A Brown Girl Dead by Countee Cullen

A Brown Girl Dead
1933

With two white roses on her breasts,
White candles at head and feet,
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;
Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring
To lay her out in white;
She’d be so proud she’d dance and sing
to see herself tonight

Countee Cullen

Countee Cullen
Born: 30 May 1903, New York, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 9 January 1946, New York, USA

Probably raised by his maternal grandmother, Cullen was unofficially adopted at age 15 by the Reverend FA Cullen, minister of Salem ME Church, Harlem. He won a citywide poetry contest as a schoolboy and winning stanzas were widely reproduced. He attended New York University where Cullen won the Witter Bynner Prize and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. His poems were regularly accepted by major American magazines and his first collection, Color, was published to critical acclaim in 1925

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