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
Joy in the Woods
12016-11-14T13:57:54-05:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1691Joy in the Woods Screen Capture from Workers Dreadnoughtplain2016-11-14T13:57:54-05:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1
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12016-11-11T13:35:01-05:00Joy in the Woods6Workers Dreadnought, April 10, 1920plain2017-06-23T12:33:28-04:001920Labor, Class, Slavery, Nature, Summer, Season
There is joy in the woods just now, The leaves are whispers of song, And the birds make mirth on the bough And music the whole day long. And God! To dwell in the town In these springlike summer days, On my brow an unfading frown And hate in my heart always—
A machine out of gear, aye, tired, Yet forced to go on—for I’m hired.
Just forced to go on through fear, For every day I must eat And find ugly clothes to wear, And bad shoes to hurt my feet And a shelter for work-drugged sleep! A mere drudge! but what can one do? A man that’s a man cannot weep! Suicide? A quitter? Oh, no! But a slave should never grow tired, Whom the masters have kindly hired. But oh! For the woods, the flowers Of natural, sweet perfume, The heartening, summer shows And the smiling shrubs in bloom, Dust-free, dew-tinted at morn, The fresh and life-giving air, The billowing waves of corn And the birds’ notes rich and clear: —
For a man-machine toil-tired May crave beauty too—though he’s hired.
--Workers Dreadnought, April 10, 1920. Signed as "Hugh Hope" (Edited and Proofread by Amardeep Singh)