ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Black Poet Countee Cullen Speaks

Updated on December 16, 2016

Countee Cullen

 (March 30, 1903 - January 9, 1946)

The Wakeupworld


This was the song of the Wakeupworld,

The beautiful beast with long tailed curled:


"Wake up, O World; O World, awake!

The light is bright on hill and lake;

O World, awake; wake up, O World!

The flags of the wind are all unfurled;

Wake up, O World; O World, awake!

Of earth's delightfulness partake.


Wake up, O World, whatever hour;

Sweet are the fields, sweet is the flower!

Wake up, O World; O World, awake;

Perhaps to see the daylight break,

Perhaps to see the sun descend,

The night begin, the daylight end.


But something surely to behold,

Not bought with silver or with gold,

Not shown in any land of dreams.

For open eyes the whole world teems

With lovely things to do or make,

Wake up, O World; O World, awake!"


Such was the song of the Wakeupworld,

The beautiful beast with long tail curled,

The Wakeupworld so swift and fleet,

With twelve bright eyes and six strong feet.

Such was the song he sang all day,

Lest man or beast should sleep away

The gift of Time, and never know

The beauties of this life below.

Twelve were his eyes, as I have said,

Placed clockwise in his massive head.

Never in any time or weather

Were all those eyes shut tight together,

But daily, at it's certain hour,

Each eye became possessed with power.


At one, an eye all pale and white

Flew open for the days first sight,

And looked alone until at two

There woke his wondering eye of blue.

His eye of green at stroke of three

Blazed like a jewell brilliantly;

At four he opened up the red,

And all around his lustre spread.

Shyly then, as if all sleepy yet,

At five peeped forth the violet.

An eye of silver, chill and cold,

The hour of six would then unfold.

At seven with a sudden wink,

He would let loose his eye of pink.

At eight an eye so mild and mellow

Would gaze about; this one was yellow.

Prompt at the stroke of nine they say

Would twinkle forth his eye of gray.

At ten, as merry as a clown,

You could behold the laughing brown.

Eleven strikes!  And open flies

An eye as black as midnight skies.

And when the hour of twelve was tolled,

And Time was one more half day old,

He opened full his eye of gold.

His twelve bright eyes he flashed around

'Till rainbows flecked the trees and ground!

Oh, loveliest beast in song and story,

The Wakeupworld in all his glory!


He could not sleep as others could;

But for a moment in the wood

Might stand and rest himself a mite,

Then quickly would be off in flight,

Crossing mountain, field, and lake,

Bidding the drowsy world awake.

Every hour some sleepyhead

Would hear his song and leap from bed

To open his eyes on some delight

Of lovely day or beauteous night.


What would you give to see alive

A Wakeupworld at half past five?

Could anything excite you more

Than seeing him at exactly four,

His eyes of white, blue, green and red,

Leaping like carlights from his head?

Or watch each eye from hour to hour,

Beginning at exactly one,

Unfold it's beauty like a flower,

Till all those eyes were on the sun?

'Twould take you half a day at least

To get the most of such a feast!

(He'd be the prize of any Zoo,

If he were here, I think, don't you?)

But shall never his like appear

Again, and we shall never hear

His song in lovely measures hurled

At sleepyheads throughout the world.


Excitement robbed him of his breath,

Excitement led him to his death.

Flood morning when he could have been

(Being awake) the first one in,

Excitement made him play the dunce

And open all his eyes at once!

He rushed right on through dawn and dark

Pointing late corners to the Ark.

Too great the strain was for his heart;

Slowly he sank; his great knees shook.

While those his song had helped to start

Passed on without a backward look.

The waters fell upon him there,

His twelve bright eyes shining like one;

They covered him, and none knew where

To find him when the storm was done.

                                                     Countee Cullen





    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      gni man nice poem

    • profile image

      Joshua Dumlao 

      6 years ago

      its good 2x

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      it good!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice Poem :)

    • profile image

      franz magdapat 

      6 years ago

      its preety easy but that is a wonderful poem


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)