Complete Poems

Complete Poems

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Containing more than three hundred poems, including nearly a hundred published here for the first time, this landmark collection showcases the range and dynamism of Claude McKay (1889-1948), the Jamaican-born poet whose life and poetry were marked by restless travel and steadfast social protest. His first poems, composed in rural Jamaican dialect, won him fame as the qJamaican Bobby Burnsq and launched his lifelong commitment to representing everyday black culture from the bottom up. Reinvigorating the standard English sonnet after migrating to New York, McKay helped to spark the Harlem Renaissance with modern classics such as qIf We Must Die.q Coming under scrutiny for his Bolshevist views, McKay left America in 1922 and spent twelve years roaming from Moscow to Tangier via Berlin, Paris, and Barcelona. These shifts in location led to shifts in form, subject, and language, and when McKay returned to Harlem in 1934, having denounced Stalin's Soviet Union, his pristine qViolent sonnetsq gave way to confessional lyrics strongly informed by his newfound Catholicism. McKay eludes easy definition, which is why this complete anthology, vividly introduced and carefully annotated by William J. Maxwell, is at once necessary and rewarding. Here the reader can trace the complex, transnational evolution of a major voice in twentieth-century poetry.Selected Poems of Claude McKay, 84, with no comma after aquot;worshipaquot; in line 1; a period after aquot;lostaquot; in line 2; ... Line 8, aquot;rare symmetryaquot;: see a McKay favorite, William Blakea#39;s aquot;Tygeraquot; (1794): aquot;What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful ... Saraa#39;s jealousy led to the desert banishment of both Ishmael and Hagar. Ishmaelanbsp;...

Title:Complete Poems
Author:Claude McKay, William J. Maxwell
Publisher:University of Illinois Press - 2004-01


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