OF JEAN TOOMER
105
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About the author (1988)

Jean Toomer is known today for the one successful book of his career, the novel Cane, published in 1923. Based in part upon his brief experience in the South as a school teacher, Cane was perhaps the first genuinely experimental novel by an African American writer responding to the liberating form of modernist narrative techniques as well as to the deepest and most primal roots of black folk culture in both the South and the North. As such, it reflects in its form the identity conflict that the novel's interwoven stories and poems address. Cane is unique for its blend of poetic language and psychological and moral realism; it established Toomer as one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. However, Toomer soon was absorbed in his own spiritual education. He eventually became a Quaker and spent most of the last part of his life in seclusion.

The late Robert B. Jones taught English at Rice University.

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