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These materials the ancient black man mute

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is a bit of the full morning. These materials ... the ancient black man, mute, inaccessible, and yet so mystically close to the new tumultuous members of his race, the simple slave Past, the shredding Negro Present, the iridescent passionate dream of the To-morrow ... are made and measured by a craftsman into an unforgettable music. The notes of his counterpoint are particular, the themes are of intimate connection with us Americans. But the result is that abstract and absolute thing called Art. W ALDO F RANK . Certain of these pieces have appeared in Broom , Crisis , Double Dealer , Liberator , Little Review , Modern Review , Nomad , Prairie , and S 4 N . To these magazines: thanks.
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CONTENTS PAGE F OREWORD , by Waldo Frank vii K ARINTHA 1 R EAPERS 6 N OVEMBER C OTTON F LOWER 7 B ECKY 8 F ACE 14 C OTTON S ONG 15 C ARMA 16 S ONG OF THE S ON 21 G EORGIA D USK 22 F ERN 24 N ULLO 34 E VENING S ONG 35 E STHER 36 C ONVERSION 49 P ORTRAIT IN G EORGIA 50 B LOOD -B URNING M OON 51 S EVENTH S TREET 71 R HOBERT 73 A VEY 76 B EEHIVE 89 S TORM E NDING 90 T HEATER 91 H ER L IPS A RE C OPPER W IRE 101
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C ALLING J ESUS 102 B OX S EAT 104 P RAYER 131 H ARVEST S ONG 132 B ONA AND P AUL 134 K ABNIS 157
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M KARINTHA Her skin is like dusk on the eastern horizon, O cant you see it, O cant you see it, Her skin is like dusk on the eastern horizon ... When the sun goes down. EN had always wanted her, this Karintha, even as a child, Karintha carrying beauty, perfect as dusk when the sun goes down. Old men rode her hobby- horse upon their knees. Young men danced with her at frolics when they should have been dancing with their grown-up girls. God grant us youth, secretly prayed the old men. The young fellows counted the time to pass before she would be old enough to mate with them. This interest of the male, who wishes to ripen a growing thing too soon, could mean no good to her. Karintha, at twelve, was a wild flash that told the other folks just what it was to live. At sunset, when there was no wind, and the pinesmoke from over by the sawmill hugged the earth, and you couldnt see more than a few feet in front, her sudden darting past you was a bit of vivid color, like a black bird that flashes in light. With the other children one could hear, some distance off, their feet flopping in the two-inch dust. Karintha’s running was a whir. It had the sound of the red dust that sometimes makes a spiral in the road. At dusk, during the hush just after the sawmill had closed down, and before any of the women had started their supper-getting-ready songs, her voice, high-pitched, shrill, would put one’s ears to itching. But no one ever thought to make her stop because of it. She stoned the cows, and beat her dog, and fought the other children... Even the preacher, who caught her at mischief, told himself that she was as innocently lovely as a November cotton flower. Already, rumors were out about her. Homes in Georgia are most often built on the two-room plan. In one, you cook and eat, in the other you sleep, and there love goes on. Karintha had seen or heard, perhaps she had felt her parents loving. One could but imitate one’s parents, for to follow them was the way of God. She played “home” with a small boy who
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