Relevant still nearly 100 years after it was first penned….

Christ Recrucified

by Countee Cullen, 1922

The South is crucifying Christ again
By all the laws of ancient rote and rule:
The ribald cries of “Save yourself” and “fool”
Din in his ear, the thorns grope for his brain,
And where they bite, swift springing rivers stain
His gaudy, purple robe of ridicule
With sullen red; and acid wine to cool
His thirst is thrust at him, with lurking pain.
Christ’s awful wrong is that he’s dark of hue,
The sin for which no blamelessness atones;
But lest the sameness of the cross should tire,
They kill him now with famished tongues of fire,
And while he burns, good men, and women too,
Shout, battling for black and brittle bones.

Illustration by Charles Cullen from The Black Christ and Other Poems by Countee Cullen, 1929. Image from the Special Collections and Rare Books Collection of the University of Missouri Libraries.

Illustration by Charles Cullen from The Black Christ and Other Poems by Countee Cullen, 1929. Image from the Special Collections and Rare Books Collection of the University of Missouri Libraries.

Advertisements