Countee Cullen Essay

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“Yet Do I Marvel” by Countee Cullen Throughout the poem “Yet Do I Marvel” by Countee Cullen, he illustrates thoughts of what the common man may wonder about God. It starts out with “I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,” which leads us to think that the narrator’s belief in God is concrete and cannot be questioned. As the poem goes on, though, our narrator wonders many things, especially why there is so much bad in the world if there is a God. He understands there must be a reason for all of the bad, but humans simply are too worldly to understand why. We are shown this in line two, which reads “And did He stoop to quibble why,” telling us that if God were to come down to a human level, he could tell us. But, that would be too easy. Even though the narrator understands that God has His reasons for everything, he still stands amazed at why on earth He would “make a poet black, and bid him sing”. The most substantial lines in this poem lies in the fifth through eighth lines, “Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus | Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare| If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus| To struggle up a never-ending stair.” Having studied these two stories in a philosophy course, it is clear why they are in trouble. Tantalus and Sisyphus commit gruesome sins and are paying for them for eternity. In the story of Sisyphus, he demands that his wife lay his dead body in the town square once he passed to show her true love to him. She did not do so and was angered by this. He wanted everyone to see his dead, naked body in the town square so that everyone would know his wife’s devotion. By asking God why they were punished, the narrator obviously finds their sentences to eternal labor and hunger were unfit to the crimes they commit. No one should suffer for that long, when would enough ever be enough. This could be related to the last two lines of the
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