Form in Jean Toomer’s, “Cane”

“Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,/
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds,/
… I see the blade,/
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade”. (Toomer 6)

Toomer, Jean. Cane. Boni and Liveright, 1923.

“Reaper” in Jean Toomer’s, Cane, utilizes an AABB rhyme scheme and a number of commas to give the poem an eerie tone and vivid imagery, showing the grizzly loss of an innocent life for the simple act of cutting grass. This symbolizes the idea of African American slave lives lost for the South’s agricultural profit and growth.