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

Countee Cullen, "In Memoriam" (1927)

In Memoriam

YOU were the path I had to take
To find that all
That lay behind its loops and bends
Was a bare blank wall.

You were the way my curious hands
Were doomed to learn
That fire, lovely to the sight,
To the touch will burn.

That yours was no slight rĂ´le, my dear,
Be well content;
Not everyone is blessed to be
Wisdom’s instrument.