By Marcus B. Christian
I ply with all the cunning of my art
This little thing, and with consummate care
I fashion it—so that when I depart,
Those who come after me shall find it fair
And beautiful. It must be free of flaws—
Pointing no laborings of weary hands;
And there must be no flouting of the laws
Of beauty—as the artist understands.
Through passion, yearnings infinite—yet dumb—
I lift you from the depths of my own mind
And gild you with my soul’s white heat to plumb
The souls of future men. I leave behind
This thing that in return this solace gives:
“He who creates true beauty ever lives.”
Marcus B. Christian, "The Craftsman" from The Poetry of the Negro 1746-1970. Copyright © 1970 by Marcus B. Christian. Reprinted by permission of University of New Orleans, Marcus B. Christian Papers, Earl K. Long Library.
Source: The Poetry of the Negro 1746-1970 (Doubleday, 1970)
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