Jan 16 Jessie Redmon Fauset: Stars in Alabama

For today’s post, I wanted to pick someone a little lesser known from an earlier era to contrast some of the later poets. Jessie Redmon Fauset who lived from 1882 to 1958. She was born in New Jersey and attended Cornell University (one of the first black women to attend) where she earned an honorary place in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. After graduation, she was denied a teaching job in Philadelphia because of her race and sex, but found one in Baltimore. She worked with W.E.B Dubois as an editor of NAACP Magazine and nurtured many young writers the likes of Jean Toomer and Langston Hughes and helped the careers of Arna Bontemps and Countee Cullen.

Her style is less song-like and is more the traditional blank prose style and very beautiful. I can tell that she notices what is happening under the Alabama stars.

Stars in Alabama

IN Alabama
Stars hang down so low,
So low they purge the soul
With their infinity.
Beneath their holy glance
Essential good
Rises to mingle with them
In that skiey sea.

At noon
Within the sandy cotton-field
Beyond the clay, red road
Bordered with green.
A Negro lad and lass
Cling hand in hand,
And Passion, hot-eyed, hot-lipped,
Lurks unseen.
But in the evening
When the skies lean down,
He’s but a wistful boy.
A saintly maiden she.
For Alabama stars
Hang down so lo
So low they purge the soul
With their infinity.

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About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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