South Street

(Philadelphia, Pa.)

South Street is not beautiful,
But the songs of people there
Hold the beauty of the jungle,
And the fervidness of prayer.

South Street has no mansions,
But the hands of South Street men
Built pyramids along the Nile
That Time has failed to rend.

South Street is America,
Breast of the foster mother
Where a thousand ill-kept children
Vie for suck, with one another.

From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.