For my post I would like to highlight the first few lines of Toomer’s “Seventh Street”…
Seventh Street is a bastard of Prohibition and the War. A crude-boned, soft skinned wedge of n-word life breathing its loafer air, jazz songs, and love, thrusting unconscious rhythms, black reddish blood into the white and whitewashed wood of Washington. Stale soggy wood of Washington. Wedges rust in soggy wood … Split it! In two! Again! Shred it! … the sun.
Along with starting this poem, these lines also mark the beginning of the second section of Cane and I find them to be both extremely powerful and significant. To start our discussion I would like to raise several questions: what does this very crude explanation of Washington represent? Is there any importance to the setting of this poem? And what type of metaphor could the splitting of the wood represent besides that of white vs. black?