Ebony Rhythm: An Anthology of Contemporary Negro Verse



Ebony Rhythm: An Anthology of Contemporary Negro Verse

This edition

"Ebony Rhythm: An Anthology of Contemporary Negro Verse" . Ed. Beatrice M. Murphy. New York: Exposition, 1948. 162 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

• Repr. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries, 1968.

Table of contents

The Poet / by Alice D. Anderson -- It seems to me / by Edna L. Anderson -- Entreaty / by Walter G. Arnold -- Interrogation / by Walter G. Arnold -- Night song / by Katharine Beverly -- Dreams are so pale / by Katharine Beverly -- Rain wish / by Louise Blackman -- Miracle / by Louise Blackman -- Echo / by Dorothy F. Blackwell -- Nocturne / by Dorothy F. Blackwell -- Crescendo / by Dorothy F. Blackwell -- Rebel / by Samuel E. Boyd -- Dance finale / by Samuel E. Boyd -- And so tomorrow ... / by Samuel E. Boyd -- Tomorrow's winds / by Samuel E. Boyd -- Virgin field / by Arthur Braziel -- Areytos / by Jean Brierre -- Harlem / by Jean Brierre -- To Paul Robeson / by Jean Brierre -- Epigram / by Iola M. Brister -- A negro speaks of night / by Iola M. Brister -- Upon looking at love / by Delores A. Brown -- Signs of sleep / by Joe C. Brown -- Rustic love / by Joe C. Brown -- The train ride / by George B. Browne -- Heritage / by Naomi E. Buford -- You taught me love / by Frederica Katheryne Bunton -- Black cameo on pink quartz / by John W. Burton -- Vignette / by John W. Burton -- Pride / by John W. Burton -- Primrose and thistle / by Alpheus Butler -- Maid and violinist / by Alpheus Butler -- Portrait of a poet / by Alpheus Butler -- Ebony rhythm / by Hood C. Butler -- Mountains / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- Boston tea / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- To Nita / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- World weariness / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- Dark love / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- Insight / by David Wadsworth Cannon -- Solar flight / by Howard Carpenter -- The voice of the hill / by Herman J.D. Carter -- A poetess / by Herman J.D. Carter -- Mountain in a storm / by Herman J.D. Carter -- Negro audience / by Herman J.D. Carter -- Bread on the water / by Nell Chapman -- Requiem / by Nell Chapman -- Dark heritage / by Marcus B. Christian -- Selassie at Geneva / by Marcus B. Christian -- "Go down, Moses!" / by Marcus B. Christian -- The craftsman / by Marcus B. Christian -- Lullaby to a dream / by James (Nakisaki) Christopher -- Paradox / by Peter Wellington Clark -- Reality / by Peter Wellington Clark -- Deserted village / by Peter Wellington Clark -- Historic episodes / by Peter Wellington Clark -- Shadows / by Helen F. Clarke -- You are black / by Helen F. Clarke -- "Sing me a new song" / by John Henrik Clarke -- Inquiry / by John Henrik Clarke -- Meditations of a european farmer / by John Henrik Clarke -- America / by John Henrik Clarke -- No tears / by John Henrik Clarke -- Bombardment and aftermath / by John Henrik Clarke -- Black soldier / by Mary Wilkerson Cleaves -- Why do I love this country / by Mary Wilkerson Cleaves -- April longing / by Mary Wilkerson Cleaves -- Heritage / by Dolores Clinton -- America negra / by Anita Scott Coleman -- Hands / by Anita Scott Coleman -- The colorist / by Anita Scott Coleman -- Black faces / by Anita Scott Coleman -- Humility / by Anita Scott Coleman -- Impossibility / by Jamye H. Coleman -- The swing of life / by Jamye H. Coleman -- Black Gauntlet / by William Cousins -- Ultimatum / by William Cousins -- The house of time / by William Cousins -- Peace is a fragile cup / by Frank Marshall Davis -- Miss Samantha Wilson / by Frank Marshall Davis -- Revolt in the south / H. Binga Dismond -- To the men of the soviet army / by H. Binga Dismond -- The dominicaine / by H. Binga Dismond -- This day / by Elroy Douglas -- Departure / by Ylessa Dubonee -- Nocturne / by Ylessa Dubonee -- Defeat / by James A. Emanuel -- Booker T. Washington / by John W. Fentress -- Abraham Lincoln / by John W. Fentress -- Icicles on trees / by Catherine L. Finley -- Perception / by Catherine L. Finley -- Hunger / by Francis M. Foster -- A lover's lament / by Francis M. Foster -- Long, black line / by L. Zack Gilbert -- Supremacy / by Lenora Gillison -- If this be good-bye / by Ruby Berkley Goodwin -- New year's prayer / by Ruby Berkley Goodwin -- Guilty / by Ruby Berkley Goodwin -- We launched a ship / by Ruby Berkley Goodwin -- Service, please / by Myrtle Campbell Gorham -- Man to man / by William Thompson Goss -- Variety / by William Thompson Goss -- He's coming home at last / by Emily Jane Greene -- Salute to the tan yanks / by Amos J. Griffin -- I wake up screaming / by Carlyle