Sence You Went Away

By James Weldon Johnson 1871–1938
Seems lak to me de stars don't shine so bright,   
Seems lak to me de sun done loss his light,   
Seems lak to me der's nothin' goin' right,
      Sence you went away.

Seems lak to me de sky ain't half so blue,   
Seems lak to me dat eve'ything wants you,   
Seems lak to me I don't know what to do,
      Sence you went away.

Seems lak to me dat eve'ything is wrong,   
Seems lak to me de day's jes twice ez long,   
Seems lak to me de bird's forgot his song,
      Sence you went away.

Seems lak to me I jes can't he’p but sigh,   
Seems lak to me ma th’oat keeps gittin’ dry,   
Seems lak to me a tear stays in ma eye,
      Sence you went away.

Source: The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (1997)

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Poet James Weldon Johnson 1871–1938

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

Subjects Time & Brevity, Relationships, Living, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss

 James Weldon Johnson

Biography

James Weldon Johnson distinguished himself equally as a man of letters and as a civil rights leader in the early decades of the twentieth century. A talented poet and novelist, Johnson is credited with bringing a new standard of artistry and realism to black literature in such works as The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man and God's Trombones. His pioneering studies of black poetry, music, and theater in the 1920s also helped . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Relationships, Living, Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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