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        Jean Toomer (1894-1967)

                  Evening Song

First Line:   Full moon rising on the waters of my heart,

First appearing in Toomer's 1923 volume Cane, the above poem is protected by copyright and cannot be displayed without permission of the copyright holder.The original text along with background and criticism can be found in:

  • Toomer, Jean. Cane. A Norton Critical Edition. Darwin T. Turner, ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1988.

    While Cane is widely viewed as a masterpiece of the Harlem Renaissance, Toomer resented being categorized by race. In 1923, he rejected publisher Horace Liveright's request to use his race to help advertise the book: "My racial composition and my position in the world are realities which I alone may determine... I do not expect to be told what I should consider myself to be."