Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital CollectionMain MenuIntroduction: About this SiteAmardeep Singh, Lehigh UniversityConstab Ballads (1912) -- Digital EditionClaude McKay's "Constab Ballads"Songs of Jamaica (1912): Digital EditionBook of poetry by Claude McKay. Preface by Walter Jekyll.Early Uncollected Poetry (1911-1922)Uncollected Poems by Claude McKay published in Jamaican, British, and American magazinesWorkers Dreadnought PoetrySpring in New Hampshire (1920): Digital EditionHarlem Shadows (1922): Digital EditionHarlem Shadows Digital EditionSelected Poems of Claude McKay (1953)Approximating the Table of Contents of "Selected Poems of Claude McKay"Criticism and Contextual EssaysWorks CitedWorks Cited for "Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1912-1922)"TEI/XML Editions (in progress/coming soon)Links to TEI versions of these textsAmardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
Birds of Prey
12016-11-14T14:17:49-05:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1691Screen Capture of Birds of Preyplain2016-11-14T14:17:49-05:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
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12016-11-12T22:47:49-05:00Birds of Prey (1920 version)3Workers Dreadnought, October 9, 1920plain2016-11-14T14:19:29-05:001920Capitalism, Class, Nature, Birds, Violence Their shadows dim the sunshine of our day, As they go lumbering across the sky, Squawking in joy of feeling safe on high, Beating their heavy wings of owlish gray. They scare the singing birds of earth away As, greed-impelled, they circle threateningly, Watching the toilers with malignant eye— Birds of the darkness—human birds of prey, They swoop down upon us in merciless might, They fasten in our bleeding flesh their claws, In citied places bathed in bright daylight, And tugging and tearing without rest or pause, They flap their hideous wings in wild delight, And stuff our gory hearts into their maws.
(Workers Dreadnought. October 9, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope) (Edited and proofread by Amardeep Singh)
(Note: the version of this poem published in 1922 in Harlem Shadows has some slight changes. See that version here.)