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Author: johnson, helene
Matches Found: 47


Johnson, Helene    Poet's Biography
47 poems available by this author


BOTTLED    Poem Text    
First Line: Upstairs on the third floor / of the 135th street library / in harlem
Last Line: Gee, that poor shine!
Variant Title(s): Bottled: New York
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


BOY LIKE ME       
First Line: First boy I wish I had a boy like me, debonair, with
Last Line: May I be a mother, too, %like you? Made in your image?


CUI BONO?       
First Line: She sat all day and thought of love
Last Line: And with regret our little dove %continues quite anaemic


FIAT LUX       
First Line: Her eyes had caught a bit of loveliness
Last Line: He flung the whip into the flower bed, %he did not even note that she was dead


FOR JASON       
First Line: Little boys are so pleasant
Last Line: Are we afraid of the reflection in their eyes?


FORAGING       
First Line: I cannot go on living in this very little way
Last Line: I might sneak out and get myself a little bit of jam


FULFILLMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: To climb a hill that hungers for the sky
Last Line: And to die bleeding -- consummate with life.
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Women; Negroes; American Blacks


FUTILITY       
First Line: It is silly- %this waiting for love
Last Line: When love is singing up and down the alley %without a collar


GOIN' NO'TH       
First Line: Good tune to dat song alright, %but de words was jes'a mess of lies
Last Line: Good tune to dat song alright, but de words %was jes'a mess of lies


HE'S ABOUT 22. I'M 63       
First Line: He's about 22. I'm 63. %a pity! He's so pretty!
Last Line: (or less jubilantly, %'mercy!')


I AM NOT PROUD       
First Line: I am not proud that I am bold
Last Line: And boldness came with that


INVOCATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Let me be buried in the rain
Last Line: Grow high above my head.
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Women; Negroes; American Blacks


LET ME SING MY SONG       
First Line: Let me sing my song, %let me speak my piece
Last Line: The flower's breath- %I fear the barren drought of death


LITTLE LOVE       
First Line: A shy ear bared %for incipient kisses
Last Line: But hide the shy ear with a curl, my pet, %and that little secret,-forget


LOVE IN MIDSUMMER       
First Line: Ah love %is like a throbbing wind
Last Line: Ah love %is down from off the white moon's nest


MAGALU    Poem Text    
First Line: Summer comes / the ziczac hovers
Last Line: For a creed that will not let you dance?
Variant Title(s): Magula
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Missionaries & Missions


METAMORPHISM       
First Line: Is this the sea?
Last Line: This strange tempestuous soliloquy of nature, %all these-the sea?


MISSIONARY BRINGS A YOUNG NATIVE TO AMERICA       
First Line: All day she heard the mad stampede of feet
Last Line: Unholy dreams while waiting for the light


MOMENT OF DIGNITY       
First Line: Give me a moment of dignity %of pragmatic worth
Last Line: Before I nestle pleasantly %into the rubbish


MONOTONE       
First Line: My life is but a single attitude
Last Line: Precisely pretty, if impersonal;- %but half conceived, yet not inadequate


MOTHER       
First Line: Soft hair faintly white where the angels touch it
Last Line: And bury them pointed and jagged in her soul- %that I may smile


MY RACE       
First Line: Ah my race, %hungry race
Last Line: Unformed race, %fumbling in birth


NIGHT       
First Line: The moon flung down the bower of her hair
Last Line: Then bound her hair about her head again


PLEA OF A PLEBEIAN       
First Line: I'd like to be a lady. Gee- %a lady with a pedigree
Last Line: And still inspire gallantry, %were I a dame of pedigree


POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Little brown boy / slim, dark, big-eyed
Last Line: You are.
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Children; African Americans - Women; Negroes; American Blacks


QUEST       
First Line: When you are old you become singular and dry
Last Line: How elegant, %to genuflect (or curtsy), and to die


REGALIA       
First Line: Stokin' stoves, %emptin' garbage
Last Line: In a big apartment house in harlem, %than anything else


REMEMBER NOT    Poem Text    
First Line: Remember not the promises we made
Last Line: Let love's beginning expiate love's end.


ROOTBOUND       
First Line: Heavy shovels %boiling soapsuds
Last Line: Sun, %but it was really very kinky at the roots


RUSTIC FANTASY       
First Line: The goat's milk is sweeter
Last Line: The bees are warm with honey


SONNET (BE NOT AVERSE TO BEAUTY)       
First Line: Be not averse to beauty or to love
Last Line: So eat your warm white bread and drink and drink


SONNET (WISDOM MAY CAUTION)       
First Line: Your dark head lies complacent on my breast
Last Line: Wisdom may caution, but it will not mend


SONNET TO A NEGRO IN HARLEM    Poem Text    
First Line: You are disdainful and magnificent
Last Line: You are too splendid for this city street.
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Women; Americans; Harlem (new York City); United States; Negroes; American Blacks; America


SOUTHERN ROAD       
First Line: Yolk-colored tongue %parched beneath a burning sky
Last Line: Swinging alone, %a solemn, tortured shadow in the air


STREET TO THE ESTABLISHMENT       
First Line: You're the old. I'm the new
Last Line: I'm the aborted %I'm the itch


SUMMER MATURES    Poem Text    
First Line: The brilliant-bellied newt flashes
Last Line: Come.
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Sappho (610-580 B.c.)


THE ROAD    Poem Text    
First Line: Ah, little road all whirry in the breeze
Last Line: Rise to one brimming golden, spilling cry!
Subject(s): African Americans - Women


TIME AFTER TIME       
First Line: Time after time %there is a %once upon a time
Last Line: Gulp the joy! %belch the pity! %straddle the city!


TREES AT NIGHT       
First Line: Slim sentinels %stretching lacy arms
Last Line: The trembling beauty %of an urgent pine
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Women


VERS DE SOCIETE       
First Line: And if I was mistaken
Last Line: Only the dead are leal


WAR       
First Line: War is delectable %the blood %the shredded limb
Last Line: Trace your fiscal logo. %it's there, somewhere


WAR-PART 2       
First Line: More? More of the same? %yes. More of the same
Last Line: Votre sante! %salud! Ole!


WHAT DO I CARE FOR MORNING       
Last Line: Night is here, yielding and tender- %what do I care for dawn!
Subject(s): African Americans; African Americans - Women


WHIMSY OF IT ALL       
First Line: A little room at the end of a hall
Last Line: Or to enjoy the whimsy of it all?


WHY DO THEY PRATE?       
First Line: Why do they prate of youth so much?
Last Line: The ripening of the fruit


WIDOW WITH A MORAL OBLIGATION       
First Line: Won't you come again, my friend?
Last Line: And we shall have a night of love %and death in one


WORSHIP       
First Line: I want to worship god
Last Line: As I turn and blindly make my way back to the church %I want to worship god