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

Countee Cullen, "She of the Dancing Feet Sings (To Ottie Graham)" (1925)

“And what would I do in heaven, pray,
   Me with my dancing feet,
And limbs like apple boughs that sway
   When the gusty rain winds beat?

And how would I thrive in a perfect place
   Where dancing would be sin,
With not a man to love my face,
   Nor an arm to hold me in?

The seraphs and the cherubim
   Would be too proud to bend
To sing the faery tunes that brim
   My heart from end to end.

The wistful angels down in hell
   Will smile to see my face,
And understand, because they fell
   From that all-perfect place.”

Published in Color, 1925

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