THE BANJO PLAYER
by: Fenton Johnson (1888-1958)
- HERE is
music in me, the music of a peasant people.
I wander through the levee, picking my banjo and singing my songs
of the cabin and the field. At the Last Chance Saloon I am as
welcome as the violets in March; there is always food and drink
for me there, and the dimes of those who love honest music. Behind
the railroad tracks the little children clap their hands and
love me as they love Kris Kringle.
But I fear that I am a failure. Last night a woman called me
a troubadour. What is a troubadour?
POEMS BY FENTON JOHNSON
"The Banjo Player" is
reprinted from The Book of American Negro Poetry. Ed.
James Weldon Johnson. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922.