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Poem by Countee Cullen


Thoughts in a Zoo


They in their cruel traps, and we in ours,
Survey each others rage, and pass the hours
Commiserating each the others woe,
To mitigate his own pains fiery glow.
Man could but little proffer in exchange
Save that his cages have a larger range.
That lion with his lordly, untamed heart
Has in some man his human counterpart,
Some lofty soul in dreams and visions wrapped,
But in the stifling flesh securely trapped.
Gaunt eagle whose raw pinions stain the bars
That prison you, so men cry for the stars!
Some delve down like the mole far underground,
(Their nature is to burrow, not to bound),
Some, like the snake, with changeless slothful eye,
Stir not, but sleep and smoulder where they lie.
Who is most wretched, these caged ones, or we,
Caught in a vastness beyond our sight to see?



Countee Cullen


Countee Cullen's other poems:
  1. From the Dark Tower
  2. Simon the Cyrenian Speaks
  3. That Bright Chimeric Beast
  4. Karenge Ya Marenge
  5. Yet Do I Marvel


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