Analysis Of Countee Leroy Porter's Poem 'Brown Girl Dead'

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Countee Leroy Porter was born on May 30, 1903. His exact birthplace is unknown, but his possible birthplaces are Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York (based on his claims); and Louisville, Kentucky (based on his references on legal applications).When he was nine years old, he was brought to Harlem and looked after by his grandmother. She looked after him until she died in 1918. At age fifteen, Countee Cullen was looked after by Reverend Frederick A. Cullen, a preacher who eventually became the president of the NAACP. He became the main figure in Countee’s life due to his acts for fighting for African-American rights. He went Dewitt Clinton High School where he won a city wide poetry contest, was elected into the Honors Society, and was…show more content…
The first stanza, “With two white roses on her breasts, White candles at head and feet, Dark Madonna of the grave she rests; Lord Death has found her sweet”(1-4), the poem briefly states that a young girl has passed away. It is not known how her death has occurred. These lines of the poem give evidence that the young girl is getting buried or having a funeral due to the images of “white roses” and “white candles”. Also with the line three, “Dark Madonna of the grave she rests”(3), is a dead giveaway that a young black girl has died because the “Dark Madonna” represents a dark Virgin Mary who, in this poem, happens to be resting which represents death. The first two lines of the second stanza states, “Her mother pawned her wedding ring to lay her out in white”(5-6). These lines show the struggles of being black during the times of the 1920s. These lines also show how black people had to give up what they love in order to gain more. In this case, the mother had to pawn her ring in order to give her daughter the most beautiful white dress. The last two lines say, “She 'd be so proud she 'd dance and sing to see herself tonight”(7-8). This line shows the emotion that the little girl would have if she were to see herself to see herself in this beautiful wedding
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