Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

Claude McKay
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Claude McKay was a Jamaican-American writer and poet. He was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance and wrote three novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom (1933). McKay also authored a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), and two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home (1937) and Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940). His book of poetry, Harlem Shadows (1922) was among the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. His book of collected poems, Selected Poems (1953), was published posthumously.

McKay was attracted to communism in his early life, but he was never a member ... more »

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Comments about Claude McKay

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Herb Jacobson (12/31/2014 2:19:00 PM)

    MCKAY WROTE A POEM CALLED MY HOUSE. WHY IS IT NOT INCLUDED IN THIS LIST OF 80. IT IS A MAGNIFICENT AND INSPIRATIONAL POEM I HAVE BEEN PASSING ALONG FOR OVER 60 YEARS

  • Rookie - 7 Points Zeenat Fatima (9/16/2012 6:48:00 AM)

    really romantic poem.. :)

  • Rookie - 45 Points Rue Palmer (8/2/2012 8:48:00 AM)

    went to school reading claude, , we are from the same parish in jamaica nd i even know his home town, , yes indeed here i am right by his side, ,

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Best Poem of 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 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 shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly ...

Read the full of If We Must Die

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