Angelina Weld Grimké


Angelina Weld Grimké was born in Boston on February 27, 1880. Grimké's first poems appeared in the early 1900s in Colored American Magazine, The Boston Evening Transcript, and The Pilot. Grimké penned her best-known work, the play Rachel, in response to W. E. B. Du Bois’s call for Black theatrical productions. The play, which examined the impact of a lynching on an African American family, was staged in Washington, D.C. in 1916 and published in 1920. It was the first drama penned by an African American and performed by African American actors for a white audience. Grimké next published the short story “The Closing Door” in The Birth Control Review of 1919. Her work also appeared in Harlem Renaissance-era anthologies, including Countee Cullen’s Caroling Dusk (Harper and Brothers, 1927); Charles S. Johnson’s Ebony and Topaz (National Urban League, 1927); Alain Locke’s The New Negro (Atheneum, 1925); and Robert T. Kerlin’s Negro Poets and Their Poems (The Associated Publishers, 1923). Her poetry has experienced a revival in recent decades, with particular attention on her erotic love sonnets addressed to women, such as “Grass Fingers” and “El Beso,” leading to new recognition for Grimké as a lesbian poet. Source


Grimké died on June 10, 1958.

Your Hands

I love your hands:

They are big hands, firm hands, gentle hands;

Hair grows on the back near the wrist . . . .

I have seen the nails broken and stained

From hard work.

And yet, when you touch me,

I grow small . . . . . . . and quiet . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . And happy . . . . . . . .

If I might only grow small enough

To curl up into the hollow of your palm,

Your left palm,

Curl up, lie close and cling,

So that I might know myself always there,

. . . . . . . Even if you forgot.





Literary Movements:

Harlem Renaissance

Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a literary device that is used in narratives to omit some parts of a sentence or event, which gives the reader a chance to fill the gaps while acting or reading it out.


the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses