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Poem by Countee Cullen
Karenge Ya Marenge
Wherein are words sublime or noble? What Invests one speech with haloed eminence, Makes it the sesame for all doors shut, Yet in its like sees but impertinence? Is it the hue? Is it the cast of eye, The curve of lip or Asiatic breath, Which mark a lesser place for Gandhi’s cry Than “Give me liberty or give me death!” Is Indian speech so quaint, so weak, so rude, So like its land enslaved, denied, and crude, That men who claim they fight for liberty Can hear this battle-shout impassively, Yet to their arms with high resolve have sprung At those same words cried in the English tongue?
Countee Cullen's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org