B. Hall -- Malevolence / by Carlyle B. Hall -- Solitude / by Carlyle B. Hall -- I heard your heart's soft tears / by Helen C. Harris -- Spin me a dream / by Helen C. Harris -- To the singer / by Helen C. Harris -- First lady / by Edna L. Harrison -- Warning / by Samuel A. Haynes -- The challenge / by Samuel A. Haynes -- The golden stool / by Gene Holmes -- For Billie Holiday / by Langston Hughes -- Wisdom and war / by Langston Hughes -- From Selma / by Langston Hughes -- Rendezvous / by Lois Royal Hughes -- Like onto a rose / by Lois Royal Hughes -- I could not know / by Lois Royal Hughes -- Epitaph for a bigot / by Dorothy Vena Johnson -- Post war ballad / by Dorothy Vena Johnson -- Road to anywhere / by Dorothy Vena Johnson -- Success / by Dorothy Vena Johnson -- I've learned to sing / by Georgia Douglas Johnson -- Interracial / by Georgia Douglas Johnson -- Black recruit / by Georgia Douglas Johnson -- Joy or sorrow / by Leanna F. Johnson -- Supremacy / by Leanna F. Johnson -- Cords / by Ruth Brownlee Johnson -- Chained / by Ruth Brownlee Johnson -- Enchantment / by Georgia Holloway Jones -- To James Weldon Johnson / by Georgia Holloway Jones -- Blend / by Ed Lee -- Freedom's snare / by Ed Lee -- Man / by Ed Lee -- Tragedy / by Ed Lee -- Southern justice / by Ed Lee -- The malcontents / by Dio Lewis -- Time / by Dio Lewis -- Sonnet spiritual / by Luther George Luper, Jr. -- A thing born of darkness / by Martha E. Lyons -- Lilacs / by Gertrude Parthenia McBrown -- Bronze queen / by Gertrude Parthenia McBrown -- Underway / by Fleetwood M. McCoy, Jr. -- Gutter rats / by Eldon George McLean -- Biterness / by Eldon George McLean -- Experience / by Eldon George McLean -- The inevitable road / by Eldon George McLean -- Retrospection / by Eldon George McLean -- Springtime / by Clifford L. Miller -- Eternal desire / by William Lorenzo Morrison -- Civil service / by Constance Nichols -- Baby hair / by Constance Nichols -- Desire / by Constance Nichols -- The answer / by Rev. John Henry Owens -- The alternative / by Rev. John Henry Owens -- The dream / by Gladys Marie Parker -- War / by Jesse F. Patterson -- Grill room / by Jesse F. Patterson -- The seasons / by Robert N. Perry, Jr. -- Inevitability / by Robert N. Perry, Jr. -- Of dictators / by Robert N. Perry, Jr. -- Let them come to us / by Lucia M. Pitts -- One April / by Lucia M. Pitts -- Never, never, never / by Lucia M. Pitts -- If ever you should walk away / by Lucia M. Pitts -- Afternoon off / by Lucia M. Pitts -- Poets / by Lucia M. Pitts -- Blue melody / by William I. Powell -- Uncle Tom / by J. Farley Ragland -- Strickly speaking / by J. Farley Ragland -- Black and tan / by J. Farley Ragland -- Fear / by Edward Richards -- Adieu / by Constantia E. Riley -- What is God? / by Etholia Arthur Robinson -- The compensation / by Ruth E.J. Sarver -- Dream love / by Ruth E.J. Sarver -- Come, beloved / by Will Smallwood -- I own a dream / by Will Smallwood -- Pledge / by Will Smallwood -- Forgiveness / by Will Smallwood -- Fragility / by James Edgar Smith -- Shadows / by James Edgar Smith -- A quoi bon? / by Jules Wynn Smith -- That vengeance gathers / by Theodore Stanford -- Aren't we all? / by Norman Hills Stateman -- Loving beauty is loving God / by Isabelle McClellan Taylor -- The lynching / by Isabelle McClellan Taylor -- Peace and principle / by Isabelle McClellan Taylor -- In some time hence / by Isabelle McClellan Taylor -- I think I thought a lie / by D. Gatewood Thomas -- I am a man / by Tomi Carolyn Tinsley -- Cynic / by Tomi Carolyn Tinsley -- Classified ad / by Tomi Carolyn Tinsley -- Retaliation / by Tomi Carolyn Tinsley -- Dark hands / by Nannie M. Travis -- White fear / by Nannie M. Travis -- Traffic signs / by C.V. Troup -- Dream about me / by Nathaniel I. Twitt -- Defeat / by Countess W. Twitty -- High tide / by Countess W. Twitty -- Unrepentant / by Countess W. Twitty -- Subterfuge / by Countess W. Twitty -- Dusk thoughts / by Countess W. Twitty -- Dali fantasy / by Countess W. Twitty -- Quo Vadis / by Countess W. Twitty -- Mistakes / by Naomi Evans Vaughn -- Barred / by Naomi Evans Vaughn -- Leviticus tate / by Lloyd Warren -- Mother America / by Hazel L. Washington -- A woman at war / by Hazel L. Washington -- Creation / by Carter Webster -- Crucifixion / by Carter Webster -- Loud jazz horns / by Carter Webster -- Flotsam / by Ricardo Weeks -- I dreap a war / by Ricardo Weeks -- Window washer / by Ricardo Weeks -- Fugitive / by Ricardo Weeks -- Fallacy / by Ricardo Weeks -- Then I met you / Jack Calvert Wells -- My sea of tears / by Deborah Fuller Wess -- Sergeant Jerk / by Deborah Fuller Wess -- Hey, boy! / by Alexander Young -- Before a monument / by Alexander Young -- Love's helplessness / by Alexander Young.

