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About this poet

Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the late nineteenth century. A member of the Harlem Renaissance, her poetry collections include Bronze: A Book of Verses (B.J. Brimmer Company, 1922) and The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems (The Cornhill Company, 1918). She died in 1966.

Old Black Men

They have dreamed as young men dream
     Of glory, love and power;
They have hoped as youth will hope
     Of life’s sun-minted hour.

They have seen as other saw
     Their bubbles burst in air,
And they have learned to live it down
     As though they did not care.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the late nineteenth century. 

by this poet

poem
Don’t knock at the door, little child,
     I cannot let you in,
You know not what a world this is
     Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
     Until I come to you,
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
     I cannot let you in!

Don’t knock at my heart, little one,
     I cannot bear the pain
Of turning
poem

The breaking dead leaves ’neath my feet
A plaintive melody repeat,
Recalling shattered hopes that lie
As relics of a bygone sky.

Again I thread the mazy past,
Back where the mounds are scattered fast—
Oh! foolish tears, why do you start,
To break of dead leaves in the heart

poem

The phantom happiness I sought
   O’er every crag and moor;
I paused at every postern gate,
   And knocked at every door;

In vain I searched the land and sea,
   E’en to the inmost core,
The curtains of eternal night
   Descend—my search is o’er.