Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

A Memory Of June

Poem by Claude McKay

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.

Comments about A Memory Of June by Claude McKay

  • Linnea Blumen (4/27/2017 2:45:00 PM)

    I love the feeling embedded in the poem.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Richard Lavelle (4/25/2017 11:59:00 AM)

    ah, what memories of my younger days when i thought i was in love.richard lavelle(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Jet Fuel Cant Melt Steel BeamsJet Fuel Cant Melt Steel Beams (5/26/2015 4:46:00 AM)

    all I could read is jet fuel can't melt steel beams and 9/11 did bush(Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (4/19/2015 7:17:00 AM)

    Very romantic piece of poetry well graced in metaphoric piece of lines with beautiful rhyme scheme. A lovely poem indeed. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Michelle Reeve (7/15/2014 3:23:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem, I am surprised it is not better known.(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sylva PortoianSylva Portoian (11/4/2011 3:16:00 PM)

    Now... we are at fall
    But your poem felt me
    To feel in June...
    Your rhymes are music
    Dancing over my chest...
    I can't leave your poems
    Although it's dark
    Your stanzas
    Left me forget the clock(Report)Reply

    20 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • john tiong chunghoojohn tiong chunghoo (5/12/2006 9:15:00 AM)

    claude, love this. a lot of sensitivity and great images.(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
Read all 7 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: june, passion, death, rain, song, green, home, pain, night, memory, love, dance, wedding, rose

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003