In this way, Toomer compares whites to apathetic machines that have no consciousness of what they are doing. This poem seems to be extremely close to Toomer's heart. He produced only two works, the self-published book of sayings, Essentials 1931 , influenced by Pennsylvania Quakers, and Portage Potential 1932. Lets lift it; come now,. Toomer employs many poetic devices to convey his message to the reader. In addition to this more metaphysical register, I wonder to what extent this is a poem about poor labor and unfair labor systems, especially in the post-slavery south where sharecropping often failed to be distinguished sufficiently from the former slave system.
Such actions violate the human reason for being and the doer becomes like the machine, without the ability to nourish human life. The images increase the drama of the poem because it is so easy to see the violent destruction of the rat and the long, repetitive movements of the reapers. Stanza 7 In the final stanza, the speaker calls out to the singers, those few whose voices rose up among the apathy of society. From Jean Toomer: ArtistA Study of His Literary Life and Work, 1894-1936. The speaker suggests that this will be done in some ways with music.
What is his poem about? The blood spilled by lynchers was quickly forgotten and became part of the past once the deed was done. This specific location inspired him to write Cane 1923. Everything, the meter, the rhythm, the rhyming, the short sentences, the captivating imagery, all add to this feeling of endless destruction. The appropriateness of these conventions appears where they are most consistent: Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones Are sharpening scythes. The blood brands the indifferent machine and is evidence of its apathy and unknowing cruelty to the natural world. The mower is representative of whites and the rat is representative of blacks. Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.
They were dead, that young. The title, Georgia Dusk, provides that setting, revealing that he is talking about society at large, but there is also a specific focus on the south. Are we not in the world? Whites who lynched blacks would often get away with their heinous crimes without many, if any, repercussions. During his first marriage, to the white novelist Margery Latimer, his license of marriage said that he was white. This makes me feel maybe the author is trying to sympathize with these workers. Growing up he moved in between black and white neighborhoods. The sound of their barking in the background indicates that even in their freedom from slavery, they are still bound, in many ways, by their pasts and the mindset of society.
As a result, after reading this stanza, I concluded that the squealing of the field rats and the pain that is upon them is similar to black laborers who mow the weeds it is emphasizing the cruelty and remorse that African Americans had to go through while living in America during this time period. The reapers in the poem are black and they carry scythes, thus connecting the men in the fields to reapers of death. Lynchers did to blacks what they deemed fit, and did not care or realize that they were taking lives. Toomer shared these teachings in the United States with numerous people. Restless and dissatisfied, he moved from New York to Chicago and then to France. The impersonal speaker, who relishes alliteration and onomatopeia, passes no judgment on urban entertainments.
He also felt that society was apathetic. He implies that people that come from wealth are pompous and sometimes even ignorant of the long-term effects their evil reign of slavery had over the African American people. The reapers are deliberate in their preparations, and they have an objective and expectations of rewards. I see the blade, Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this poem by Jean Toomer not only did this poem take me back in time to early America, but showed me the hardship that African Americans faced during their daily life when working out on the fields.
In 1974, Darwin Turner issued The Wayward and the Seeking: a Collection of Writings by Jean Toomer. This poem also showed the hard work that these men put into farming even if the conditions where bad and exhausting, for these workers came off like machines rather than men. Her father was Louisiana Governor P. Georgia Dusk Analysis Stanza 1 This stanza begins with the description of a sky. The reapers in the poem harvest the field, and the mower inflicts a wound upon the field rat, which is most likely fatal. In 1953, he once again embraced Gurdijieff's philosophies. It is also rendered in complete, conventional sentences, and it has a fairly consistent iambic rhythm.
In establishing this division, Toomer indicts those who carry out acts of oppression against others and asserts that they act out of elements in themselves that are less than human. Rats have a very negative connotation, and most people find rats to be grotesque and disgusting. The word rat gives off a negative vibe. As a biracial man, he could identify and empathize with both African Americans and Caucasians, heightening his ethos and the impressive strength and meaning behind his poems. He views the South this way, as the concubine of the white. He withdrew into religious mysticism; his work passed out of print. The abolition of slave was only the first step.
Very little or no sympathy was given to blacks, as is reflected in the harm that befalls the rat. Rather than the lazy, melancholy tone, we begin to hear some strength, dignity, and the cry for what is right. The traditional image of a reaper death personified is a figure in a black hooded garment with a scythe. Pinchback, the first African American to become governor of a U. The speaker can clearly see that the effects of the years of slavery were still a major factor in society. The speaker is first-person and is giving an account of seeing the actions of the reapers preparing to go to work.