Friday, July 4, 2008

"Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand"





















America

by Claude McKay (1889-1948)

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.



Text from Poetry Foundation. There's a lengthy bio of McKay here.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

3 comments:

chayaruchama said...

Heady stuff.

whodat said...

beautiful beautiful

BitterGrace said...

Isn't it a great poem. It wields its imagery like a light sabre.