A Memory of June – Claude McKay

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May, With scarlet roses tinting her green breast, And mating thrushes ushering in her day, And Earth…

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The Snow Fairy By Claude Mckay

The Snow Fairy I Throughout the afternoon I watched them there, Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky, Whirling fantastic in the misty air, Contending fierce…

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In Bondage By Claude Mckay

In Bondage I would be wandering in distant fields Where man, and bird, and beast, lives leisurely, And the old earth is kind, and ever…

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A Memory Of June By Claude Mckay

A Memory Of June When June comes dancing o’er the death of May, With scarlet roses tinting her green breast, And mating thrushes ushering in…

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Song Of The Moon By Claude Mckay

Song Of The Moon The moonlight breaks upon the city’s domes, And falls along cemented steel and stone, Upon the grayness of a million homes,…

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Flower Of Love By Claude Mckay

Flower Of Love The perfume of your body dulls my sense. I want nor wine nor weed; your breath alone Suffices. In this moment rare…

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To A Poet By Claude Mckay

To A Poet There is a lovely noise about your name, Above the shoutings of the city clear, More than a moment’s merriment, whose claim…

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On A Primitive Canoe By Claude Mckay

On A Primitive Canoe Here, passing lonely down this quiet lane, Before a mud-splashed window long I pause To gaze and gaze, while through my…

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America By Claude Mckay

America Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, Stealing my breath of life, I will confess I…

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The Plateau By Claude Mckay

The Plateau It was the silver, heart-enveloping view Of the mysterious sea-line far away, Seen only on a gleaming gold-white day, That made it dear…

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Jasmines – Claude Mckay By Claude Mckay

Your scent is in the room. Swiftly it overwhelms and conquers me! Jasmines, night jasmines, perfect of perfume, Heavy with dew before the dawn of…

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Winter In The Country By Claude Mckay

Winter In The Country Sweet life! how lovely to be here And feel the soft sea-laden breeze Strike my flushed face, the spruce’s fair Free…

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Tormented By Claude Mckay

Tormented I will not reason, wrestle here with you, Though you pursue and worry me about; As well put forth my swarthy arm to stop…

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Russian Cathedral By Claude Mckay

Russian Cathedral Bow down my soul in worship very low And in the holy silences be lost. Bow down before the marble man of woe,…

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Exhortation Summer 1919 By Claude Mckay

Exhortation Summer 1919 Through the pregnant universe rumbles life’s terrific thunder, And Earth’s bowels quake with terror; strange and terrible storms break, Lightning-torches flame the…

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Thirst By Claude Mckay

Thirst My spirit wails for water, water now! My tongue is aching dry, my throat is hot For water, fresh rain shaken from a bough,…

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North And South By Claude Mckay

North And South O sweet are tropic lands for waking dreams! There time and life move lazily along. There by the banks of blue-and-silver streams…

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Alfonso, Dressing To Wait At Table By Claude Mckay

Alfonso, Dressing To Wait At Table Alfonso is a handsome bronze-hued lad Of subtly-changing and surprising parts; His moods are storms that frighten and make…

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The Lynching By Claude Mckay

The Lynching His Spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven. His father, by the cruelest way of pain, Had bidden him to his bosom once…

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If We Must Die By Claude Mckay

If We Must Die If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark…

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A Prayer By Claude Mckay

A Prayer ‘Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling; I stumble as I fare along Earth’s way; keep me from falling….

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When I Have Passed Away By Claude Mckay

When I Have Passed Away When I have passed away and am forgotten, And no one living can recall my face, When under alien sod…

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Romance By Claude Mckay

Romance To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed, Scented and warm against my beating breast; To whisper soft and quivering your name, And…

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Flame-Heart By Claude Mckay

Flame-Heart So much have I forgotten in ten years, So much in ten brief years! I have forgot What time the purple apples come to…

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The Wild Goat By Claude Mckay

The Wild Goat O you would clothe me in silken frocks And house me from the cold, And bind with bright bands my glossy locks,…

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O Word I Love To Sing By Claude Mckay

O Word I Love To Sing O word I love to sing! thou art too tender For all the passions agitating me; For all my…

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After The Winter By Claude Mckay

After The Winter Some day, when trees have shed their leaves And against the morning’s white The shivering birds beneath the eaves Have sheltered for…

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The Harlem Dancer By Claude Mckay

The Harlem Dancer Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway; Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes…

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I Know My Soul By Claude Mckay

I Know My Soul I plucked my soul out of its secret place, And held it to the mirror of my eye, To see it…

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Wild May By Claude Mckay

Wild May Aleta mentions in her tender letters, Among a chain of quaint and touching things, That you are feeble, weighted down with fetters, And…

