Choosing Life Over Death

Countee Cullen
May 30, 1903 – January 9, 1946

signed cullenMr. Cullen was an award winning poet, a novelist and a playwright. His history, mystery, talents and accomplishments are far too many to mention in this small space but Modern American Poetry has an interesting bit of info.

Cullen was also a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

It’s said that he wrote this piece in response to Alan Seeger’s I Have a Rendezvous With Death.

Cullen’s rendezvous with life (though short lived) strikes me as more optimistic which I’m sure was his intention. It is also the reason I chose it.

I Have a Rendezvous With Life

I have a rendezvous with Life,
In days I hope will come,
Ere youth has sped, and strength of mind,
Ere voices sweet grow dumb.
I have a rendezvous with Life,
When Spring’s first heralds hum.
Sure some would cry it’s better far
To crown their days with sleep
Than face the road, the wind and rain,
To heed the calling deep.
Though wet nor blow nor space I fear,
Yet fear I deeply, too,
Lest Death should meet and claim me ere
I keep Life’s rendezvous.