Poet & Novelist Jean Toomer’s, “Reapers”

0 Posted by - April 17, 2020 - Black History, BLACK MEN, HARLEM RENAISSANCE, LATEST POSTS


Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing that’s done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds.
His belly close to ground. I see the blade,
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.
-Jean Toomer


Jean Toomer, a poet, playwright and novelist was an important figure in African-American literature during the Harlem Renaissance Movement.

Toomer was born in 1894 in Washington, DC, the grandson of the first governor of African-American descent in the United States. As a child, Toomer attended both all-white and all-black segregated schools, and from early on in his life he resisted being classified by race, preferring to call himself simply American.

After graduating from the highly regarded all-black Dunbar High School, Toomer began to travel extensively, attending colleges over the next few years in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Chicago, and finally, New York, where he wrote and published many short stories, plays, and poems.

Toomer’s most famous work, Cane, was published in 1923 and was hailed by critics for its literary experimentation and portrayal of African-American characters and culture. Cane is structured in of three parts. The first third of the book is devoted to the black experience in the Southern farmland. The second part of Cane is more urban and concerned with Northern life, and the final third part  is a prose piece entitled “Kabnis.”

Toomer wrote throughout his life, however his literary visibility effectively ended in 1936, with the last publication in his lifetime, the long poem “Blue Meridian,” which extolled the potential of an “American” race, a “blue” hybrid that would incorporate and extend the spirits of the black, white, and red races.





  • gamefly May 6, 2019 - 5:32 am

    Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole
    thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • g May 13, 2019 - 9:05 am

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative
    and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this
    during my hunt for something concerning this.

  • how to download minecraft free May 15, 2019 - 4:18 pm

    It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our dialogue made here.

  • minecraft download for free May 17, 2019 - 6:27 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this
    site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more,
    thanks for the info!

  • Randglync June 11, 2019 - 2:45 am

    Buying Tadalis Sx Online [url=http://ciali10mg.com]online cialis[/url] Propecia Generic India Prix Cialis 20mg Tadalafil Uri Amoxil

  • noob vs pro vs hacker vs god June 17, 2019 - 5:24 am

    You got yourself a new follower.

  • Brianna Stuart April 13, 2020 - 6:17 am

    Thanks for bringing up this topic. I like the way you present and argue all the facts in addition to your general writing style.

    At times, there is a shortage of time to study long
    pieces, but is short and succinct, I spent
    just a couple of minutes to read the entire article. It’s essential since
    no one has time to read.