U.S.A. / 1923
Cane is a series of vignettes revolving around the origins and experiences of Black Americans. The book contains poems, dialogue and short stories. The book is structured as a circle, starting in the South, moving to the North, then ending back in the South again. In his autobiography, Toomer explained why he wrote the book: “I realized with deep regret, that the spirituals, meeting ridicule, would be certain to die out. With Negroes also the trend was towards the small town and then towards the city—and industry and commerce and machines. The folk-spirit was walking in to die on the modern desert. That spirit was so beautiful. Its death was so tragic. Just this seemed to sum life for me. And this was the feeling I put into Cane. Cane was a swan-song. It was a song of an end.” This is probably my favorite book of poetry and Toomer is definitely my favorite poet!! Absolutely love his stuff!