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| |-+  Poetry (Moderators: Tyehimba, leslie)
| | |-+  The Lynching
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Tyehimba
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« on: April 08, 2004, 12:28:19 PM »

The Lynching

Claude McKay (1890-1948)



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.



Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist Claude McKay came to the United States from Jamaica to study scientific farming. Primarily interested in writing, he left college after two years of study to pursue his art. In New York, he supported himself by working various menial jobs. His first volume of poetry, Songs of Jamaica (1911), was followed by Spring in New Hampshire (1920), which was published in London, where he lived at the time, and Harlem Shadows (1922). His novels include Home to Harlem (1928), Banjo (1929) Banana Bottom
(1933) and his autobiography A Long Way from Home (1937). Ill and destitute, McKay died in 1948. (Sources: James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871-1938), The Book of American Negro Poetry (1922) and Kaleidoscope: Poems by American Negro Poets, edited by Robert Hayden (1967)).
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