Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)


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

  • William Honeycutt (3/15/2020 11:50:00 AM)

    I absolutely hate writing, but I really love this poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • stu8777 (3/27/2018 6:58:00 AM)

    it has a rich taste of of America if that makes any sense(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bob gram (3/5/2018 7:48:00 PM)

    I think this poem really has a very good nhow of America(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • wowwowowo (2/2/2018 12:24:00 PM)

    garbage i hate this its boring as hellAlready ReportedReply

    6 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • Eleonora Bonaldi (1/23/2018 8:05:00 AM)

    I love this poem. As Italian with a denied visa and a consequently denied dream, I feel this poem a lot. Thanks for sharing such an amazing set of emotions.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani 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

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin (11/24/2017 10:04:00 PM)

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

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (11/24/2017 8:14:00 PM)

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

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Abhimanyu Kumar.sAbhimanyu Kumar.s (11/24/2017 7:37:00 PM)

    Bold, very bold expression.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Jeanette TelusmaJeanette 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

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (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

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Muzahidul RezaMuzahidul Reza (11/24/2017 1:32:00 PM)

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

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (11/24/2017 12:53:00 PM)

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

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Glen KappyGlen 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.

    7 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (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

    7 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (2/5/2016 8:09:00 AM)

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

    15 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Nikunj Sharma (7/23/2009 5:23:00 AM) was written some time back..........america is changed now(Report)Reply

    42 person liked.
    108 person did not like.
  • Selena Stone (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

    63 person liked.
    54 person did not like.
Read all 18 comments »

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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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