The interests of a black man in a cellar The black man, forlorn in the cellar,
Hart Crane, 1899-1932
Mark tardy judgment on the world’s closed door.
Gnats toss in the shadow of a bottle,
And a roach spans a crevice in the floor.
Aesop, driven to pondering, found
Heaven with the tortoise and the hare;
Fox brush and sow ear top his grave
And mingling incantations on the air.
Wanders in some mid-kingdom, dark, that lies,
Between his tambourine, stuck on the wall,
And, in Africa, a carcass quick with flies.
* * * *
“Black Tambourine” composed in 1921
and first published in June 1921
It also appeared in Crane’s White Buildings (1926)
More Hart Crane is available in these volumes from Amazon:
The interests of a black man in a cellar
The black man, forlorn in the cellar,