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

Countee Cullen, "A Song of Sour Grapes" (1927)

A Song of Sour Grapes

I WISH your body were in the grave,
Deep down as a grave may be,
Or rotting under the deepest wave
That ever ploughed the sea.

I wish I never had seen your face,
Or the sinuous curve of your mouth,
Dear as a straw to a man who drowns
Or rain to a land in drouth.

I would that your mother had never borne,
Your father’s seed to fruit,
That meadow rats had gnawed his corn
Before it gathered root.

Published in PalmsOctober 1926