Tell me is there anything lovelier, 
Anything more quieting 
Than the green of little blades of grass
And the green of little leaves? 

Is not each leaf a cool green hand, 
Is not each blade of grass a mothering green finger, 
Hushing the heart that beats and beats and beats?


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 23, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Greenness” is anthologized in Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets (Harper and Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. In the essay “Angelina Weld Grimké: Playwright and Poet,” published by CLA Journal in 1978, Jeanne-Marie A. Miller, professor emerita of English at Howard University, wrote, “Grimké as a playwright uses genteel black characters to protest against racial injustice, and in her plays as well as in some of her poems she shows racial pride as well as an awareness of America’s hypocrisy. […] Whereas her plays and some of her poems have racial themes, other poetry treats a variety of subjects, with simplicity of expression and, often, in cadenced free verse. Nature imagery is used in her plays, especially in Mara, as well as in many of her poems which also show the influence of the imagists. While many of her poems are short, they are finished, complete works, filled with gold or pallid skies, an earth of green, falling autumn leaves, the singing or sobbing of lone birds and trees—at one time, a shadowy ominous figure and, at another, an exquisite symbol of pride and progress.”