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Poem by Countee Cullen


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That bright chimeric beast
Conceived yet never born,
Save in the poets breast,
The white-flanked unicorn,
Never may be shaken
From his solitude;
Never may be taken
In any earthly wood. 

That bird forever feathered,
Of its new self the sire,
After aeons weathered,
Reincarnate by fire,
Falcon may not nor eagle
Swerve from his eyrie,
Nor any crumb inveigle
Down to an earthly tree.

That fish of the dread regime
Invented to become
The fable and the dream
Of the Lords aquarium,
Leviathan, the jointed
Harpoon was never wrought
By which the Lords anointed
Will suffer to be caught.

Bird of the deathless breast,
Fish of the frantic fin,
That bright chimeric beast
Flashing the argent skin,--
If beasts like these youd harry,
Plumb then the poets dream;
Make it your aviary,
Make it your wood and stream.

There only shall the swish
Be heard of the regal fish;
There like a golden knife
Dart the feet of the unicorn,
And there, death brought to life,
The dead bird be reborn.



Countee Cullen


Countee Cullen's other poems:
  1. Karenge Ya Marenge
  2. From the Dark Tower
  3. She of the Dancing Feet Sings
  4. The Wakeupworld
  5. A Brown Girl Dead


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