Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

America - Poem by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.


Comments about America by Claude McKay

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/24/2017 11:28:00 PM)


    Such an interesting poem presented nicely. Thanks for sharing and congratulations for the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (11/24/2017 10:04:00 PM)


    Stupendous write. A beautiful poem that can withstand the tests of time. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/24/2017 8:14:00 PM)


    Such a sincere poem by Claude MacKay.... (Report) Reply

  • Abhimanyu Kumar.s (11/24/2017 7:37:00 PM)


    Bold, very bold expression. (Report) Reply

  • Jeanette Telusma (11/24/2017 7:23:00 PM)


    A poem of truth about America..... however, the first word in the poem reads, Although. I loved the balance of this great piece overall. Congratulations! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • (11/24/2017 4:44:00 PM)


    A precise-rhymed sonnet that still shouts and whispers after such a long time. It gives Claude McKay's unique perspective of America as an immigrant. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (11/24/2017 1:32:00 PM)


    Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, wonderfully penned, patriotic poem, thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/24/2017 12:53:00 PM)


    Bread of bitterness! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (11/24/2017 8:41:00 AM)


    If I’ve read this (Skakespearean) sonnet before, I had fogotten it. I’m impressed that McKay could yet hold psitive feelings for America despite what he personally and, more generally, black Americans had experienced. I’d guess that this is in part for people like Walt Whitman who had an inclusive view of America. For more of the same, if you who read this are interested, see my poems Listening to Genius Loves Company and Another View of Whitman.
    -GK
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/24/2017 2:27:00 AM)


    This could be understood as nothing less than an affirmation of his belief in the greatness of America.........well
    thought out piece excellently crafted........thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (11/24/2017 12:15:00 AM)


    An excellent imaginatiive write.10 (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (2/5/2016 8:09:00 AM)


    a very good poem, even after so many years.. (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2009 5:23:00 AM)


    alas..........it was written some time back..........america is changed now (Report) Reply

  • (10/2/2008 7:07:00 PM)


    This is a great poem. i love to read Claude McKay's poems. He IS the BEST poet since Shakespeare. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: tiger, strength, hate, america, time, life, culture



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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