The Symbol Of Death In Jean Toomer's Reapers

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Rough draft One word poems, 20 word poems, 100 word poems. A poem can be anything. It could come in different styles, forms, lengths, anything. If it can be thought of it can be a poem. Jean Toomer had a great way of putting what he thought into a poem. Making the reader have to figure out what he was actually talking about. Toomer’s “Reapers” is a narrative piece of poetry. This poem references death in the simplest forms and uses reapers as a symbol of death. Jean Toomer is considered one of America 's best _______ poets as evidenced by his marvelous work “Reapers”. Jean Toomers life, a life only he could explain, but that’s what makes it so much better. A lost man that found poetry as a gateway. A piece of that gateway was opened when he was offered the principal job in Sparta, Georgia. Specifically “the two months Toomer spent in Georgia would inspire the writing of “Reapers””(Reapers 193). Toomer spent less than a year in Georgia. It didn’t take long for him to figure…show more content…
Not only are the men described as black, but the horses pulling the mower are also described in this fashion. This same description of each connects the two, making the men appear to be animalistic, as blacks were frequently viewed during the time period in which this poem was written. Blacks were seen as inferior to whites, as were animals, and suffered great prejudices simply because of the color of their skin. This animalistic view of blacks also connects the reapers to the field rat, another animal in the poem. The field rat, which is harmed and presumably killed with indifference, is representative of blacks during the 1920s, as they were frequently harmed and lynched by whites. The field rat in the poem is minding its own business, “His belly close to the ground,” when he is suddenly struck by the mower. Whites would often lynch blacks unsuspectingly when they were doing nothing but minding their own business. The attack on the field rat is similar to the attacks on
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