Claude McKay

Claude McKay

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Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (September 15, 1889[1] – May 22, 1948) was a Jamaican writer and poet, and was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
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Home Thoughts

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Oh something just now must be happening there
That suddenly and quiveringly here,
Amid the city's noises,
I must think Of mangoes leaning o'er the river's brink,
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A Red Flower

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Your lips are like a southern lily red, Wet with the soft rain-kisses of the night,
In which the brown bee buries deep its head, When still the dawn's a silver sea of light
Your lips betray the secret of your soul, The dark delicious ess...
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The Citys Love

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For one brief golden moment rare like wine,
The gracious city swept across the line;
Oblivious of the color of my skin,
Forgetting that I was an alien guest,
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When I Have Passed Away

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When I have passed away and am forgotten, And no one living can recall my face,
When under alien sod my bones lie rotten With not a tree or stone to mark the place;
Perchance a pensive youth, with passion burning, For olden verse that sm...
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The Snow Fairy

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I Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy
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If We Must Die

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If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot
If we must die,
O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be...
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To One Coming North

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At first you'll joy to see the playful snow, Like white moths trembling on the tropic air,
Or waters of the hills that softly flow Gracefully falling down a shining stair
And when the fields and streets are covered white And the wind-wor...
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Homing Swallows

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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 and fainting flowers, say— When at the noon-hour from the chapel school The children dash and scampe...
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Flame-Heart

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So much have I forgotten in ten years,
So much in ten brief years
I have
What time the purple apples come to juice,
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Russian Cathedral

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Bow down my soul in worship very
And in the holy silences be lost
Bow down before the marble man of woe,
Bow down before the singing angel host
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Flower of Love

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The perfume of your body dulls my sense
I want nor wine nor weed; your breath alone Suffices
In this moment rare and tense  I worship at your breast
The flower is blown,
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The Tropics in New York

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Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root, Cocoa in pods and alligator pears, And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit, Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs, Set in the window, bringing memories Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills, And ...
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In Bondage

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I would be wandering in distant fields Where man, and bird, and beast, lives leisurely,
And the old earth is kind, and ever yields Her goodly gifts to all her children free;
Where life is fairer, lighter, less demanding,
And boys an...
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White Houses

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Your door is shut against my tightened face,
And I am sharp as steel with discontent;
But I possess the courage and the
To bear my anger proudly and unbent
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On Broadway

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About me young careless feet Linger along the garish street; Above, a hundred shouting signs Shed down their bright fantastic glow Upon the merry crowd and lines Of moving carriages below
Oh wonderful is Broadway — only My heart, my heart is ...
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Flirtation

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ON thy purple mat thy body bare  Is fine and limber like a tender tree
The motion of thy supple form is rare,  Like a lithe panther lolling languidly,
Toying and turning slowly in her lair
Oh,
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