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Themes

"Song for a Dark Girl" comes at religion with an angle: God favors white people. Jesus—though he was, much like the man in this poem, a victim with a grizzly death—was white. And the victim in this poem was black. Beyond questioning the ability of white deities to soothe a black tragedy, this poem also shows how, in times of despair, even the god that has been a pillar of a girl's world can seem useless.

Questions About Religion

  1. What do you think the speaker's relationship with religion was before the events of this poem?
  2. How do you think the speaker's relationship with religion was affected by the events of this poem? 
  3. What is the relationship of race to religion in this poem? 

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker of this poem feels that religion has abandoned her and her lover because they're black.

For our speaker, religion is a white institution with no room for black people.

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