Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-7

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

Producing this book has been a labor of love—and a long march that taught a new historicist about the diligence and flexibility required of old-fashioned textual editors. A firm sense of the value of Claude McKay’s poetry kept me going. But so did many smart and charitable friends. Cary Nelson, editor of...

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Introduction: Claude Mckay—Lyric Poetry in the Age of Cataclysm

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pp. xi-xliv

This is the first complete collection of the poems of Claude McKay (1889– 1948), proud child of black Jamaica, diehard bohemian, globe-trotting social radical, so-called playboy of the New Negro Renaissance, and author of ballads, sonnets, stories, novels, memoirs, and political commentary. Here, readers...

Jamaican Periodical Poetry, 1911–12

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pp. 1-18

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Songs of Jamaica (1912)

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pp. 19-85

...“Ole woman a swea’ fe eat calalu: calalu a swea’ fe wuk him gut.”An’ we boys mus’ ketch dem all befo’ de evenin’ sun go do’n;Grass-lice dat mek you trimble long time more dan when you meet 5Dem mek you feel you’ blood crawl from you’ head do’n to you’ feet,An’, like a ’pite, see all de mule a ’ketter t’rough de grass,...

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Constab Ballads (1912)

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pp. 86-129

I’m aweary weary standin’, wid me heart chock-full o’ grief,Walkin’ up an’ do’n de road, I see a whoppin’ Syrian-boy,An’ I grudge him, yes I grudge him for his heart so full o’ joy.’Twas a hot, hot day o’ brain-work, an’ me heart was sick an’ sad, 5As I staggered ’long de car-line, but de boy’s cheek made me glad:...

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Early English and American Poetry, 1916–22

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pp. 130-151

We will not still feed and guard the hungry, hideous, huge machine 10That yawns with ugly mouth, performs its grim task of life-breaking...

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Harlem Shadows (1922)

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pp. 152-196

Through the pregnant universe rumbles life’s terrific thunder,And Earth’s bowels quake with terror; strange and terrible stormsLightning-torches flame the heavens, kindling souls of men, thereunder:In the East the clouds glow crimson with the new dawn that is breaking, 5For the new birth rends the old earth and the very dead are waking,...

“The Clinic,” circa 1923

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pp. 197-207

“The Years Between,” 1925–34

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pp. 208-222

“Cities,” circa 1934

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pp. 223-240

“The Cycle,” circa 1943

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pp. 241-269

Final Catholic Poetry, 1945–47

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pp. 270-280

Notes to the Poems

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pp. 281-391

Works Cited in Notes to the Poems

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pp. 393-394

Index of First Lines

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pp. 395-399

Index of Titles

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pp. 401-405

About the Author, Other Works in the Series, Production Notes

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pp. 407-410