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Best Famous Claude Mckay Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Claude Mckay poems. This is a select list of the best famous Claude Mckay poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Claude Mckay poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Claude McKay poems.

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Written by Claude McKay |


 O lonely heart so timid of approach, 
Like the shy tropic flower that shuts its lips 
To the faint touch of tender finger tips: 
What is your word? What question would you broach? 

Your lustrous-warm eyes are too sadly kind 
To mask the meaning of your dreamy tale, 
Your guarded life too exquisitely frail 
Against the daggers of my warring mind.
There is no part of the unyielding earth, Even bare rocks where the eagles build their nest, Will give us undisturbed and friendly rest.
No dewfall softens this vast belt of dearth.
But in the socket-chiseled teeth of strife, That gleam in serried files in all the lands, We may join hungry, understanding hands, And drink our share of ardent love and life.

Written by Claude McKay |


 For the dim regions whence my fathers came 
My spirit, bondaged by the body, longs.
Words felt, but never heard, my lips would frame; My soul would sing forgotten jungle songs.
I would go back to darkness and to peace, But the great western world holds me in fee, And I may never hope for full release While to its alien gods I bend my knee.
Something in me is lost, forever lost, Some vital thing has gone out of my heart, And I must walk the way of life a ghost Among the sons of earth, a thing apart; For I was born, far from my native clime, Under the white man's menace, out of time.

Written 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 see was ghostly white; 
Dark was the night save for the snow's weird light.
I drew the shades far down, crept into bed; Hearing the cold wind moaning overhead Through the sad pines, my soul, catching its pain, Went sorrowing with it across the plain.
At dawn, behold! the pall of night was gone, Save where a few shrubs melancholy, lone, Detained a fragile shadow.
Golden-lipped The laughing grasses heaven's sweet wine sipped.
The sun rose smiling o'er the river's breast, And my soul, by his happy spirit blest, Soared like a bird to greet him in the sky, And drew out of his heart Eternity.

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Written by Claude McKay |

On Broadway

 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 lonely.
Desire naked, linked with Passion, Goes trutting by in brazen fashion; From playhouse, cabaret and inn The rainbow lights of Broadway blaze All gay without, all glad within; As in a dream I stand and gaze At Broadway, shining Broadway -- only My heart, my heart is lonely.

Written 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 days 
By you will never, never again be felt.
No more, if still you wander, will you meet With nights of unabating bitterness; They cannot reach you in your safe retreat, The city's hate, the city's prejudice! 'Twas sudden--but your menial task is done, The dawn now breaks on you, the dark is over, The sea is crossed, the longed-for port is won; Farewell, oh, fare you well! my friend and lover.

Written by Claude McKay |

The Spanish Needle

 Lovely dainty Spanish needle 
With your yellow flower and white, 
Dew bedecked and softly sleeping, 
Do you think of me to-night? 

Shadowed by the spreading mango, 
Nodding o'er the rippling stream, 
Tell me, dear plant of my childhood, 
Do you of the exile dream? 

Do you see me by the brook's side 
Catching crayfish 'neath the stone, 
As you did the day you whispered: 
Leave the harmless dears alone? 

Do you see me in the meadow 
Coming from the woodland spring 
With a bamboo on my shoulder 
And a pail slung from a string? 

Do you see me all expectant 
Lying in an orange grove, 
While the swee-swees sing above me, 
Waiting for my elf-eyed love? 

Lovely dainty Spanish needle, 
Source to me of sweet delight, 
In your far-off sunny southland 
Do you dream of me to-night?

Written 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 throbbing in the night.
I touched your flesh with reverential hands, For you were sweet and timid like a flower That blossoms out of barren tropic sands, Shedding its perfume in one golden hour.
You yielded to my touch with gentle grace, And though my passion was a mighty wave That buried you beneath its strong embrace, You were yet happy in the moment's grave.
Still more than passion consummate to me, More than the nuptials immemorial sung, Was the warm thrill that melted me to see Your clean brown body, beautiful and young; The joy in your maturity at length, The peace that filled my soul like cooling wine, When you responded to my tender strength, And pressed your heart exulting into mine.
How shall I with such memories of you In coarser forms of love fruition find? No, I would rather like a ghost pursue The fairy phantoms of my lonely mind.