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Spring In New Hampshire By Claude Mckay

Spring In New Hampshire Too green the springing April grass, Too blue the silver-speckled sky, For me to linger here, alas, While happy winds go…

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Enslaved By Claude Mckay

Enslaved Oh when I think of my long-suffering race, For weary centuries despised, oppressed, Enslaved and lynched, denied a human place In the great life…

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The White House By Claude Mckay

The White House Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and…

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Morning Joy By Claude Mckay

Morning Joy At night the wide and level stretch of wold, Which at high noon had basked in quiet gold, Far as the eye could…

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Africa By Claude Mckay

Africa The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light, The sciences were sucklings at thy breast; When all the world was young in…

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The Easter Flower By Claude Mckay

The Easter Flower Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground, Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter…

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I Shall Return By Claude Mckay

I Shall Return I shall return again; I shall return To laugh and love and watch with wonder-eyes At golden noon the forest fires burn,…

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White Houses By Claude Mckay

White Houses Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the…

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Rest In Peace By Claude Mckay

Rest In Peace No more for you the city’s thorny ways, The ugly corners of the Negro belt; The miseries and pains of these harsh…

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Flirtation By Claude Mckay

Flirtation UPON thy purple mat thy body bare Is fine and limber like a tender tree. The motion of thy supple form is rare, Like…

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The White House – Claude Mckay By Claude Mckay

Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the grace To…

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Memorial By Claude Mckay

Memorial Your body was a sacred cell always, A jewel that grew dull in garish light, An opal which beneath my wondering gaze Gleamed rarely,…

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Baptism By Claude Mckay

Baptism Into the furnace let me go alone; Stay you without in terror of the heat. I will go naked in–for thus ”tis sweet– Into…

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The Night-Fire By Claude Mckay

The Night-Fire No engines shrieking rescue storm the night, And hose and hydrant cannot here avail; The flames laugh high and fling their challenging light,…

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Homing Swallows By Claude Mckay

Homing Swallows Swift swallows sailing from the Spanish main, O rain-birds racing merrily away From hill-tops parched with heat and sultry plain Of wilting plants…

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When Dawn Comes To The City By Claude Mckay

When Dawn Comes To The City The tired cars go grumbling by, The moaning, groaning cars, And the old milk carts go rumbling by Under…

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Polarity By Claude Mckay

Polarity Nay, why reproach each other, be unkind, For there’s no plane on which we two may meet? Let’s both forgive, forget, for both were…

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December, 1919 By Claude Mckay

December, 1919 Last night I heard your voice, mother, The words you sang to me When I, a little barefoot boy, Knelt down against your…

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Through Agony By Claude Mckay

Through Agony I All night, through the eternity of night, Pain was my potion though I could not feel. Deep in my humbled heart you…

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Memorial – Claude Mckay By Claude Mckay

Your body was a sacred cell always, A jewel that grew dull in garish light, An opal which beneath my wondering gaze Gleamed rarely, softly…

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Adolescence By Claude Mckay

Adolescence There was a time when in late afternoon The four-o’clocks would fold up at day’s close Pink-white in prayer, and ‘neath the floating moon…

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The City’s Love By Claude Mckay

The City’s Love For one brief golden moment rare like wine, The gracious city swept across the line; Oblivious of the color of my skin,…

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Home Thoughts By Claude Mckay

Home Thoughts Oh something just now must be happening there! That suddenly and quiveringly here, Amid the city’s noises, I must think Of mangoes leaning…

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Two-An’-Six By Claude Mckay

Two-An’-Six Merry voices chatterin’, Nimble feet dem patterin’, Big an’ little, faces gay, Happy day dis market day. Sateday, de marnin’ break, Soon, soon market-people…

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Poetry By Claude Mckay

Poetry Sometimes I tremble like a storm-swept flower, And seek to hide my tortured soul from thee. Bowing my head in deep humility Before the…

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Courage By Claude Mckay

Courage O lonely heart so timid of approach, Like the shy tropic flower that shuts its lips To the faint touch of tender finger tips:…

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The Tropics In New York By Claude Mckay

The Tropics In New York Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root, Cocoa in pods and alligator pears, And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit, Fit…

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My Mother By Claude Mckay

My Mother I Reg wished me to go with him to the field, I paused because I did not want to go; But in her…

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Absence By Claude Mckay

Absence Your words dropped into my heart like pebbles into a pool, Rippling around my breast and leaving it melting cool. Your kisses fell sharp…

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The Castaways By Claude Mckay

The Castaways The vivid grass with visible delight Springing triumphant from the pregnant earth, The butterflies, and sparrows in brief flight Chirping and dancing for…

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