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Jean Toomer - Harvest Song

I am a reaper whose muscles set at sundown. All my oats are cradled. 
But I am too chilled, and too fatigued to bind them. 
And I hunger. 

I crack a grain between my teeth. I do not taste it. 
I have been in the fields all day. My throat is dry. 
I hunger. 

My eyes are caked with dust of oatfields at harvest-time. 
I am a blind man who stares across the hills, seeking stack'd fields of other harvesters. 

It would be good to see them . . crook'd, split, and iron-ring'd handles of the scythes. It would be good to see them,
dust-caked and blind. I hunger. 

(Dusk is a strange fear'd sheath their blades are dull'd in.) 
My throat is dry. And should I call, a cracked grain like the oats...eoho-- 

I fear to call. What should they hear me, and offer me their grain, oats, or wheat, or corn? I have been in the fields all
day. I fear I could not taste it. I fear knowledge of my hunger. 

My ears are caked with dust of oatfields at harvest-time. 
I am a deaf man who strains to hear the calls of other harvesters whose throats are also dry. 

It would be good to hear their songs . . reapers of the sweet-stalk'd cane, cutters of the corn...even though their throats
cracked and the strangeness of their voices deafened me. 

I hunger. My throat is dry. Now that the sun has set and I am chilled, I fear to call. (Eoho, my brothers!) 

I am a reaper. (Eoho!) All my oats are cradled. 
But I am too fatigued to bind them. And I hunger. 
I crack a grain. It has no taste to it. 
My throat is dry... 

O my brothers, I beat my palms, still soft, against the stubble of my harvesting. (You beat your soft palms, too.) My pain is
sweet. Sweeter than the oats or wheat or corn. It will not bring me knowledge of my hunger. 

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Added: Apr 8 2005 | Viewed: 633 times | Comments and analysis of Harvest Song by Jean Toomer Comments (20)

Harvest Song - Comments and Information

Poet: Jean Toomer
Poem: Harvest Song

Comment 20 of 20, added on December 17th, 2014 at 10:02 AM.

uHCvgz Thanks so much for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

crorkz from Barbados
Comment 19 of 20, added on November 9th, 2014 at 10:25 AM.

very bad poem & irretating poem should learn 2 write poems..

don from United States
Comment 18 of 20, added on October 21st, 2014 at 3:02 AM.

K3CbfP Wonderful work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

crorkz linkz from Uganda

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