Black and White: An Anthology of Washington Verse



Black and White: An Anthology of Washington Verse

This edition

"Black and White: An Anthology of Washington Verse" . Ed. J. C. Byars, Jr. Washington, DC: Crane, 1927. 96 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

• Repr. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries, 1971. 96 pp. (The Black Heritage Library Collection.)

Table of contents

The work does not contain a table of contents: the following is reconstructed from the pages of the anthology itself.

• Acknowledgment [2]
• Dedication (3)
• J. C. Byars, Jr. / Foreword (4)
• Lucile Everette / Knighthood (7)
• Lucile Everette / Pierrot Cries for the Moon (8)
• Lucile Everette / Portrait (9)
• Lucile Everette / Before Passion (10)
• Lucile Everette / [Now I am one with one earth-born] (11)
• Lucile Everette / A New England Woman (12)
• Lucile Everette / Song [Beneath my breath] (13)
• Angelina Grimké / Dawn (15)
• Angelina Grimké / At April (16)
• Angelina Grimké / Grass Fingers (17)
• Angelina Grimké / El Beso (18)
• Angelina Grimké / Under the Days (19)
• Angelina Grimké / Epitaph to a Living Woman (20)
• H. C. Gauss / Salem (23)
• H. C. Gauss / [The street lamp threw a long] (24)
• H. C. Gauss / [Now lindens shake their gusts of perfume out] (25)
• H. C. Gauss / [Silence, the mid-night hour] (26)
• H. C. Gauss / [As some strange beat, semi-cadence] (27)
• H. C. Gauss / John-a-Dreams (28)
• H. C. Gauss / The Little Round Belly-i-o (29)
• H. C. Gauss / Finis (30)
• Sherman Elbridge Johnson / [I journeyed out beneath the dismal stars] (33)
• Sherman Elbridge Johnson / [If autumn were in dim perspective wrought] (34)
• Sherman Elbridge Johnson / [Lacking this taint,--immortal, yes, or old--] (35)
• Sherman Elbridge Johnson / [The only thing I ever fear is time] (36)
• Sherman Elbridge Johnson / [I seek from earth her purest, clearest bloom] (37)
• J. C. Byars, Jr. / A Correction (39)
• J. C. Byars, Jr. / Half Cycle (part 1): Dimensional Review (40)
• J. C. Byars, Jr. / Half Cycle (part 2): Before Resurrection (41)
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Interim (43)
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Welt (44)
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Romance (45)
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / I Wonder (46)
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Song of the Sinner (47)
• Gerhard Bruncken / Rondeau (49)
• Gerhard Bruncken / To a Thrush at Evening (50)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [O bright moon flower] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [Last night I saw you] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [Do not bring lanterns] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [My ears burn for speech] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [I will wrap the song] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [I offer you love] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [From the quiet loom] (53)
• Lewis Alexander / Eight Japanese Hokku: [In the white dawn] (53)
• Alvin McNish / Songs from Boccaccio: The Mute Gardener (55)
• Alvin McNish / Songs from Boccaccio: The Monk Who Played Gabriel (55)
• Alvin McNish / Songs from Boccaccio: The Pot of Basil (55)
• Alvin McNish / Ebb Tide (56)
• Alvin McNish / An Old Country Church in the Moonlight (57)
• Alvin McNish / Prometheus Bound (58)
• Courtland Darke Baker / Etching (61)
• Courtland Darke Baker / Venice in Carnival (62)
• Courtland Darke Baker / Sonnet on the Slenderest of Themes (63)
• Courtland Darke Baker / And We Will Drink unto the God of Love (64)
• Courtland Darke Baker / Confession (65)
• Courtland Darke Baker / Blackness (66)
• Courtland Darke Baker / He Requests That His Lady Remain Until the Latest Hour (67)
• Courtland Darke Baker / For We Have Talked for Many Moons (68)
• Courtland Darke Baker / [You must know, even you] (69)
• Walter Everett Hawkins / Child of the Night (71)
• Walter Everett Hawkins / I Am Africa (72)
• N. Bryllion Fagin / [Some day I shall wake at midnight] (75)
• N. Bryllion Fagin / To a Little Girl (76)
• Jacob Rosenthal / [Not this, the world I've lived in all these years--] (79)
• John W. Price / [Mother's soft rich voice, love tones] (81)
• John A. O'Rourke / Fragments [A sudden quiet in the tumult of our days] (85)
• John A. O'Rourke / Song [Now we are young and not too wise for love] (85)
• John A. O'Rourke / Chinoiserie (85)
• John A. O'Rourke / [A little while, and over all] (86)
• Stanley Olmsted / Dry Point (89)
• Stanley Olmsted / Churchyard (90)
• Stanley Olmsted / Rectangle Vert (92)
• Stanley Olmsted / March (93)
• Wroe Alderson / Trinities of the Laughing Flagellant (95)
• Wroe Alderson / Sunset (96)

