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

Countee Cullen, "Cor Cordium" (1927)

Cor Cordium[1]

COR cordium is written there,⁠
But the heart of hearts is away;
They could not fashion any bier
To hold that burning clay.

Imprisoned in the flesh, he wrought
Till Death as Prospero,
Pitied the spark that life had caught,
Loosed him, and let him go.

Look, a light like a sun-girt flask;
Listen, and hear it sing.
Light and song are what, you ask?
Ariel off on the wing!

 Written at the Shelly Memorial in Rome, August 1926.

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