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Parker, John W. "The Song of One Hundred Negro Poets." Rev. of "Ebony Rhythm", ed. Beatrice M. Murphy. "Phylon" 10.3 (1949): 288-90. "JSTOR".
"Everywhere reminiscent of "Negro Voices" (1938), the editor's initial collection whose pattern it follows and whose work it extends and elaborates, "Ebony Rhythm", Beatrice Murphy's 162-page anthology of contemporary Negro verse, is essentially exploratory in nature as in outlook. It contains an amazing variety of lyric poems by an even hundred Negro poets. . . . Certain of these poems have appeared previously in such publications as "Poetry Digest", "Crisis", the "Chicago Defender", "Times-Herald" and "Negro Voices". Unlike some anthologies, this book follows the injunction implied in Dr. Johnson's essay 'Minor Poets Not to Be Despised.' The editor who lays no claim to profundity states in the preface that she has not attempted to 'channel the thinking of the writers', but simply to 'present a group of Negro poets for the interest and entertainment of the reader.'
"The book, nevertheless, reflects the character of and the direction in which the thought of at least a fairly representative sampling of present-day Negro poets is tending. Some write of love and nature and // God; others are concerned with war, with futility and with the enigma of the hereafter. In the main, however, the poems included in "Ebony Rhythm" stem from the conflict and the resulting frustration that accompany forthright denial of social justice, the guarantees of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution of the United States, notwithstanding.
"It is perhaps worth noting that no one of the poems in the 'protest' group follows the thinking of a writer with left-wing tendencies. Absent too, for the most part, are poems about fallen Negro women, hard luck Charlie, Harlem after midnight, and the 'bad nigger' as a social pattern. Despite the generous sprinkling of sonnets fashioned after the traditional English and Italian patterns and the recurrent appearance of the four-line stanza, the book shares the current trend in the direction of variegated poetic forms; free verse similar to that found in Hughes' "One Way Ticket" abound throughout the volume" (288-89).
"As he lays "Ebony Rhythms" aside, one cannot help wishing that Beatrice Murphy had chosen to reveal the procedures employed in the selection of the writers she has included, and that she had been more specific as to the criteria by which poems from a given author were chosen. From J. Farley Ragland's recent poetic output, for example, she selects three poems and from the offerings of Langston Hughes, a similar number, while from lesser lights a half dozen or more poems find their way into this collection. Much of the editor's preface is scarcely germane to topic under discussion; only in spots does it remark the book's content and organization. Similarly, the biographical sketches (some reduced to a mere 20-word statement) appear much too abbreviated to be,as editor puts it, 'highly significant.' //
"These limitations, however, do not destroy the basic force of the book as something of an index to post-war Negro poetry. What it "does not" include may well suggest the need of a more ambitious anthology in this area. All in all, Beatrice Murphy's "Ebony Rhythm" is a useful piece of work; it will interest the general reader as well as the student of contemporary American life and letters" (289-90).

Commentary on anthology

• A second poetry anthology by Murphy (see also Negro Voices [1938] and Today's Negro Voices [1970]) (Kinnamon 1997: 469).

Cited in

Kinnamon 1997: 469]

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