About the anthology

• Contains 75 poems by 17 authors--Lucile Everette, *Angelina Grimke, H.C. Gauss, Sherman Elbridge Johnson, J.C. Byars, Jr., *Georgia Douglas Johnson, Gerhard Bruncken, *Lewis Alexander, Alvin McNish, Courtland Darke Baker, *Walter Everett Hawkins, N. Bryllion Fagin, Jacob Rosenthal, John W. Price, John A. O'Rourke, Staley Olmsted, and Wroe Alderson. (The four African American authors are indicated by an asterisk; there are 21 items by these four authors.)
• There is a somewhat whimsical biographical headnote on each of the poets (about half a page). Several of the poets included are quite young: e.g., Sherman Elbridge Johnson (18 years old); Jacob Rosenthal (20 years old); Lewis Alexander (early 20s); Alvin McNish (early 20s); John A. O'Rourke (26 years old); Courtland Darke Baker (27 years old)

Anthology editor(s)' discourse

• Dedication: to Calvin Coolidge--"not because he is President of the United States, but that, being at the close of a distinguished career, he is in position to fill a needed office in American culture: that of a free-speaking, whimsical, philosophic commentator on the American people and their political arena. . . . The possibilities for new intellectual and cultural stimulation from such a career fire the imagination. Possibly Mr. Coolidge, himself, has contemplated it as a next move"--even if, in such a role as commentator, he would need to "be unsparing of himself in citing from his own rich past, as a sort of funny proof that, having played the game, he is able to catch us a thief."
• From foreword by J. C. Byars, Jr: "So far as I know, this is the first anthology confining its scope to a political subdivision of the United States, if the voteless District of Columbia can be so designated" (4).
• "It is amazing , when one has been in the business even a short while, to see the deadening similarity in mooning and sighing and sobbing that goes on in the minds of people who turn to verse for expression. . . . It must be inevitable that vast percentages of poetry of any nation shall be of minor grade. That is understandable. But to peruse the emotions and thinking of large numbers of persons through their writing, and to find again and again an acceptance of philosophic platitudes, a juvenality in stating them, and a prevalence of undistinguished emotion, is to wonder at the sense of values and instincts of the modern American, and to be ashamed of them. But be not mistaken: the emotions, thinking and conversation of those majorities of people who do not attempt writing poetry are worse" (4).
• "my primary purpose . . . is to present a representative (if not a complete) collection of current Washington poems.   The anthology could have been enlarged by including the rhymes of a number of citizens locally famed for reading their compositions before clubs, church bodies, etc. But . . . why stir the dust? After all their stuff is insignificant" (5).
• "Intentionally I have refrained from including the work of such people as Elinor Wiley, whose poetry is a permanent addition to American literature, Langston Hughes and others already widely known" (5).
• "One further thought: When we say that such and such verse is unsignificant, it implies that other verse is significant. I believe this is true. The poetry of a people signifies that people's culture, heralds the wit, aims, harrassments, growth, integrity of a people, and intellectual clarity, chastity of feeling, and workmanship (or lack of these) extant in that people. This is the importance of poetry and it should be so understood" (5).
• (from biographical headnote to Angelina Grimké): "The compiler of this anthology, in his biographical references, has not said that so-and-so is a Negro with any intent to classify the person; rather he has said so because it is an interesting secondary fact about the contributor, a fact which ought to be provocative to dull sons of slave-owning grandparents, if one should chance to dabble in this book" (14).

Reviews and notices of anthology

• "Opportunity" (Feb. 1928): 56.
"'Black and White: An Anthology of Washington Verse', edited by J. C. Bryars [sic] is on the book-stands now . . . this book contains both white and colored poets . . . although it is edited by a white man there are more Negroes in the volume than whites" (full notice; ellipses in original).

Commentary on anthology

• Roberts, Kim. "DC Poetry Anthologies." "Beltway Poetry Quarterly" 15.4 (2014).

Cited in

• Lash 1946: 723.
• [not in Kinnamon 1997]

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