Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay, with an introduction by Max Eastman (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922): 6. PS 3525 A24785 H3 Robarts Library.
1Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
2And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
3Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
4I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
5Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
6Giving me strength erect against her hate.
7Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
8Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
9I stand within her walls with not a shred
10Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
11Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
12And see her might and granite wonders there,
13Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
14Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.
Publication Start Year
Liberator (Dec. 1921).
RPO poem Editors