African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Claude McKay, "Poetry" (1922)

Sometimes I tremble like a storm-swept flower,
And seek to hide my tortured soul from thee.
Bowing my head in deep humility
Before the silent thunder of thy power.

Sometimes I flee before thy blazing light,
As from the specter of pursuing death;
Intimidated lest thy might breath,
Windways, will sweep me into utter night.

For oh, I fear they will be swallowed up—
The loves which are to me of vital worth,
My passion and my pleasure in the earth—
And lost forever in thy magic cup!

I fear, I fear my truly human heart
Will perish on the altar-stone of art!

(Edited and Proofread by Kyle Brett)

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