YET DO I MARVEL
I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must someday die,
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.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!
The above poem was written in1925 when Cullen was 22 years of age. He was one of America's most recognized and honored poets of his time; and though his writings fell out of publication following his death, there has been a renewed interest in his work in recent years, especially in the realm of academia. I first became acquainted with this poet's work in the 1950s about a decade after his death.
I have read several analyses of this poem by different critics. It is evident to me that criticism consists of the application of one's own biases and belief-system to the work being analyzed, coating it with the lacquer of self that is the critic. The intent of the author is thus obfuscated to the point that it is difficult for one to determine what that meaning was at penning. It is the case that the poem can speak to you. Do not let the prejudices of others determine for you what is being said.
Modern American Poetry, see esp. Fetrow