Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

My Mother

Poem by Claude McKay


Reg wished me to go with him to the field,
I paused because I did not want to go;
But in her quiet way she made me yield
Reluctantly, for she was breathing low.
Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap
And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way,
She pointed to the nail where hung my cap.
Her eyes said: I shall last another day.
But scarcely had we reached the distant place,
When o'er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing;
A boy came running up with frightened face;
We knew the fatal news that he was bringing.
I heard him listlessly, without a moan,
Although the only one I loved was gone.


The dawn departs, the morning is begun,
The trades come whispering from off the seas,
The fields of corn are golden in the sun,
The dark-brown tassels fluttering in the breeze;
The bell is sounding and the children pass,
Frog-leaping, skipping, shouting, laughing shrill,
Down the red road, over the pasture-grass,
Up to the school-house crumbling on the hill.
The older folk are at their peaceful toil,
Some pulling up the weeds, some plucking corn,
And others breaking up the sun-baked soil.
Float, faintly-scented breeze, at early morn
Over the earth where mortals sow and reap--
Beneath its breast my mother lies asleep.

Comments about My Mother by Claude McKay

  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (5/6/2016 4:57:00 AM)

    The scene before and after the death of his mother has been captured by the poet with complete solemnity, reverence and gratitude. Thank you, Dear Poet.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (5/6/2016 2:06:00 AM)

    Beneath ist breast my mother lies asleep! Nice piece of work.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (5/6/2016 1:21:00 AM)

    A soul searching experience to the readers about motherhood.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Jayatissa K. LiyanageJayatissa K. Liyanage (5/6/2016 12:41:00 AM)

    What a touching way to say, one's mother is gone and she is embraced by nature very fondly lovingly. Exquisitely worded poem. Simply fantastic. x(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylva PortoianSylva Portoian (11/4/2011 3:25:00 PM)

    'Although the only one I loved was gone...'
    You said in Your poem
    And this is always True
    Oh, Claude
    You lost Your mother
    Your Only Beloved
    She was Unreplaceable
    You Poems are as well...(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Hugeoleen White (6/14/2010 6:18:00 PM)

    this is dom

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: frog, school, running, house, sun, children, mother, red, dark, child, smile

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003