Written 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 again; The awful sin remained still unforgiven.
All night a bright and solitary star (Perchance the one that ever guided him, Yet gave him up at last to Fate's wild whim) Hung pitifully o'er the swinging char.
Day dawned, and soon the mixed crowds came to view The ghastly body swaying in the sun The women thronged to look, but never a one Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue; And little lads, lynchers that were to be, Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.

Written by Claude McKay |


 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 the weird depths of the hottest zone.
I will not quiver in the frailest bone, You will not note a flicker of defeat; My heart shall tremble not its fate to meet, My mouth give utterance to any moan.
The yawning oven spits forth fiery spears; Red aspish tongues shout wordlessly my name.
Desire destroys, consumes my mortal fears, Transforming me into a shape of flame.
I will come out, back to your world of tears, A stronger soul within a finer frame.

Written by Claude McKay |


 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 
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.
And in the open spaces I could sleep, Half-naked to the shining worlds above; Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep, Gained without effort, sweet like early love.
But now no balm--nor drug nor weed nor wine-- Can bring true rest to cool my body's fever, Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine, That salts my choicest drink and will forever.

Written by Claude McKay |

A Red Flower

 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 essence that is you, A mystery of life, the flaming goal I seek through mazy pathways strange and new.
Your lips are the red symbol of a dream, What visions of warm lilies they impart, That line the green bank of a fair blue stream, With butterflies and bees close to each heart! Brown bees that murmur sounds of music rare, That softly fall upon the langourous breeze, Wafting them gently on the quiet air Among untended avenues of trees.
O were I hovering, a bee, to probe Deep down within your scented heart, fair flower, Enfolded by your soft vermilion robe, Amorous of sweets, for but one perfect hour!

Written by Claude McKay |


 The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light, 
The sciences were sucklings at thy breast; 
When all the world was young in pregnant night 
Thy slaves toiled at thy monumental best.
Thou ancient treasure-land, thou modern prize, New peoples marvel at thy pyramids! The years roll on, thy sphinx of riddle eyes Watches the mad world with immobile lids.
The Hebrews humbled them at Pharaoh's name.
Cradle of Power! Yet all things were in vain! Honor and Glory, Arrogance and Fame! They went.
The darkness swallowed thee again.
Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done, Of all the mighty nations of the sun.

Written 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 her day, 
And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest, 

I always see the evening when we met-- 
The first of June baptized in tender rain-- 
And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet, 
Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love's pain.
I always see the cheerful little room, And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed, Sweet scented with a delicate perfume, Wherein for one night only we were wed; Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute, And heard the whispering showers all night long, And your brown burning body was a lute Whereon my passion played his fevered song.
When June comes dancing o'er the death of May, With scarlet roses staining her fair feet, My soul takes leave of me to sing all day A love so fugitive and so complete.

Written 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 for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories
Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies
In benediction over nun-like hills.
My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze; A wave of longing through my body swept, And, hungry for the old, familiar ways, I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

Written by Claude McKay |

On the Road

 Roar of the rushing train fearfully rocking, 
Impatient people jammed in line for food, 
The rasping noise of cars together knocking, 
And worried waiters, some in ugly mood, 
Crowding into the choking pantry hole 
To call out dishes for each angry glutton 
Exasperated grown beyond control, 
From waiting for his soup or fish or mutton.
At last the station's reached, the engine stops; For bags and wraps the red-caps circle round; From off the step the passenger lightly hops, And seeks his cab or tram-car homeward bound; The waiters pass out weary, listless, glum, To spend their tips on harlots, cards and rum.