Charles Scruggs and Lee VanDemarr: On "Portrait in Georgia"

. . . The great power of "Portrait in Georgia" resides in the relations between Petrarchan enumeration of parts ("Hair . . . / Eyes . . . / . . . / Breath . . . / body) and their transformation in death. The "clear-cut" images of the poem not only create a "mystery" of identity within the poem but point to the larger mystery of miscegenation within the text itself. "Portrait in Georgia" becomes a microcosm of the collage structure of Cane, the narrative technique which, by taking away the connectives, compels the reader to look for "the evidence of things not seen." As something unseen, miscegenation was a sin condemned in public but practiced in private.


Title Charles Scruggs and Lee VanDemarr: On "Portrait in Georgia" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Charles Scruggs, Lee VanDemarr Criticism Target Jean Toomer
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 14 Jun 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Jean Toomer and The Terrors of American History
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