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

Blanche Taylor Dickinson, "A Sonnet and a Rondeau" (1927)

A Sonnet and a Rondeau
By Blanche Taylor Dickinson

Ah, I know what happiness is…
It is a timid little fawn
Creeping softly up to me
For one caress, then gone
Before I'm through with it… 
Away, like dark from dawn!
Well I know what happiness is… 
It is the break of day that wears
A shining dew decked diadem… 
An aftermath of tears.
Fawn and dawn, emblems of joy… 
I've played with them for years,
And always they will slip away
Into the brush of another day.

Is a human heart more brazen
Than a floating, fleecy cloud
Pillowed on the sky's blue bosom,
Kissing stars before the crowd
Of earthly prudes, all forgiving
Secret passions of the earth
Seducing a virgin seed
Till a bastard tree makes birth?
Is a human heart immodest
More so than a cold steel pin
Staggering to a magnet, waiting,
Or a hen bird fluttering when
Her mate calls? Can it be sin?
Consummation of God's mating.
Proof that love needs no berating.

Published in Opportunity, September 1927

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