African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital AnthologyMain MenuFull Text Collection: Books Published by African American Poets, 1870-1926Author Profiles: Bios and Full Text CollectionsThe Beginnings of the Harlem Renaissance: Overview and Timeline of Key EventsBlack Poetry Before the Harlem Renaissance: Overview and TimelineAfrican American Poetry: A Story Of MagazinesAfrican American Poetry: Anthologies of the 1920sAreas of Interest: Topics and ThemesFurther Reading / Works CitedAmardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
Louise Wallace, "To a Loved One" (1926)
12022-08-05T15:40:59-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e12131plain2022-08-05T15:40:59-04:0002/01/1926Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1Mrs. Florence B. Price, of Little Rock, Arkansas, has discovered a promising young poet in the person of Miss Lovise Wallace of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Mrs. Price writes us: “There is no one close to encourage her. Her mother is dead. . . . She has never been to college for she’s been too busy sending all the other brothers and sisters there. This self-effacing girl shows ability, fineness of character and generosity.”
Up from the ashes of my house I build again. And in the cup of dregs I pour new wine. Through the bitter pain of birth Life creeps— Its wailing lips Wet with dewy sweet. Thy mouth is a scarlet stain That seeps Bitter and sweet together. Thine eyes are dancing pools That laugh In fair and stormy weather. Thy heart is a bird that soars And sings Up to the feet of God; And from thy wings drops down To me One shining azure feather. Some spin dreams That are drenched in sun; And some are woven in mist Of moon and gleam of stars. Others soak in blood and tears, Know sorrow through the years. But mine are woven warp and woof Of You—the love of You! Thy heart’s a violin And Caprice doth draw the bow. Its music throbs and in ecstasy It rises to the stars, But forever doth return A minor strain— A note of pain. Life! The slow sad-sweet murmur Of April rain.
The Moon hath laid her hands on thee! The Moon and the Summer Night. The jasmine flower did the Night Steal for thy perfume. The passion flower did she crush To paint thy sleeping mouth. And for thy hair she took her veil— And the lovely Moon looked deep, Ah, deep into thine eyes. But an elfin breeze passed by and snared A singing bird from the trees, And forever it beats its imprison’d wings Against the bars of thy heart. Thine eyes hold hunger Stark and cruel, As theirs who, dying, Wail for bread. Thy mouth holds yearning Unfulfill’d, As theirs who weeping, Kiss their dead. Thy breast is wet With thy lover’s tears. Hath not.his desire Reached thine ears? Why quell Desire Since through its pain Comes Life? Why strain Life slow As through a sieve Since at its end Comes Death? Some say that Life Is but a night Whose stars are blotted Out by Day. And others sing that Life’s a kiss— Taste well its sweetness While ye may! I love thee, and straightway My heart is turn’d to a lovely thing— A dusky garden where at eve
The scent of the jasmine clings. I want thee—and my thoughts Are swallows homing on the wing. I have thee in my arms; That heart of mine, those thoughts Are a mocking bird that sings!