African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Claude McKay, "To the Intrenched Classes" (1922)

Your power is legion, but it cannot crush,
Because my soul's foundation is cast-steel,
And myriads of unseen bodies rush
From hidden bowers and shrines my wounds to heal.
Your petty irritants are tiny spears 
That cannot pierce through my protecting mail
to mortal hurt, and ll your Bourbon fears,
Quite warrantable, never will avail.
Mine is the future grinding down to-day
Like a great landslip moving to the sea,
Bearing its freight of d├ębris far away
Where the green hungry waters restlessly
Heave mammoth pyramids, and break and roar
Their eerie challenge to the crumbling shore.


Published in The Liberator, May 1922

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