The Indictment of God and the American Society in Countee Cullen’s Poetry


  • Onwu Uko Gabriel Department of English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Humanities, School Of Postgraduate Studies, Veritas University, Abuja, Nigeria.



Indictment, racism, Marvel, Incident, African American Writers.


The concept that God is as unjust as the society is so eloquently portrayed in Countee Cullen’s poems “Yet Do I Marvel’’ and “Incident”. Cullen accuses God of being unjust by making him a poet. The renowned poet does not exonerate his American society from the indictment based on racial hostilities and insensitivity that seemed to have permeated the milieu. This paper addresses the questions of the indictment, racial intolerance and the significance of Cullen’s poetry to American literature. To achieve the objective of this study, the author adopts interpretive literary study and The Reader-Response approach to analyze the selected poems. The study reveals that Cullen’s poetry like other genres lives in timeless performance, is therapeutic, is a strong vehicle for the mobilization of people, and a tool for protest. The study concludes that Countee Cullen uses his poetry to indict God and American society. From the analysis of the selected poems, it is observed that poetry lives with people, is a weapon for change in any Nation and Cullen’s poetry addresses the contemporary needs of a society. His accusation of God and American society is a concern and seems relevant. What matter most is equality, justice and love for humanity? All these ingredients must emanate from the heart and transcend color for any society to attain oneness.




How to Cite

Gabriel, O. U. . (2021). The Indictment of God and the American Society in Countee Cullen’s Poetry. International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies , 2(4), 75-89.