James Weldon Johnson- Black Mammy

Beautiful poem on why care-takers deserve to become permanent residents in Canada (Filipina, Caribbean). Fill in the arguments. By James Weldon Johnson, African-American poet.

THE BLACK MAMMY

O whitened head entwined in turban gay,
O kind black face, O crude, but tender hand,
O foster-mother in whose arms there lay
The race whose sons are masters of the land!
It was thine arms that sheltered in their fold,
It was thine eyes that followed through the length
Of infant days these sons. In times of old
It was thy breast that nourished them to strength.

So often hast thou to thy bosom pressed
The golden head, the face and brow of snow;
So often has it ‘gainst thy broad, dark breast
Lain, set off like a quickened cameo.
Thou simple soul, as cuddling down that babe
With thy sweet croon, so plaintive and so wild,
Came ne’er the thought to thee, swift like a stab,
That it some day might crush thine own black child?

from Fifty Years & Other Poems (1917)

 

MY CITY- J.W. Johnson

When I come down to sleep death’s endless night,
The threshold of the unknown dark to cross,
What to me then will be the keenest loss,
When this bright world blurs on my fading sight?
Will it be that no more I shall see the trees
Or smell the flowers or hear the singing birds
Or watch the flashing streams or patient herds?
No, I am sure it will be none of these.

But, ah! Manhattan’s sights and sounds, her smells,
Her crowds, her throbbing force, the thrill that comes
From being of her a part, her subtle spells,
Her shining towers, her avenues, her slums–
O God! the stark, unutterable pity,
To be dead, and never again behold my city!

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One thought on “James Weldon Johnson- Black Mammy

  1. MY CITY- J.W. Johnson

    When I come down to sleep death’s endless night,
    The threshold of the unknown dark to cross,
    What to me then will be the keenest loss,
    When this bright world blurs on my fading sight?
    Will it be that no more I shall see the trees
    Or smell the flowers or hear the singing birds
    Or watch the flashing streams or patient herds?
    No, I am sure it will be none of these.

    But, ah! Manhattan’s sights and sounds, her smells,
    Her crowds, her throbbing force, the thrill that comes
    From being of her a part, her subtle spells,
    Her shining towers, her avenues, her slums–
    O God! the stark, unutterable pity,
    To be dead, and never again behold my city!

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