Poem: “No Images” by Poet William Waring Cuney

0 Posted by - December 28, 2020 - Black History, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS, Poems

William Waring Cuney was a poet of the Harlem Renaissance. He is best known for his poem “No Images,” which has been widely anthologized.

William Waring Cuney was born in Washington, DC, in 1906. He attended Howard University and graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania before deciding to pursue a career in singing; he attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and from there went to Rome. Cuney never performed professionally and eventually switched his focus to writing. When he was eighteen, his poem “No Images” won a prize in the Opportunity poetry contest. “No Images” remains a significant representation of the basic philosophy of the Harlem Renaissance and has been widely anthologized and translated; it is Cuney’s most famous poem.

No Images

By William Waring Cuney
She does not know
her beauty,
she thinks her brown body
has no glory.
If she could dance
under palm trees
and see her image in the river,
she would know.
But there are no palm trees
on the street,
and dish water gives back
no images.


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