Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

Harlem Shadows


I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall
Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass
To bend and barter at desire's call.
Ah, little dark girls who in slippered feet
Go prowling through the night from street to street!

Through the long night until the silver break
Of day the little gray feet know no rest;
Through the lone night until the last snow-flake
Has dropped from heaven upon the earth's white breast,
The dusky, half-clad girls of tired feet
Are trudging, thinly shod, from street to street.

Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way
Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace,
Has pushed the timid little feet of clay,
The sacred brown feet of my fallen race!
Ah, heart of me, the weary, weary feet
In Harlem wandering from street to street.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
1 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: poverty, silver, snow, night, heaven, dark, world, heart, girl

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay )

Enter the verification code :

  • cynthia williams (1/3/2010 12:25:00 PM)

    My thoughts on Claude McKays poem 'Harlem Shadows' is how on key he was about how some young African American women used prostitution to trade for drugs. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

New Poems

  1. The Sea, Somasekar Sivaprakash
  2. Gods Revenge, Tango Tango
  3. 'Valerie', Katherine Nordhaus
  4. 'Charlie Girl', Katherine Nordhaus
  5. Madrigal Dedicated To An Angel., Marcondes Pereira
  6. Halloween, lee fones
  7. Canned thoughts, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  8. Aunt Giovanna, at 80, Gary Corseri
  9. For To be An Indian English Poet, You St.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  10. Magical, David Harris

Poem of the Day

poet John Clare

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Grace Paley

 

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  4. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  5. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  7. Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]