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

Claude McKay, "The Easter Flower" (1921)

Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly
     My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,
Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily
     Soft-scented in the air for yards around;

Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!
     Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,
It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief
     In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;

And many thought it was a sacred sign,
     And some called it the resurrection flower;
And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine,
     Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.

Published in The Liberator, March 1921
Also published in Harlem Shadows, 1922

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