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

Claude McKay, "The Tropics in New York" (1922)

Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root,
Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories
Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies
In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze;
A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways,
I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

(Edited and Proofread by Jenna Casciano)

[This poem appeared in Harlem Shadows. It was reprinted in Alain Locke's anthology, The New Negro: an Interpretation (1925)] 

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