Within this black hive to-nightThere swarm a million bees;Bees passing in and out the moon,Bees escaping the moon,Bees returning through the moon,Silver bees intently buzzing,Silver honey dripping from the swarm of beesEarth is a waxen cell of the world comb,And I, a drone,Lying on my back,Lipping honey,Getting drunk with silver honey,Wish that I might fly out past the moonAnd curl forever in some far-off farmyard flower.
This is from Cane, the first book, a novel, of Jean Toomer (1894-1967). It came out in 1923 and is told in a combination of poetry and prose.
Toomer was the grandson of P. B. S. Pinchback, the first African-American governor of a U.S. state, Louisiana, in the 1870s.
This sounds like an intriguing book, an experimental book.ReplyDelete
I was just rereading the introduction & it calls it a 'High Modernist' masterpiece. And I suppose that's true... ;-) But it also is actually pretty easy reading, not like some of those other high modernist masterpieces!Delete
I like it!ReplyDelete
And I'm glad you did!Delete
I've been wanting to explore Toomer's work for awhile now. There's a Norton edition...extra tempting.ReplyDelete
There's been something in the air. Was there an article about him I read? I'm not sure. But I've been thinking about rereading this lately. It's been years since I last read it.Delete