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
Christmas In De Air
12017-07-07T11:02:49-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1691Poem by Claude McKay Published in Jamaica Times December 16 1911 UPPERplain2017-07-07T11:02:49-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
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12017-07-10T09:53:52-04:00Christmas In De Air2Poem by Claude McKay Published in Jamaica Times December 16 1911plain2017-07-10T09:58:13-04:00
Dere is Christmas in de air: -- But de house is cold an' bare, An' me wife half paralize' Is a-dyin' wid bad eyes; Food too is so extra dear, An' dere's Christmas in de air.
Oh! de time is 'tiff wid me! Coffee parch up 'pon de tree, All de yam-plants tek an' die 'Counten o' de awful dry: Ah, I wonder how we'll fare, Although Christmas in de air.
We no e'en hab mancha leaf T'rough de miserable tie'f, Not a money fe buy clo'es Fo Joanna or fe Rose; Dey're so awful short o'gear, An' dere's Christmas in de air.
Dere's me poo' wife sick in bed An' de children to be fed, While de baby 'pon me knee Is as hungry as can be Ah tough life, so cold an' drear! Yet dere a Christmas in de air.
Wuk is shet do'n 'pon de road, An' plantation pay no good, Whole day ninepence for a man! Wha' dah come to dis ya lan'? Lard, I trimble when I hear Dad dere's Christmas in de air.
Gov'mint seem no hea' de cry Dat de price o food is high, Not a single wud is said 'Bouten taxes to be paid; Same old taxes ebery year, Though dere's hunger in de air.
While we batter t'rough de tret, 'Tis a reg'lar pay dem get; While we're sufferin' in pain Dem can talk 'bout surplus-gain; Oh me God! de sad do'n-care, An' dere's Hard Timesin de air.
But we'll batter on tell deat', Holdin' life in desp'rate fait', For we're foolish 'nough to know Life is but a poppy show; We feel glad de end is near, Though dere's Christmas in de air.
O sweet life so sad, so gay, Oh why did you come my way, All your gaiety to vaunt An' yet torture me wid want? I'm a-dyin' o' despair While dere's Christmas in de air.