Southern Mansion

Arna Bontemps

Arna Bontemps

Noted figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Arna Bontemps was a prolific writer of poems, children books and novels. Despite his occasional popularity (notably for "Black Thunder," 1936), he struggled to make a living and started to believe that it was futile for him to attempt to address his own generation, and chose to focus on younger and more progressive audiences.

Poplars are standing there still as death
And ghosts of dead men
Meet their ladies walking
Two by two beneath the shade
And standing on the marble steps.

There is a sound of music echoing
Through the open door
And in the field there is
Another sound tinkling in the cotton:
Chains of bondmen dragging on the ground.

The years go back with an iron clank,
A hand is on the gate,
A dry leaf trembles on the wall.
Ghosts are walking.
They have broken roses down
And poplars stand there still as death.

Read short stories
and poems

from Eugene's dispenser