Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

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,
Wafting their blue-black smoke to sapphire skies.
I shall return to loiter by the streams
That bathe the brown blades of the bending grasses,
And realize once more my thousand dreams
Of waters rushing down the mountain passes.
I shall return to hear the fiddle and fife
Of village dances, dear delicious tunes
That stir the hidden depths of native life,
Stray melodies of dim remembered runes.
I shall return, I shall return again,
To ease my mind of long, long years of pain.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Grace Clarke (7/23/2014 1:21:00 AM)

    The poet has a longing or yearning to return to his native country. He reflects on the good times he had with his loved ones watching the forest fires burn, loitering by the streams, participating in native village rituals, like listening to music and dancing. Living in a foreign country he yearned for the things he left behind.

    The only way to ease the pain of that longing is to return this his native land to relive the things that shaped his life. Things tthat made him who he is. Its a feeling you can identify with only if you have experienced it. The last two lines drive home the point. I shall return, I shall return again, to ease my mind of long long years of pain (Report) Reply

  • cynthia williams (1/3/2010 1:16:00 PM)

    It appears that the poet Claude McKay is depicting an individual who has long been in a state of despair and possibly a state of depression in the sence that the individual has been void of laughter, love, a desire to dream/aspire, or merely enjoy so many of the wonderful creations around us in every day life. However it seems he does have one very profound desire for one thing, which is to return to a place where he is free of this long lasting pain he has endured. (Report) Reply

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