African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Antonio Jarvis, "Bamboula Dance" (1928)

CAN I in pride mock these buffoons
Who ape ancestral circumstance?
My fathers, too, these thousand moons
Cavorted in some tribal dance.

I still can feel, when drumbeats call
The pulsing blood new rhythms take;
As garment-like refinements fall
Unconscious longings spring awake!

My honored father, too would say,
For all his solemn, high degrees,
That drums recall Nigerian play
And drown out later dignities.

Few named tribesmen now remain
To dance the sacred dance for rain! 

Published in Opportunity, December 1928

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