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 hisrace,thesimpleslavePast,theshreddingNegroPresent,theiridescentpassionate dream of the To-morrow ... are made and measured by a craftsmaninto an unforgettable music. The notes of his counterpoint are particular, thethemes are of intimate connection with us Americans. But the result is thatabstract and absolute thing called Art.WALDOFRANK.Certain of these pieces have appeared inBroom,Crisis,Double Dealer,Liberator,Little Review,Modern Review,Nomad,Prairie, andS 4 N.To these magazines: thanks.
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CONTENTSPAGEFOREWORD, byWaldo FrankviiKARINTHA1REAPERS6NOVEMBERCOTTONFLOWER7BECKY8FACE14COTTONSONG15CARMA16SONG OF THESON21GEORGIADUSK22FERN24NULLO34EVENINGSONG35ESTHER36CONVERSION49PORTRAIT INGEORGIA50BLOOD-BURNINGMOON51SEVENTHSTREET71RHOBERT73AVEY76BEEHIVE89STORMENDING90THEATER91HERLIPSARECOPPERWIRE101
MKARINTHAHer 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 carryingbeauty, 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 shouldhave been dancing with their grown-up girls. God grant us youth, secretly prayedthe old men. The young fellows counted the time to pass before she would be oldenough to mate with them. This interest of the male, who wishes to ripen agrowing thing too soon, could mean no good to her.Karintha, at twelve, was a wild flash that told the other folks just what it wasto live. At sunset, when there was no wind, and the pinesmoke from over by thesawmill hugged the earth, and you couldnt see more than a few feet in front, hersudden darting past you was a bit of vivid color, like a black bird that flashes inlight. With the other children one could hear, some distance off, their feetflopping in the two-inch dust. Karintha’s running was a whir. It had the sound ofthe red dust that sometimes makes a spiral in the road. At dusk, during the hushjust after the sawmill had closed down, and before any of the women had startedtheir supper-getting-ready songs, her voice, high-pitched, shrill, would put one’sears to itching. But no one ever thought to make her stop because of it. Shestoned the cows, and beat her dog, and fought the other children... Even thepreacher, who caught her at mischief, told himself that she was as innocentlylovely as a November cotton flower. Already, rumors were out about her. Homesin 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, forto follow them was the way of God. She played “home” with a small boy who
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